Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finally... The Taj

One day we went to Agra with our Cousin Brandi and our Grandma. We left at 10 am. It was almost six hours long. When we got there we had to ride to the monument.
Everyone wanted to give us a ride. Drivers with camel carts, horse carts (tonga), and even bicycle rickshaws. We chose the tonga. There was a man standing in front of the horse shouting. The tonga driver almost got in a fist fight with him! We think they were yelling about money.
This was the first time we saw the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is the most famous monument in India.

The Taj was beautiful! It is made of white marble. A king (Maharaja) built it to remember his wife after she died.  There was going to be black Taj for the king, but it was never made. The King's son kidnapped him.  The son thought his father was spending too much money. We stayed  at the Taj for two full, long hours.
Then we went to our hotel to see our room. After we put all of our stuff in our room we went out to a rooftop restaurant to have dinner. (Audrey had a chicken burger). Then we went back to our hotel and went to bed..
The next morning we went back to the same rooftop restaurant for breakfast.

We could see the Taj Mahal again right there in front of us!
On the way home we stopped at a palace called Fatehpur Sikri. It was built by a man named, Akbar over 400 years ago. It is very big and very fancy.
Emporer Akbar even had a giant Parchesi Board! But there was no water at Fatehpur Sikri so he left it after 15 years. Now people call it the "Ghost City."  It was almost as beautiful as the Taj.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Holi Hill Stations!

Instead of being in Noida for the Holi Festival this year, we went to Nainital and to the Jim Corbett National Park. In Nainital (a hill station) we rode on a cable car (called a "rope-car") up to an amusement park.
We could see the pretty lake below and the mountains all around us. There were lots of rides at the park.
Our favorites were the bumper cars and the Go Carts.
This was Evan's first time driving a Go cart. There was also a zip line, but we didn't do that. Evan drove the go cart with his grandma and rode in a bumper car with Mom. He wiped out a few times! They were going very fast.
We drove to Jim Corbett Park on Monday. That was the day of Holi Festival. Holi is the Hindu spring festival of colours. It was about two hours drive to our hotel near the park.
Our driver was worried about his car because it was white and there were lots of people throwing colors and "playing holi" in each of the villages on the way.
When we got to our hotel (Tiger Camp) we had snacks of samosas and namkeen. Then we walked to the river. We saw there were two elephants taking a bath. (We saw these same elephants bathing back in November).
We got changed to go swimming, but the pool was not very clean so we ate popcorn instead. We ended the day with an elephant safari.
We walked to our elephants and had to climb up tall stairs to get on. The elephant walked across the river and into the forest! We didn't see tigers, but we saw deer and monkeys and langurs. We had a great safari! It was a good way to spend our Holi Weekend!