Since we got back to Zagreb, the skies have opened up. We were dreaming of spending happy afternoons walking everywhere in this fine city, enjoying beers and sandwiches in the parks here, newly greened under trees with their spring foliage, but were only able to do it once, thanks to the frequent showers. Despite that, however, it has been a joy to be back here in this city, which is blessedly flat in comparison to Dubrovnik. We even saw a corgi two days ago, which Steve and I both regard to be the height of auspicious signs.
To briefly illustrate our (mostly boring) activities this past week, we’ve been doing housekeeping and shopping, catching up on the things that we’ve been too busy to take care of these past months. I found a great art supply store half a block from our apartment and went on a shopping splurge, buying a real watercolor pad with heavy watercolor paper (the kind that’s 300 g/m^2), three brushes of varying sizes and shapes, and even blank watercolor postcards so I can draw some scenes for those at home. Price tag? $30 USD. Watercolors have turned out to be a great hobby to pick up — it appeals to my sense of creativity and the steep learning curve has taught me a lot, from how to mix colors to using perspective (something I haven’t done since Mr. Harris’s 8th grade art class) and how to hold a brush. But more importantly, since I find a lot of inspiration in our surroundings, it makes for a beautiful record of our time here. I have to thank Steve’s best friend Andrew, who is an awesome designer, for giving me a push and nudge in that direction! Continue reading Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?→
Love inspires grand monuments and grand statements. Here, the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore was waxing poetic about the beauty of the Taj Mahal. I’ve read this quote countless times in guidebooks and introductions, and you know, that’s quite a statement. When we planned to visit India, I knew that we needed to go see the Taj. Not quite because I was dying to make the trip to Agra, but more because I knew we would regret visiting India and not seeing it in person.
The Preparation Knowing it would be a difficult trip to plan, we made no other plans for our five days in Delhi. After some online research, I was overwhelmed by the logistics of taking a train to Agra and transportation from there to each of the sights in the city, so I suggested to Steve we try a tour group. We checked out a few places on the Main Bazaar that advertised day-trips to Agra. One place suggested a bus trip (leaving at 6 am, coming back at 11:30 pm) for 500 rupees a person, which sounded a little too cheap to be good (less than $10 USD per person, really?).
We also stopped by the travel desk at our hotel to inquire, and they suggested we hire their car and driver to visit three different sights in Agra, which would be more of a 12-hour journey for approximately 6000 rupees ($100 USD). We went back to do more research, but barely an hour later, the travel desk called our room to let us know there were two other travelers also hoping to go to the Taj tomorrow, so the price was just halved the price to 1500 rupees per person. After a hurried conference, Steve and I decided to go along with this unexpected opportunity.