Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tales from India: Jaipur: Day 1

So with the wedding a full blown success I prepared for my 4 day trip to Jaipur-Jodhpur-Udaipur. Basically I was going to spend a lot of time in a car. Luckily for me all I need to fall asleep is a moving vehicle. Must be a thing from the womb...thing. 
I set out pretty early Monday morning, up before the sun early, to begin my trip. The drive to Jaipur was amazing. From the very little I remember. It was a 4 hour trip and I was up early so I basically slept most of the way. Thinking back, I was either very stupid or very confident in my Krav skills, After everything I'm now hearing about India I'm quite lucky that nothing untoward happened to me. I mean, I'm a very wary person and I trust no one, not even my own mother (hey, ma!) so hopefully it was that confidence that Krav instilled in me that was radiating outwards saying "don't mess with that girl. She knows crazy Israeli martial arts." I'm sure that was it. And my guardian angel.
I arrived in Jaipur safe and sound. The first thing we did was head to my hotel so I could freshen up. Definitely one of the better hotels I've been in while travelling. I'd recommend Nahargarh Haveli for sure. It was just far off beaten path for me. I think it was in a residential district, but that just meant it was quiet at night and people could hear me scream if necessary. Ugh, my thoughts are awfully dark tonight. I don't have an address, but here's their TripAdvisor page and I would recommend it for sure, mostly because of how my trip ended and how well they took care of me. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The first thing I did was find my tour guide. We found the local office for Vaibhav India Tourism and appropriated a tour guide. He was pretty nice. Not as great as Hassan, but good nonetheless. I don't remember him commenting on my beauty, that's for sure. We visited Jantar Mantar first. "It's a collection of architectural astronomical instruments built by Sawai Jai Singh II who was a Rajput King. There exists a total of five such facilities including Delhi. The one at Jaipur is the largest and best preserved of them. It's another World Heritage site." Thanks be to Wikipedia for that succinct description.

Look at how red my face is.

Then we went to visit the City Palace, which is a complex of structures and includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces. It is now a museum, but parts of it are still part of the royal residence. Thanks again to Wikipedia. I believe the current King of Jaipur is 13 years old and lives in London and is heir to a trove of bickering family members and court cases. Poor kid.

After that I had to call it a day. I'm sure I was suffering from sunstroke and since people wouldn't/couldn't stop gawking at the cherry tomato I called a face I had to plan a strategic retreat. Below are a few pictures from my drive back to the hotel and a few words of advice to the determined backpacker.
Aren't they beeeeautiful?

The famed Pink City.

Love the colours!

A reminder to watch that movie which of course I still haven't.
Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds. Probably the most iconic landmark in Jaipur.
Words of advice:
If you've got any common sense whatsoever you will not visit India in July and if you're forced to do so then you should not going touring especially in the middle of the day and if you are still on this path of insanity then you'll wear a hat, carry an umbrella, and/or drink a ton of water.

Day 2 coming soon. Promise.

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