The lite version...
17.02.2011 - 17.01.2011 60 °F
Nicole will be following soon with a final update on our time in India, but as I've got some time to kill in the airport, I wanted to make a brief aside on our experience with trains in India yesterday. I caveated this post with "lite" as trains can vary quite a bit and we were riding on the most modern Shatabdi express from Delhi to Agra for the day to see the Taj Mahal.
We went into the experience with pretty low expectations. But hey, $15 for a first-class ticket ain't bad and 2 hours on any train certainly beats 4+ hours in a car. However, the trip was actually great. The seats were big and comfortable and the food was pretty good (in fact, I think some of the better Dal we've had) and was even served alongside butterscotch ice cream and a rose.
The most interesting part of the experience was definitely off the train. On the return, the train was delayed for about 40 minutes and we were stuck waiting on the Agra platform as the night fog rolled in. I tried to capture the mood in the pictures below, but I'm not sure they quite do it justice. Needless to say, we met some interesting locals, I'm sure in large part because it's such a tourist destination. Also interesting was watching passengers (even one on crutches) clamber off the platform and across four pairs of tracks rather than walk the short distance to the overpass. Nothing too surprising by this point, but seemed like it was worth mentioning.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our last and final India update!