dimanche 12 juillet 2015

The Taj Mahal: World Wonder Deux, Duh!

When I last left y'all, we had just made the thousand year journey to Agra. Let me tell you that my hotel was fucking AMAZING. It was so serene! Truly an oasis in the chaos that is Agra. The longer we stayed in India, the crazier it got lol. I love you, Trident Agra. Man, so heavenly. It was just what I needed! It was insanely hot and humid, but there was a pool and A/C. What more can a girl ask for? Apparently, the stars were aligning for me and making my trip super pleasant. I got to catch the tail end of a Bollywood movie and then The Hobbit came on. I even ordered room service cause I was having a very Kevin McCallister moment. When I took a look at the kids menu, I had to do a double take. Had the heat melted my brain? Nope. This was very real. Who thought of this? Much amuse. When my food arrived, I wanted to cry cause it looked so delicious. Ugh, I was soooo relaxed! Y'all know me and my creature comforts. I wanted to stay here forever. Yeah, I'm totally normal.





I lost it at 'Nemos love'. lmao WTF?! 



#BLEST

You know I got the best sleep ever after inhaling these samosas.  

FINALLY-- the moment we have all been waiting for. Woke up bright and early as usual to make our way to the Taj Mahal! I had kicked off my 7 Wonder World Tour just 2 weeks before I got to India so your girl was on a roll. Getting up was incredibly hard to do as you can imagine. The Taj was around the corner from my hotel and I swear I could not believe it was actually happening. 


I've got the golden ticket!

Indian residents pay 20 rupees (~30 cents) and foreigners pay 750 rupees (~$12 USD) to get into the Taj. No, those aren't typos! It is a very stark difference in price, but it is what it is. This just goes to show you how far the dollar goes in India.

If you don't know what the Taj Mahal is, I am seriously worried. This utterly majestic and impossibly symmetric white marble structure is one of the most famous tombs in the entire world! It is considered to be one of the places you must visit in your lifetime. 3 million people visit every year, and 15,000 people visit EVERY DAY. So, yeah, it's a big deal. Some people think this is a palace, but it is actually a really huge mausoleum. What is it with me and being a creep? The Taj grounds are on the banks of the Yamuna river and consist of more than just the mausoleum, though. There is also a garden and a mosque that are both nice to look at. The amount of work and detail on the mausoleum is jaw dropping. I have never seen anything so intricate in my entire life! Anyway, it was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century for his late wife (#3) Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz was his favorite wife, like he really meant it when he said the others meant nothing to him. She died giving birth to their 14th child. Hell nah! The Shah was inconsolable, of course. He loved her so much, he had this mausoleum built as a symbol of his ~eternal love~. [Insert cheesy joke about how my boyfriend has big shoes to fill hueheueu zzz]....


Every surface of the Taj contains super detailed carvings. There are 28 different types of semi precious stone inlays on here too, including jasper, jade, turquoise, coral, diamonds, onyx, and amethyst gathered from all over the world. There are also passages from the Qu'ran in the most stunning calligraphy ever. The symmetry and architectural perfection of this place pleases me greatly. Allegedly, the marble used to build the Taj was brought from Rajasthan and 1,000 elephants were used to transport it. It took 22 years to build... and 28 for me to get there :). The path leading up to the Taj Mahal is lined with trees and fountains and it lets you appreciate the building from a slowly changing perspective. The Taj looks like it is just made of white marble, but the closer you get, the details start to emerge. It's not until you get to the actual structure that you realize how huge it really is. It is truly a dwarfing experience. Like, how the fuck did this get made? It is so incredible. Really. I know that these days we have tall ass buildings like the Burj Khalifa, but think about seeing something as massive as the Taj 400 years ago. Imagine a building of this magnitude against a clear blue sky... super dreamlike. I have no words.

Nothing on earth could prepare me for this visit. It made such an impression on your girl that 7 months later, it still does not feel real. I am dead serious. It is the most amazing and unforgettable sight in the world. I will never forget walking along the imposing East Gate and catching my first glimpse as we walked through. To see it shrouded in the early morning mist and literally hearing people gasp-- wow! It left me speechless. It really looks like a postcard. I felt like my eyes were playing tricks on me. It was just so perfect. I know some people have visited it and felt nothing, but this meant a lot to me and it was everything I wanted it to be (and more, duh). I will always treasure this memory. I'm so corny, whatever. Honestly, you haven't seen the Taj until you have SEEN it. Pinch me. Picture time!

























Of course, this didn't go off without a hitch. One of the guys from the tour  was hanging out with me and pretending to be my bodyguard. Here in India, people do stare, but they are not really rude or scary about it. They are just curious, it's cool. After hanging around while a group of girls took pictures with me for a solid 5 minutes, we walked over to the second level of the Taj. There was a group of young guys there and Ricardo (from the tour) told them I was a movie star from Mexico! Next thing I knew, I was absolutely SWARMED with people asking for my photo. It was such a crazy experience! It happened so fast, I didn't have time to have a picture taken of the madness. It was so hilarious, though. Later on, he lamented not asking for a fee of a rupee per photo. We would have made a killing, for sure. I wanted to kill him, though. At the end of the day, this was just the cherry on top of an already surreal experience. India rules.

Luckily for me, the day was not over! We made a quick stop at the Baby Taj which was nowhere near as jaw-dropping as the Taj Mahal, but still a really nice place to visit. It was really nice and peaceful here. The detail, as always, was incredible.














Bye, Taj! Little did I know India had more tricks up its sleeve...


... No, I'm not talking about watching my lads in PSG play a match from the comfort of my heavenly hotel room (although that was a nice touch).

Tomorrow: India sends me off in the most amazing way possible!

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