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India 2014 - Jaipur

INDIA | Sunday, 7 December 2014 | Views [396]

Jaipur is known as the Pink City. All of the buildings are supposed to be painted in shades of pink. In reality they are more orange slash brown rather than pink, but it is still quite impressive. Jaipur also has quite a few sights to see, as it makes up part of the golden triangle.

We arrived at about 10pm and headed for our hotel. The next morning we woke up, walked around and explored the area. Turns out we were in a really crappy area, with hardly anything to see, and about 2 restaurants. We took a walk to the railway station and tried (unsuccessfully) to book tickets for the next leg of the travels - Indian train tickets are really hard to come by! We had to change our plans and get a ticket to Jodhpur instead. The people at the train station were REALLY unhelpful, and we ended up being handed tickets without even knowing the details - turns out it would depart at 2:45 am! Oh Lord! We left the train station, feeling frustrated and a bit deflated and took the long walk home, with a pit stop along the way for dinner.

The following day I woke up to a lovely birthday message from Robin. India had a different idea though... Robin was finally feeling better, but I suddenly was not! I have never wanted toilet paper for my birthday before! We headed out to the Amber fort, outside of Jaipur. According to the guide books, it is really confusing, with blind alleyways and dead ends, and they recommend hiring a tour guide. A guy we met in our hotel told us that we should be fine though, so we decided to wing it. We were doing really well, following the numbered sign posts, until I had to find a toilet. A guard led us down a maze of passageways to get to the bathroom, and from there on out we were lost. We ended up walking in circles and finding ourselves back at the toilets. We wandered around for a bit longer before  calling it a day and headed back down to our tuk tuk driver. From the amber fort, we stopped at the lake palace. It was a palace, right in the middle of a big lake, which has now been converted into a 5 star hotel. There are people selling bread and fish food, so the fish population is thriving. While we stood there, we saw two water snakes, hundreds of fish, and multiple fat herons and ducks plucking fish from the water. It was kind of surreal, and really peaceful.

From there we headed into the centre of the pink city to see the sights. Our first stop was a tower which we climbed up to join the Eagles for the view (Seriously- anyone who claims that Eagles are endangered have clearly NEVER been to India. They almost rival the pigeons!) We then walked to the observatory. This was really really impressive! It is a huge open garden, with different things like sundials and ancient observatory equipment. They were really complex and we couldn't really understand how they worked. I found myself listening to passing tour guides, but even that didn't work. Some of the things could measure distances between the orbits of different planets, and it was just too much. I couldn't help but think that my sister, Shannon, would have really enjoyed it and appreciated it more than us. From the observatory, we crossed the road to the palace. The tickets were more expensive than we were willing to pay, and we have seen enough palaces to last a lifetime, so we kept walking. We ended up at the Hawa Mahal, which is a high walled building which served as a high screen so that the ladies of the royal household could observe street festivities without being seen. It was really quite impressive, with 5 storeys of tiny windows, covered in lattice-work to help obscure the ladies' faces from view.

After our sightseeing was done, we headed back to our hotel to pack our things, and have a nap before our 2:45 am train to Jodhpur.

Tags: amber fort, jaipur, pink city, sightseeing

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