Published: April 18th 2008April 18th 2008
The next stop on our tour took us to the fortress city of Jaiselmer. Set up on the top of a sandy rock surrounded by the Thar dessert, Jaisalmer is unique in being a lived in fort rather then a preserved monument. After settling into, what turned out to be our worst hotel of the tour (more of this later) we set off for an orientation tour of the fort area. The buildings are covered in extremely intricate carvings all in the local red stone. There are lots of little alley ways with balconies, windows and doorways where you could almost touch across from one side to the other. We stopped at one point in an alcove area with seating and the guide explained that a whole building had been demolished in the seventies just so that tourists could take photos of the buildings opposite!! Needless to say I didn't take a photo in protest at such terrible destruction of historical buildings. Lets hope lessons have been learned since then.
It's coming to the end of the season here in India and the shop keepers had obviously got their patter down to a fine art. My favourite, on passing a
shoe shop, was - 'Buy one, get one free!'. We did get invited into one shop on the recommendation of Manu and were shown one after the other of beautiful throws, wall hangings, all so gorgeous I wanted them all. They were top quality and in the end about 6 of us were tempted into buying. God only knows how I will get my huge mirrored and VERY heavy throw back home.
The next day I fully intended to go back into town to buy some more bags, clothes, jewellery etc but unfortunately in the night I was struck down with the famous Delhi Belly and was out of action for the entire day. Poor Sammy was also afflicked and it was just us well for both of us it wasn't a travelling day. So we made it to Jaiselmer and saw it - just!
Oh yes, I nearly forgot - and now to the hotel! The rooms, compared to those we had got used to, were VERY basic. Mine and Sammy's was particularly awful with no window and just like a cell it was so small. The food was awful and every other order had something wrong
Lived in fort.
Jaisalmer is unique in being a lived in fort as shown by this photo!
with it. The staff were all really grumpy. Oh and we noticed that the photo of the pool on their buisness card wasn't actually their pool, which looked so dodgey no-one used it. Sammy moved to another room later in the day so we could both be ill in peace. The air conditioning was working in my room but was SO noisy I had to keep turning it off as it was giving me a head ache. Then in the middle of the night I was woken by Joe banging on everyone's doors shouting 'fire - fire!' We all rushed out of our rooms like zombies to be greeted by the sight of the generator downstairs in flames and all the lights gone out. It was quickly put out but there was smoke and dust everywhere and of course still no electricity as we went back to our rooms. With the mozzy zappers out of action too I found myself getting bitten all over. There was banging and shouting and activity for ages as the hotel guys tried to get the generator working again. Everyone was mightliy relieved to be leaving this particular hotel!
There are more photos below