After our jungle adventure, it was back to the cities and first stop Jaipur.
The first thing of note as our hotel which was an Haveli, this was a house for the elite, but many of them are now hotels, our one in Jaipur was Kandela Haveli, which was very like a Morrocan Riad with the rooms over 3 floors around an open courtyard, it also had a rooftop swimming pool, where I was watched taking an evening swim by a monkey on the roof.
The first night in Jaipur we were invited by the owner of the tour company that took us on the first leg of our India tour to his house for dinner, where we had a fantastic meal on the floor with him and a Scottish family with no cutlery, I used both hands, I hope I didnt offend!
The next day was on to touring properly starting at the Palace of the Winds which was built so that royal ladies could watch processions below without being seen themselves.
Then on to the Amber Fort just outside the city, you are taken up on elephant back, now we know that elephants have been used in India for years as working animals, but for us in this day and age it didnt seem right, so that was our last elephant ride, the Fort itself is amazing and huge, and more like a palace with temples inside.
From the Fort we went on to view the Water Palace from the lake shore, and on to the City Palace, though beautiful, not a patch on the Fort!
On Thursday we went to Jodhpur and another Haveli. We went out to the local market as we were in the centre of the old town, it was about as far from Romford market as it’s possible to get, the sights sounds and smells all assault you, and this is a market for locals, no knock off Rolex’s here (that I could find), also had my first decent coffee in India here!
In the evening we went out into the market area by the clock tower to see a band from Madagascar sing in French at an Indian folk festival in Jodhpur, it’s good to mix things up.
The next day we went to the Mehrangarh fort, another impressive castle, with a great view over Jodhpur, we visited the nearby Jaswant Thada mausoleum before heading off to our next destination.