Yet another day filled with the wonderful and bizarre which India has to offer! Today was our last in this country of contrasts and we spent most of it in Jaipur where we visited a number of monuments and forts. These did of course come with the customary 'hawkers' who I would have to commend here for being particularly determined. Mirrors, jewellery, miniature elephants, postcards, memory sticks (!); you name it, they sell it.. or at least try to!
Our first stop of the day was the Palace of the Winds, an amazing palace from where the local queens (not the Graham Norton sort) used to look at the public go about their daily business. It was located on a busy shopping street in the old city of Jaipur where all buildings are required by law to be painted pink. We assumed the orange colour they all seem to use is close enough! After a quick photo stop here beside a snake charmer (I thought they were a myth) we moved on to the Amber Fort to ensure we made it there before the departure of the last elephant (the best way to travel up the steep hill on which the fort sits). Not the most comfortable ride ever, I think ours had sports suspension, but a great experience and the banter from the driver was top notch! Our 25 year old elephant was still just a baby, but definitely onto its solids as it ate 20kgs of bananas and 7kgs of apples for breakfast!
The fort itself was again unimaginably huge and as intricate as anything else we've ever seen. A great place full of history. Later on we travelled to the City Palace which is home to the present Jaipur royal family and which was being set up for a local Hindu wedding. As one of Louise's topics at school, she had a field day and the Primary 7s will be in for a treat in August now! Our final stop was the observatory built in the city in the 1700s and which houses the largest sundial in the world (accurate to 2 seconds!). Another great experience during a brilliant and exhausting day.
After driving back to Delhi we said au revoir to our driver, who looked at us a bit funny. I assume he doesn't speak French.. Off for a rest before heading to the airport for our early morning flight to Hong Kong. Who knows what awaits us there.. You'll soon find out!
L & A