“Sonja wake up, we’re going to be late!” Jory violently shook me from the best sleep I’d had since I arrived in India four days prior…
It was 5:30 am and we had one hour if we were lucky, to get through the gates to watch the sun rise behind the Taj Mahal. Everyone had expressed to us that this was the only way to experience it. They would swoon saying, “the lighting… THE LIGHTING!” I quickly threw some cold water on my face, collected my things, and ran out the door.
“Hola, Hola, Coca Cola!” greeted Omar, the rickshaw driver we had commissioned the day before. Amazed by his enthusiasm at such an early hour, we climbed in and relayed our desperate situation. The spicy, sweaty, floral scent of Agra attacked our senses as we flew through the eerily silent city. Dawn began to break and a sense of panic started to seep in, “what if we miss it?!”
Once we arrived we quickly bought our tickets, fought off beggars, peddlers, and even monkeys – only to discover we were not the only ones to have this stroke of genius. The line moved slowly as the horizon began to lighten. After being searched by four different guards, a precaution taken in thanks to the attacks in Mumbai a few months prior, we finally crossed the gates as the sun kissed the sky. There she stood white marble veiled in a pale pink glow, blushing, as if someone had drawn the curtains too soon. The water in the pool guiding you to the entrance blinked as the light hit the surface. We stood in awe, and being a hopeless romantic, I began to tear up, not only because of its striking beauty but because it was built as a monument of love. After a moment of standing in silence I looked over at Jory and was relieved to see that she was just as moved by the experience as I was.
“They were right” she whispered.
I smiled and responded “the lighting…!”
What travel experiences have you had where timing really was everything? Share with us in the comments below! (if you’re having trouble viewing Facebook comments, click here)