Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck See the Countryside of India

We were surprised to see so much open land between cities.   Our tour covered the Golden Triangle.   The three cities were Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.   These cities are all within an easy day drive.   Traveling by bus, we were able to see more of India.   The farm land was a pleasant surprise.

Man working in his field

This man is working in his field.   Something is happening.   We are pulling off the road.   Our bus is broken.

Our bus is broken

Our driver and assistant tried to repair the bus, but a new one is coming for us.   We get off the bus, stand outside enjoying the breeze and look around.

Herding goats

A man is herding these goats.

Hut

We like the shape of this hut.   Another day we stopped for lunch.

Statue of elephant at entrance to our lunch stop

Mom wanted a picture of the elephant statue.   She really liked it.  Then she decided to get a photo of us with the elephant statue in the background.

Friendly man poses with ducks

This friendly gentleman offered to pose with us.   Isn’t that great?   We loved it!  Camel carts.

Camel carts, working

These are working camel carts.   We do not know what they are carrying, but it looks interesting.   On our way back to Delhi, we noticed something along the road.

Motorcycle, fruit stand and monkeys

The motorcycle stopped by the fruit stand, but there are monkeys here.   Jesse, our guide, gets off the bus, purchases watermelon, cuts it up and feeds the monkeys and cow.

And a cow

There are monkeys coming from everywhere.

All eating watermelon

We tourists, humans and ducks, are enthralled at this scene.   Don’t  you love it? There is even a monkey on top of the cart.   Well, our time in India is ending.   We are back in Delhi now.

Hindu symbol, behind tree

This Hindu statue is partially behind a tree, but it was the only we could get a picture without a vehicle in our way.   And yes, there are many vehicles here.

Lines at toll booth

This is not a parking lot.   All these cars have drivers and they are in several lines to pay at the toll booth.   Very few cars in the rural areas, but the cities are really crowded.   We came to India with SmarTours travel company.   We think they did a very nice tour for us.   If you are thinking of visiting India, see what is offered at http://www.SmarTours.com   Well, this is the end.

Farewell to India

Farewell to India.   We had a wonderful time and saw so much.

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Views of Agra, India, from the Bus Window

After one of our walks around Agra, India, we had a pleasant surprise when we returned to our room.   We opened our curtains and saw visitors on our window ledge.

Two friendly monkey on ledge outside our room

These two monkeys were grooming each other.   No surprise, the window has smudges on the outside.

He likes watching us?

One, the smaller monkey, left, while the larger stood up to look at us.

We ducks think he wants to come inside

Now sitting, is he asking to come in and visit with us?  Or does he know we have a Kit Kat candy bar in here?   Today our bus leaves Agra, heading for Jaipur, with a stop between.   As we go through Agra, we take some photos from the bus.   There is really no story here, just wanted you to see the variety of Agra.

Street scene of Agra

So many types of transportation.

Street of Agra

Scenes from the streets of everyday life in Agra.

Three on a motorcycle in Agra

Riding is faster and easier than walking, so three on a motorcycle is logical.

Tractor on street in Agra

Tractors are not just for the fields and farms.   When we entered Agra, from Delhi, we did see a few cows on the street, but not here.   Not today.   When mom was here in 2004, she said there were many more cows in the cities.

Building material

Much material for construction.

Horse cart

Horse can pull the cart.

Large trucks here also

Also large trucks available.   Leaving Agra, there are many open fields.

Fields outside Agra

Jesse, our guide, says wheat and mustard are main crops, but this is not the growing season. Local market for local people.

Local shopping here

Not a tourist market.

Local shopping. Not for tourists

We found these photos interesting and very different than street scenes in our city of Denver, Colorado.   We hope you saw something new here, also.

Shah Jahan Under House Arrest in Agra Fort, India

Agra Fort, across the Yamuna River originally was a military structure.   Construction began in 1565 by Emperor Akbar.   Emperor Akbar was the grandfather of Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.   From early construction, additions occurred, and by the time of Shah Jahan, it was a palace.   This is Amar Singh Gate, to the south of Agra Fort, and now the only entrance.

Ready to enter Amar Singh Gate to Agra Fort

This was really a city behind walls.   We tried a panorama photo of the main building.

Panorama of main building and lawn

Ornate buildings and manicured lawns.   Like most temples and old buildings, there are many monkeys.

Monkey on roof

This one on the roof was joined by some monkey friends and we were fascinated watching them run and jump across the roofs.   Our moms were happy to see a chipmunk.

Chipmunk

We have chipmunks in our Colorado mountains.   While we were watching the chipmunk, a man picked him up so we could get a photo.   Wasn’t that nice?  We walked around the complex and saw many buildings.

Wandering between buildings

Everything is so old, and much of it is still in good repair.   From Agra Fort, the view across the river shows Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

Such a beautiful building.   Shah Jahan, adored his daughters, and they each had a room like this.

Room for daughter

These are beautiful rooms with a great view of the Yamuna River.   And another non human resident.

A bat lives here at Agra Fort

This bat seems to be at home in Agra Fort.   This guide is shining a light on the marble.

White marble with inlaid gems

The light accentuates the gems inlaid in the marble.   Great craftsmanship everywhere.   You may remember that the Taj Mahal, was built as a tomb for Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz. The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653.   In 1659, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son, Aurangzeb.   Aurangzeb kept his father, the former Shah, under house arrest at Agra Fort.   This is the room, in Musamman Burj, the Octagonal Tower, in Agra Fort where Shah Jahan died.

Room where Shah Jahan died

He was imprisoned here for seven years, before his death.   From his tower, he could see the Taj Mahal, built for his beloved wife, Mumtaz.

View of Taj Mahal from his prison

So close, but out of reach for him.   This lawn was the Ladies’ Bazaar.

Ladies’ Bazaar

Female merchants were allowed to come here, on market day, to sell goods to the ladies of the Mughal court.   Men were not allowed.   We really like visiting Agra Fort, and loved the views of the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal from Agra Fort

The Taj Mahal with a mosque on each side.   But, it was time for us to leave.   More people were passing through Amar Singh Gate, coming to visit Agra Fort.

Leaving Agra Fort. That cute little girl is watching us.

That cute little girl is watching us.   Sometimes little children try to take us home with them.   We like children, but we want to stay with our moms.  We like this little girl.   Isn’t her dress pretty?  If you go to Agra, India, please visit the Taj Mahal and also Agra Fort.   We think you will enjoy them both.

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Fly to Delhi, India

Here we go.   With suitcases, passports, visas, flight schedules, and malaria pills…  Wait mom.   Malaria pills?  Yes ducks, just for prevention.   Get in the car and let’s go to the airport.   Off we go.   I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, with our moms will fly to New York City first.   Then another airplane, and the 14 hours and 15 minute flight to Delhi, India.   That is a long time to be in airplanes.   Delhi, India, the 3rd largest city in India, has between 17 and 18 million people.   So many new friends for us.   We landed in Delhi, cleared customs and immigration, gathered our luggage and met our tour guide.   Let’s explore our hotel, The Park.

The Park. New Delhi, India

It looks nice and there seems to be a lot of activity on the street.   We are comfortable in our lobby.   A buffet breakfast will be served in the restaurant behind us.

Hotel lobby with restaurant in background

Buffet breakfasts are great for us.   Always so many choices.   Another lobby lounge area by the Fire Restaurant.

Lounge near Fire Restaurant

We can enjoy authentic traditional food from different parts of India here.   Fire Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner.   We like the flower petals floating in water.

Flower petals floating

Floating flowers are enjoyed on vacations for us.   We don’t do it at home.   The vases of flowers are nice as we check in and receive our room keys.

Vases near check in location

We ducks want to see the swimming pool.   It is hot here, so a pool sounds nice.   More flowers floating as we approach the pool.

Floating flowers as we approach pool

We like this pool.

We love swimming pools

But we’re not sure if we will have time to swim.   Looks like there will be a beach party at our pool tonight.

Pool party tonight

We were told to go to our rooms and rest, but we want to see our neighborhood.   We two ducks and humans took a walk round our hotel.   Of course our moms are always looking for Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke.   We found some.   Continuing around our hotel, we found a small market area with a Hindu Temple partly visible.

Hindu temple with monkeys

Yes, those are monkeys on the temple.   This monkey is walking there and waiting for us to take a picture.

monkey

In this market area, humans can buy bananas to feed the monkeys.

Monkey enjoying a banana

Doesn’t she look happy with her banana.   Our moms were afraid to put us on the ground.   Some people said the monkeys might take us.   I think we will be spending a lot of time in our traveling bag.   More about Delhi next time.

Zeb Goes on a Boat at Cape Maclear, Malawi

Cape Maclear is on Lake Malawi, and we wanted to be on the lake.   I, Zeb the Duck, and the human women are on this boat.

On the boat

On the boat

Looking back to shore, we see the racks used for drying fish.

Fish drying racks

Fish drying racks

The fisherman often have nets out during the night and then dry the catch in the morning.

From our boat looking back to shore

From our boat looking back to shore

Trees are incredible plants.   This one is growing on the rocks and even the roots are on the rocks.

Amazing tree

Amazing tree

How do they get water and stay attached to the rock?   This duck does not know.   Our boat crew took us past this pretty cove.

Playful monkeys

Playful monkeys

They told us monkeys are usually here.   I love to see the monkeys.   We are not alone out here on Lake Malawi.

Others enjoying the lake

Others enjoying the lake

The men on our boat were very knowledgeable and a lot of fun.

Our crew was great

Our crew was great

This rock, on an island known for snorkeling and diving, is a reminder to keep the area clean for all visitors.

Good reminder

Good reminder

The water in this snorkeling area is rather shallow and very clear.   From the boat we could see many fish.

Bright blue fish

Bright blue fish

These blue fish are so bright and colorful.   There were also white, yellow and orange fish here.   It was a little too chilly for us to snorkel, but we loved the cheerful colors of the fish.   Malawi has over 600 varieties of birds and several were here at Cape Maclear.   This fish eagle was posing in the tree.

Fish eagle

Fish eagle

Heading back to our lodge, the flowering tree and colorful canoes caught our attention.

Colorful canoes and tree

Colorful canoes and tree.   Friendly children.

I like Cape Maclear.  Like every other place in Malawi, I wanted to stay longer and want to come back again.   I hope you visit Malawi soon.