We arrived here when everything was closing, so had to act fast on accommodation. Having read our bible (the Lonely Planet guide) we knew we were prime targets for the rickshaw conmen, as we had no idea where we wanted to stay. Refusing to be conned, we spent an hour wandering around the industrial area of Jaipur... not where we needed to be... but we were on the right lines. The cycle rickshaw didn't have to do a 3 point turn, nor did it have to turn right twice! Thankfuklly, we ended up in paradise... Paradise Inn to be exact.
There was no cause for celebration. This was only paradise for people interested in plumbing! There were 11, yes 11, fully functioning taps in the bathroom - 2 of which were installed upside down 1 metre above the sink!
We only spent 1 night here. We are running out of time, with our flight to Singapore in only 7 days. So, we woke up early to go Jantar Mantar - a very early astronomical observatory. It only cost 50p to get in, and 50p to take photos, but James decided he'd try and save some money! Unfortunately he had not appreciated the volume of eagle eyed police - I say eagle eyed - there were only 20 or so other visitors, all Indian OAPs! Needless to say, after only 2 photos we were both being escorted out of the facility, facing a considerable fine! After much apologising, we were back in and snapping away!
The City Palace was pretty mediocre... fair enough, it was a palace, but nothing to write home about... the highlight was seeing a dwarf fully robed up in a turban! (see pics)
We wanted to see the Amer Fort, abot 11k away, and substantial taxi fare! Against all good advice, we decided to hunt down a "commission based" rickshaw! We refuse to pay more than 1 rupee and the driver takes us to the fort... but on the way he takes us to his mates shops! We went to 4 factories in total... and even had a go polishing Emerald gemstones on hand powered diamond polishers. The fort was cool - awesome views and a labrynth of corridors for the Maharaja to "pay nightly visits" to the womens' quarters! Can't think why he would have done that, must have had better TVs or a better bar!
As we had an evening free, we decided to go to the cinema! The cinema itself was amazing - the foyer looked like a wedding cake! The film was a chick flick... Becky loved the whole thing... all 3 hours of it! Just like our theatres, there is an intermission - The first half was spent character building, and building up the romance - the second half was dominated by the fire that almost killed the future bride... unsurprisingly, this was the point where James began to enjoy it! The best part was watching pretty much the whole audience answer their mobile phones during the film! We still have no idea what the film is called, but it is worth seeing!
Off to Agra tomorow before 6... and we haven't got a ticket!