The Blue City
We'll start this entry with Jodhpur, The Blue City and home of the horse riding trousers of the same name.
Jodhpur is known as The Blue City because, one of the old Maharaja rulers decided that all houses in his city should be painted blue. He was full of ground breaking ideas this fella. Our first stop in Jodhpur was its old fort, which overlooked the whole of the city. The fort itself wasn't as impressive as wer found Bikaner Fort, but we didn't spend too long there (as we hadn't paid and didn't wanna get caught out
! :-)). Perhaps some people would've found Jodhpuir Fort amazing, but it takes a lot to amaze us after all we've seen so far, though the view over Jodhpur and seeing all the blue houses was quite spectacular. Jodhpur city, to be honest, wasn't very nice at all. It was like a mini Delhi with all the masses of people and vehicles, but without the sights. Maybe we should add here that this day we were both in a real mood because we'd had the worst journey with our horrible driver and had a bit of a fight with him, so maybe on a different day we would have liked Jodhpur more.The Holy City
On our way to Jaipur, we stopped off at Pushkar, known as The Holy City because of its sacred lake where Hindu pilgrims come to bathe. Although it was touristy, complete with white plonker backpackers in full Hindu dress, called Sadhus apparently, not our way of calling them saddos or anything, really not ;-). Puskar was a very pretty little town with loads of different temple. The lake was so picturesque, and we just sat there taking in the views of the surrounding hills, the buildings around the lake were all white and it actually looked more like somewhere on the Mediterranean. Then, as usual, there were the scamsters, this time trying to "give" us flowers to throw on the lake, though we knew then we'd have to pay a small fee. Harmless, though annoying and hard to avoid.The Pink City
In probably trying to keep up with the Maharaja of Jodhpur, Jaipur's Maharaja decided that all the houses in his city would be painted pink
. The green eyed monster obviously got a hold of him. After having quite a few problems with our driver (the fine details of which we'll tell you another time) the manager of the travel agency put us up in a hotel for two nights free of charge (and we changed driver). So, happy we were getting a freebie, and the hotel was pretty nice, and having got rid of our driver, we were in really high spirits. Our first proper day in Jaipur was a full on sightseeing day. first was the Amer Fort - a very impressive building on top of a lush green hill overlooking a lake and beautiful mountians. There were actually a lot of different forts around the area and so we decided we'd just go and visit some more. One particular fort even held the world's largest canon. There we met two wedding parties who surprisingly and strangely, seeing as we were the photograp, aske if they could take our photographs beside the brides. We in due turn took a lovely photo of the young Indian women in their beautiful sarees. After having enough of forts, it was off to the pink Old City to see the Jaipur Palace, Astronomical Tower and Wind Palace. Then, to get the real experience, we asked our driver to kindly leave us to our own devices and braved the crazy market area and bazaar. he warned us against us, but you can't come to India without experiencing the real essence of the country, and that we did. After an hour and a half of it, though, we were crying out for our driver to come back. "Ma'am, you promised me you would come back to my shop", we thought, "oh, dear, flip, we better gop in then" before realising this was a shop we'd never even seen before - the vendors in India are somethign else altogether
. Whatever we looked at, reluctantly or not, the next shop vendor would be sneaking a look in that shop, then as we walked past his shop, he'd display right in front of us the exact ware we had just been forced to look at! What an experience!
After getting back into the car, we decidied we'd take it easy having had enough of all the madness. Another relaxing night in the nice hotel before up early the next day and off to what is possibly going to be the most marvellous sight of the whole trip, the eagerly awaited Tak Mahal. We'll no doubt send you countless photos of that one (if we ever find a computer capable enough to do so!)
Yes, sorry for the lack of photos, but we have tried, in vain, to download them. You'll see them soon!
If we've lost you with all these towns and cities over such a short space of time, sorry.