I was desperate for the best shot of the Blue City that Jodhpur is famous for, that's the main reason we came. After breakfast of delicious honey and lemon pancakes, and sending off another load for the laundry, we headed into the main bazaar in search of ATMs. In one street alone we found 8 ATMs, all of which were out of money. We looked for a bank to go into but they were all closed. We were then told by the locals that banks were closed on Mondays... just fab! I just don't understand how the Government here expect the country to keep functioning if no one has any cash as it's a real currency country. If no where is taking old currency, they don't have any new currency, and don't accept card then they will have to start closing shops as no one can buy anything. We are now only buying in places where we can pay on card as we're having to save our cash for when we desperately need to use it. It's just crazy. India is obviously a big country to sort but surely the Government could have planned this better.
Anyway, after realising getting up in arms about this was a complete waste of energy, we used the energy we did have to hike up to the top of the Mehrangarh Fort. On the way, Matt stopped off at the famous 'Omelette shop' as apparently seen on YouTube. He had a cheese and masala omelette inside a sandwich which he couldn't get enough of. As we're trying to save our money on food, we've both lost quite a bit of weight. Hurray for me but Matt was gutted, so he's forcing himself to eat more... how is that ever fair?!
The Fort was very interesting, with a museum displaying historic weapons and paintings. The best part of the Fort for me though was the view. From the main side you could see almost the entirety of the new City of Jodhpur, then at the top of the Fort, from a small window in one of the buildings you could just about see the old City also known as the Blue City. The majority of the houses there are painted blue as part of an Indian tradition but no one is really sure how or why it started. We were also told that the best time for pictures were just before sunset as the houses appear more vivid in colour. I was gutted we were seeing it so early in the morning as I take a lot of pride in my photos, especially with an opportunity like this.
As we were heading out of the Fort, Matt saw a little path that took us away from the main touristy part of the Fort and to a spot that over looked the entire Blue City. We were pretty sure we weren't meant to head that way as there wasn't a single body there and it was protected with guards, but Matt managed to sneak us past. I have to say, anyone who knows me will know how much I HATE doing something that might get me in trouble, I hate being told off but this was definitely worth the risk, besides we had our escape plan at the ready!
After taking about a thousand photos in every angel we could possibly think of, we thought it might be nice to have a look around the Blue City. The first obvious thing was there were barely any tourists there which really surprised us. Whilst munching on some lunchtime snacks and people watching, a guy on a motorbike pulled up in front of us. He greeted us with, "Hey, remember me?", at this point both Matt and myself looked at each other puzzled, hoping the other would suddenly remember. "I was at your hotel earlier, remember?", and even though neither of us said anything, he carried on. He told us there was a lovely and cheap Indian market that sold food and textiles for locals and that it was not a tourist place so the prices were very cheap. I wasn't so interested in the textiles but more in the fact he offered to take us there on his motorbike.
We both hopped on the back and he took us through all the narrow streets of the Blue City. I was loving it but Matt was hanging off the back with my hair bun in his face so I think he struggled a bit. Eventually, we ended up at a textile shop where we were whisked in and taken up to the 5th floor and before we knew it we were having a fabric demonstration. Then, of course, they wanted money. Then it all made sense... we didn't know the guy on the motorbike at all, that's part of the scam to get you to the textile shop. We told them quite firmly that we weren't interested and left. It's amazing how each City that we go to seems to have its own type of scam, to keep it fresh and interesting so you could be scammed in every City during your stay. I think we're quite savvy with it now... finally, and we're quite happy to say no, abruptly if we have to which goes against what we're use to but it seems to be the only thing that works here.
We headed back to the hotel, but before we did Matt bought his second purchase of the at from the omelette shop. The sun was started to set and all I could think about was how good the Blue City would look from the Fort at this time. We weren't sure if we'd be allowed back into the Fort with the same tickets from earlier, and we weren't paying again. We decided we were going to take the gamble and try to climb to the highest point of the Fort for the ultimate view. After being stopped by 3 police guards but then sweet talking our way around it, we finally got to the top of a temple where we had the most amazing view of the Blue City in all it's glory! It looked stunning! I've never seen anything like it. We watched the sun go down then made the long journey back to find a restaurant.
We ended up in one of the very few rooftop restaurant that sold chicken, so Matt was chuffed. After a beautiful dinner overlooking the same Fort we had climbed twice that day, we headed back for a decent nights rest!