May 20: Jaipur to Agra!
Just like the previous other morning, we had a wonderful breakfast buffet at the Trident Hotel in Jaipur. We needed a full stomach for the hours of driving it would take to get the famous city of Agra. Although it was a rather long journey, we were able to stop at the Amer Fort. The Amer Fort is actually a hilltop fort and palace, overlooking the Maotha Lake and the Kesar Kyari Garden. With the fort’s geographical location, what better way to get to the top than by elephants? Although riding an elephant was a little scary at times (being around 10 feet high off the ground, and close to the edge of a wall), it was an experience I am so happy to have gained. Once at the fort, we were surrounded by incredible architecture and beautiful, intricate details. One part of the fort was a structure fully encrusted with precious stone mosaics, with a lovely garden in front.
Having gotten the full experience of the fort and palace duo, we set back on the road to visit another old marvel—Chand Baori. Chand Baori is a stepwell that consists of 3,500 steps that go down over 13 stories. It was very interesting to also see recovered columns and other stonework from a ruined temple. Across the street from the stepwell, we got the opportunity to see a local potter at work. He was able to quickly make small cups, pots, and jars.
We continued our journey to Agra, with the hopes of getting to the city in the late afternoon. Within a few hours we were able to quickly check in and begin exploring. Our tour guide took us to see the baby Taj Mahal, and even took us to the riverbank across the real Taj Mahal to give us a small taste of what we would be seeing in the early morning. With a full day of traveling, and a 5 AM wakeup call the next day, we decided to get as much sleep as we could for the long last day we had ahead.