Dada came up trumps on the hotel in Jaipur and it was a really nice hotel in a quiet part of time run by an ex army major. We spent the night playing Triominos- this is a three sided version of dominos which Dada takes very seriously. He performs a very funny good luck ritual every time he picks up a piece and thinks Gareth is a miracle man because he won two games in a row...
After a good nights sleep we met Dada's friend Chand who was to be our guide of Jaipur for the day. With Dada driving and Chand singing in the front seat we headed to the old city of Jaipur and its dusty pink buildings, remnant from the days of the Raj when the Prince of Wales visited. We stopped several times to get pictures and then drove out to the Amber fort that is up in the hills above the city, its walls and defences form the second longest in the world after the great wall of China. We drove up to fort cutting the steep walk (or alternative elephant ride) out and together with Chand headed into the fort which is a palace where the Marharaja of Jaipur lived. The palace was very busy but had many ornate rooms, amazing architechure and beautiful gems and glass inlaid to the walls and ceilings. We also saw a traditional singing and dancing peformance.
After leaving the fort we drove back to the old city and stopped in some of the shops and had some indian clothes tailored. We both brought things, Laura a lovely India salwar kameez an me a pair of tailored linen trousers, which didnt have to be shortened! They were made in the afternoon and delivered to our hotel in the evening. After shopping we had some lunch before heading to the city palace.
The palace is a museum and is also still home to the Marharaja of Jaipur. Far more colourful and decorated than the Amber Fort the palace had lovely collections including an armoury which of course I was happy about.
After this we visited the Observatory next to the palace which had loads of giant sun dials to tell the time and star signs at different times of the year. All very impressive stuff!
On the way back to the hotel I went up to a Monkey Temple on the hill whilst Laura stayed at the bottom and played with a very clever dog?? The next day we headed to Pushkar...