Jaipur Day 2

We left at 7.30 to go to the Amber Fort.

The Amber Fort

The other fort, still owned by the royal family.

If you want you can climb to the fort on an elephant for R900.

Or take a jeep for R20

Inside the fort is full of hawkers.  They don’t understand that we don’t want their wares because they’re awful, not because they’re too expensive.  I don’t want one pen with mirrors on it, let alone TEN.

Inside the fort

We had a local guide who talked for far too long and was difficult to understand.

View of gardens outside the fort wall

The saffron garden

We looked at the Turkish baths, with hot and cold running water.

16th century jacuzzi pool

They also had sit-down indoor conveniences, which is better than a lot of places in 21st century India.

Past the gate was the main area of the palace, with this garden and the royal bedroom.  This was inlaid with mirrors.

Like this inside and outside

Above this was a mezannine where the ladies could observe what happened from behind screens.  Beyond the centre was another large area, with bedrooms for all the concubines.

Original ivory inlaid door

Original 17th century queen's bed?!

Painting that was plastered over, then rediscovered, and people are now scratching their names in to it, because that makes it more interesting.

The whole area. The concubines lived around the outside on the upper storey

I looked at those bedrooms – small, sometimes windowless, or with a tiny screen window – and thought it was truly a gilded cage.  We were allowed free reign for a bit.  One pair became lost in the many corridors and stairwells.

View of the original 10th century fort

We stopped at the cafe so people could have coffee and brownies for a nutritious breakfast, then left.  On the walk down the group was totally harassed by hawkers.  One girl was particularly targetted – I have no idea why.  While waiting for the bus we had fake beggars as well.  A note to potential fake beggars – don’t wear jewellery or have a fat roll, as it gives the game away.

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to look at this

Water Palace

It’s not open to tourists unless you have a meal there.  At this point we picked up a small boy who performed a magic show on the bus.

In the afternoon we were able to split off.  I made straight for the Albert Hall.

On my way out from here I had several children approach demanding money.  When I told them ‘No.’ one tried to pick my non-existent back pocket!  I went to BMB sweet shop.  It has some Indian sweets, but I found the pista burfi disappointing, and the other sweets ranged from tasting like a drawer liner to being a lump of crystallised sugar.  But the lassi is good.

Across the road is a post office.  The window with the shortest queue does stamps.  I asked for 14 and she didn’t believe I needed so many and counted my postcards.  She added up the total and the owner appeared.
“Welcome to my shop!”
From here I went to the fancy central area for some internet, and saw a cobbler on a street corner.  I started off just wanting a polish, but ended up having my sole re-glued and a new heel put on, made from a truck tire sidewall.

That evening I took the opportunity to exercise, since the hotel had a pagoda with a fan in it.

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