Friday, May 25, 2012

Day2: Travel at the Speed of India

According to the tour itinerary on our second full day in India we travel by private coach to Agra and spend the balance of the day at leisure. What the itinerary did not hint at was that while it’s a mere 235 kilometers to Agra (that’s about 145 miles, I did the math) it takes six to seven hours “depending on traffic.”

Back home that might take you two and a half hours, but here road conditions and traffic—automobiles, bicycles, pedestrians and livestock—make what we assumed to be a quick trip into a day-long affair.

Typically traveling across a new country, whether it be by bus, train or boat, is fascinating. You get to watch the landscape change, see the people living their daily lives, and take in the diversity of the urban and rural areas. Maybe we haven’t seen much because we really didn’t travel that far, but so far India all look pretty much the same, gray, dirty and covered in heaping piles of trash.

The neighborhoods of million dollar flats look identical (at least from the outside) to crime-ridden poor neighborhoods. Maybe the dreary backdrop makes the beautiful things we’ve seen seem all that more spectacular. Just when I start to think the entire place is one massive landfill, it surprises me with something so pretty I gasp.

1 comment:

David C. Burton said...

Imagine that 6 to 7 hour trip to Agra taking 4 hours. Granted we were in a car, but due to being stuck in Delhi traffic for 2 hours due to a wreck our drive FLEW to Agra because our Taj tickets were for that evening.