After spending a few days in Delhi, Lauren and I had arranged to take the train from Delhi to Agra where we were going to spend one night and visit the Taj Mahal the next morning. We actually bought our train tickets on the Internet. We selected our seats and ordered our breakfast all at the same time. While the ticket procurement was a breeze, getting to the train station and to the right train was a challenge and could not have been accomplished without our handler that the tour company provided. First of all we left our hotel for the train while it was still dark. Once we arrived, chaos ensued. There were many people standing outside and once we got inside the station we had to step over bodies either sleeping on the floor or God forbid something else. We were led through the crowds of people by our handler and through the security guards where we had to show our Passports and train tickets. Once we got onto the train platform, there was no way we would have found the right train. Even our handler had a hard time figuring out what train we should get on.
But he got us on the right train and to the right seats and after a 3 hour trip, we arrived in Agra.
Lauren and I had saved the majority of our train breakfast which was quite ample and gave it to some hungry looking children in the station. We were met at the station by our driver and we went to our hotel to freshen up before our guide Raj met us to take us around for the afternoon to see the Agra Fort. Raj met us early the next morning at our hotel to take us to the Taj Mahal. Lauren and I were so excited because seeing the Taj Mahal was a dream for both of us. We rounded a corner and saw the structure framed in the entrance doorway.
When the mausoleum came into full view, it was breathtaking to see the sunlight reflected off of the gleaming white marble. One if the things we noticed was how dressed up everyone was. We were told by our guide that Indians dressed in their finest clothing to visit the Taj Mahal because it was considered a once in a lifetime spiritual experience for them. Exactly how Lauren and I felt that day.