Four Countries in 2 Weeks: Turkey, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and India
India Day 4 – Flying from Kochi to Delhi and joining friends on a tour to Agra. Spending an evening at Agra and experiencing the Trident Agra.
Plane, taxi, and private van would be modes of transportation from Kochi to Agra (in that order).
Kochi to Delhi
To catch our morning flight, we started our day at 4:30 a.m.
Our prearranged auto-rickshaw driver was waiting for us a the entrance of our hotel, Tissa’s Inn. Normally a rickshaw would be slightly slower than a taxi, but not this time. Our driver somehow failed to mention that he had engine problems and only a single gear worked. Uphill he would almost stall and downhill he couldn’t go fast! The entire painful ride at around 40 km/hr, lasted an hour and a half and almost caused us to miss our flight.
We checked in for our Indigo flight and soon boarded the plane. This new Indian airline had some clever marketing initiatives that made me smirk.
- The stairs to board the plane had “VIPs this way” with an arrow pointing up to the entrance of the plane.
- The flight number started with “6E”. The boldly printed title of the inflight magazine was “Hello 6E”. Say it out loud.
- Puns in the inflight magazine: “snacks on a plane” title of snacks page and “big bag theory” title of page selling a duffle bag.
This was the best flying experience I’ve had on a no-frills airline. Good job Indigo.
Our primary reason for going to the capital of India was to meet up with our friends Neel and Shannon. From there we would take a private car to go to Agra.
Our rendezvous point was the Hilton New Delhi Janakpuri Hotel. From there we loaded up into our Toyota Innova minivan for a three hour drive to Agra.
The four of us in a car in a different country felt a bit like one of those classic road-trip movies. Arif, our driver was professional and friendly.
Besides a pitstop for chai and samosas, we stopped at Kesar Restaurant for a filling meal.
We arrived in the former capital in the late afternoon. Agra is also the hometown of our driver and he kindly invited us to his home.
On our arrival we were greeted by his wife, daughter, and son. They were very hospitable and offered snacks and tea. We sat around their living room and chitchatted about his experiences with other tourists.
Arif’s skilled daughter then gave Shannon and Neel henna tattoos.
As it was getting late, we went to the hotel to check in. Rohit, the General Manager, gave us a very warm welcome and introduced us to our butler Avdesh who showed us our rooms.
The preparations of the suite to personalize the stay was extraordinary! On the dining table was a personalized welcome card printed on white chocolate. The coffee table had a bottle of wine and a large bouquet of fresh flowers. In the bathroom, all the towels and bathrobes were personalized with my initials or name embroidered on them.
The Trident Agra really understands the concept of going above and beyond to provide a unique experience.
After we settled into the room, we went down for dinner and Rohit introduced us to Arun, the Executive Chef of the restaurant. The chef recommended a splendid curry sampler dish so we could taste several distinct Indian dishes.
We had an outstanding meal and returned to my room to sit and chat over wine before retiring for the night.
We had a big day ahead of us.