The car ride to Agra took some time. Although it is only 200 kilo­me­ters from New Del­hi, but with an aver­age speed of per­haps 50 km/​h, such a dis­tance has its lengths. But that did­n’t both­er me, because there was a lot to see: a new, very dif­fer­ent country.

Ahmed, my dri­ver, was hap­py to dri­ve a new car with air con­di­tion­ing and I quick­ly became much too cold. Vis­i­bly reluc­tant, he fol­lowed my wish not to let it get too cold, and when that did­n’t help either, I found myself forced every now and then to let in the warm out­side air.

Hav­ing almost arrived in Agra, Ahmed sur­prised me with a sneak peek at the Taj Mahal. Impos­ing and shroud­ed in mist, it stood there, this mas­sive white struc­ture, and I was look­ing for­ward to see­ing it up close soon.

The hotel was a bit more accept­able than the one in New Del­hi. There was not much to see in Agra itself and since Ahmed admon­ished me to go to the Taj Mahal ear­ly at sun­rise to avoid tourist crowds and long queues, the evening was not long.

So in the very ear­ly morn­ing I final­ly stood in front of it: the Taj Mahal. Impressed by the size, archi­tec­ture and artis­tic crafts­man­ship, the only thing miss­ing at this moment, in this place of love, was actu­al­ly some­one at my side. With the firm desire to vis­it this place some­time again in com­pa­ny, I tried to cap­ture the mood and impres­sion in pictures.

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