Trip Start Oct 20, 2007
Trip End Nov 13, 2007

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Flag of India  ,
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The pink city of Jaipur was our guide Brij's hometown, so on the day of our arrival, we got to meet his family for dinner at a nice upscale restaurant called Indiana. It was also Jo's birthday, so it was a very festive evening. The dancers at the restaurant were amazing--five baskets on her head, and then doing a waist bend I couldn't even do at all, much less keeping my head straight enough to keep the baskets on.

The next morning, we got up early to see Jaipur's famous Amber Fort. The trip up to the fort is on elephant back, for which there is a significant wait. The local vendors put this time to full use--they bustle around the hordes of tourists hawking their wares, and will follow you through the line for quite some time if you show even the slightest interest in purchasing something. The fort itself was very beautiful, but the most memorable part was the elephant ride up to it.

That afternoon was free, so David, Kelly and I took off to see Jantar Mantar, a centuries old astronomical observatory. This was another hidden gem: an open field littered with different bizarre looking sculptures and contraptions designed to measure the time of day, the position of various stars, and the current sign of the Zodiac. A very cool, and somewhat surreal experience. Now, on to the Taj Mahal!
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