The Pink City

Sunday, June 02, 2013
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Up very early to avoid some of the traffic @ the heat .
Left at 6:00am, this time in a 17 sweater bus so we all fitted in comfortably.
Driving to Jaipur was such am experience. We saw amazing sights. Camels pulling trailers, elephants carrying huge loads and one standing next to a kerb in Delhi just as one would park a car. Not that they park here, cars are just everywhere . As well as loads of motorbikes, trucks, busses, rickshaws and those three wheeled vehicles they use for hauling stuff. They all just toot their horns and dart in an out between each other.
Lots of cows along the road foraging amongst the garbage, truck are mostly colourfully decorated, sometimes whole families on actor bike with the wife in a colourful sari riding sidesaddle holding a very young child, an older child holding on to dad and the only one waring a helmet is Dad.
Finally arrived at our hotel around 2:00pm. Out for a lunch in a very pleasant restaurant an then on to some site-seeing. We drove to the City Palace when a very fast talking guide showed us around. It was very interesting, but just too hot . As it is off-season we were the only westerners around.
Everybody hot and tired so headed back to the hotel for a rest, a meal and then bed.
Just as we were about to go in for dinner we heard a lot of noise which sounded like a procession. We went outside and it was a wedding procession. The groom on a white horse going to fetch his bride. A good way to finish the day.

Another 40 degree day. We had an early start and the bus took us to the Amer Fort situated high on a hill.
What fun. There are three ways to get up to the fort from the car park. Walk, take a jeep or ride an elephant. Six of us opted to take 3 elephants. My first time riding an elephant! Hawkers all the way, but it was fun.
Once up there a guide showed us all around the fort. An absolutely amazing place. It was built by Raja Man Singh I in 1592. The Maharaja and his descendants travelled a lot and incorporated a lot of features they saw during those travels. It's architectural style blends Hindu and Muslim elements with opulent palaces inside the fort. Luxury abounds with beautiful carvings, and intricate patterns everywhere. The old city walls are reminiscent of the Great Wall of China.
We took a jeep back to our bus and then it was time for a rest and lunch.
Later in the afternoon most of us went shopping. The first time we actually walked the streets. We were exposed more to the noise, the smell and the incredible cauldron of street life.
Dinner was again at yesterday's lunch place, but this time we had a group entertaining us with music., song and a beautiful young girl dancing.
Another amazing day!
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