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The Taj Mahal and a taste of home...

The spectacular Taj Mahal

Today we arrived in Agra on the over night train after 17 hours! It wasn't as bad as everyone thought it would be. We all played card games, laughed, made weird jokes, and just enjoyed each others company.

It was interesting that we all slept in bunk beds on a moving train for so many hours, but it was a great and enjoyable experience. All of us were so shocked at how much fun it was, considering it was 3 hours longer than our plane ride!

Once we arrived at the hotel we all settled in, took showers, and started our journey to the TAJ MAHAL!!!! Since today was the 64th anniversary of Indian independence there were many people, but we took some amazing pictures. Then we saw the tombs of both Shah Jahan, the architect who built the Taj Mahal, and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Soon we made our way to a marble factory and went to the Agra Fort. After a long day of walking around we had a "special" dinner at...PIZZA HUT! Everyone was so excited; after trying different cuisines for two weeks, the leaders decided we deserved a treat. It was so good! We spent the rest of the night relaxing in the pool, and enjoying our second to last night together.

Today I realized how much work went into creating the different famous structures in Agra. The architects who worked on the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort created precise, and balanced designs throughout their work. Even the designs that were made of diamonds needed to be carved with diamond crusted needles, because diamonds are the only thing that can break diamonds. Becoming educated on the methods and designs of these monuments taught me to have a greater appreciation for art and architecture.

- Amber