MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Road Trip II - Agra to Ranthambore

Itinerary:
"Feb 12: Agra - Ranthambore. You have the option of a sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh, which is a 500 year old Mughal garden located across from the Taj Mahal on the other side of the Yamuna River. If you do that, you will return to your hotel to freshen up after the visit. Check out of your hotel and proceed for the drive to Bharatpur. Stop at Fatehpur Sikri for a tour. This deserted red sandstone city was built by Emperor Akbar, between 1570 and 1585. Visit the towering Bulund Darwaza (The Gate of Victory), which is set in the south wall. In the northern part of the courtyard is the superb white marble tomb of Shaik Salim Chishti, built in 1570. Lunch is included this afternoon at Bharatpur. After lunch — board the Express train for Ranthambore — a two and a half hour journey. Arrive at Ranthambore in the evening and check in at your resort."
We decided to forgo the sunrise visit to Mehtab Bagh, in order to take a relaxing breakfast on our balcony, where we still enjoy a sunrise vista of the Taj Majal.



Then - on the road again. A couple hours into the drive, we tour Fatehpur Sikri:


Shurveer offers architectural evidence contradicting the usual tour book explanation of the site:

video

Later we catch the train from Bharatpur to Ranthanbore:




The train is an hour and a half late, but we still get to the Oberoi Vanyavilas in time for dinner, capped off with a drink in our"Luxury Tent" accommodations:




While the luxury is undeniable, I question the accuracy of describing our quarters as a "tent". The only common characteristic with my understanding of the word "tent" is the fabric over our head.

Here there be tigers. We will be up before dawn for our first game drive, and hope to see one during our short stay.

2 comments:

Jim said...

1) Your travels are tempting me to reconsider my position relative to visiting India again....

2) Sigrid's camera is either much much better than yours, or...unlike most of us, she's knows how to use it well!! Great photos!

3)I still struggle with the contrasts between the very rich and the very poor in India. Perhaps India is an example of why so many are worried about the death of the middle class here at home. Compare your pictures of your hotels, with some of the street photo's. Clearly, most people that you see will never ever see the inside of some of those hotels!

mw said...

Clearly, but is that so different from any other country? How many from Appalachia, deep rural south, or East St. Louis will ever see the inside of the Trump Palace?

As you and I both know, it is all in the presentation. I choose to focus primarily on the positive in this blog, as an antidote to the political cesspool of my other blog. I could primarily use photos of the filth, the disfigured, the street children, the beggars, the pollution, the garbage and paint a very different picture. It would not be more true than the presentation offered here.

Perhaps it is a question of degree, as the extreme disparity seems much greater in India. It is also true that there is intensely vibrant economic activity in even the poorest sections of the cities, an exploding middle class, deep spirituality, an abiding optimism in the future or the country and pride in their history that pervades every aspect of the culture. In those aspects, we may be poorer in the US than they are in India today. It feels to me like 1950's America on steroids.

We travel in comfort because there is no other way we would do a trip like this, and so we live with the disparity and contradictions.