Strangers to the train
It was goodbye to Delhi and hello Agra today as we packed our suitcases and headed to New Delhi railway station; opposite Main Bazaar and our old home. We plonked James at the stations waiting room and I took M&D for a walk up Main Bazaar and Smyle Inn so they could see in person some of the sites and places I had talked so much about. From their faces I could see that we were less than impressed with the area of Pahan ganj and Basil's was definitely the best option. I was pleased that Anil was working so I could give him a 'Thank you' card for being such a ledge when we were staying there. Dad took a few pictures and we were soon in the comfort and warmth of the station.
The train was prompt at the station but unfortunately the quality of the train was not great. We have been on a lot of trains since being in India and this was one of the lower qualities-M&D were delighted with the standard, as you can imagine! It was great that Dad had booked a sleeper class so they could see the organisation of the trains and I wasn't feeling that great so took full advantage of the beds and had a few hours' sleep. Despite the prompt start and Dad making sure we got the luggage onto the train- 'I'll take it!' We managed to arrive two hours late into Agra but it didn't matter too much as we were kept entertained with books, the netbook and the train wallah's. Dad loved all the shouting and repetitiveness of the men selling drinks and food; he likes to do impressions all of the time; 'coffeeooffeeoffee-veg-e-t-ablecuttlet' and Mum's favourite 'spidermanspidermanspiderman'. Mum laughed at the boy, why would she want to buy a crappy spider man toy?!
James grabbed a taxi but when he pulled around the corner it was a tiny fiat sized car. The taxi driver and his friends immediately began strapping M&D's luggage to the roof rack and Mum started to get unnerved. M&D decided to pay the extra £2 to get two taxi's and then we pulled up at the Radisson Blu, as my friend from the bus would say; 'What hotel!' We had amazing rooms, the most comfortable beds, a swimming pool, a spa and good news for gutsy Dad, lots of buffet opportunities!
M&D had been told by their driver that the Taj was only a 20 minute walk away so with some built up energy we had in reserve from the train ride we did a time test to the walls of the Taj complex, couldn't see a thing and then walked back. We chilled out in the evening with some food at the hotel and a few rounds of diminishing contract.