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March 13th 2013
Published: March 13th 2013
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Jaipur day two
We were met at 8.30 after an OK breakfast at the Holiday Inn and driven out to the Amber Fort, an impressive building even from the roadside. We queued for the elephant ride while chatting to our new guide, Vikram. After a 45minute wait we mounted the elephant, and made our way up the side of the fort. Quite a rocky ride with several nature stops, the elephant not us. We arrived in the square and took a guided walk around the part of the fort that was open. This was built in 1727 and took 30years to complete. The total perimeter was over16 km and included walled ramparts like he Great Wall of China,that were being restored. The fort is made of red sandstone and white marble with a separate palace for the ladies. Inside the twelve bedrooms that housed the Maharajah's wives are steps and a secret passage way to each room so the ladies did not know who he was visiting. The grandeur and splendour of this palace is beyond belief with a hall being made of silver and gold and mirrors from Belgium.Next stop was the water palace that is being refurbished , this
Amber fortAmber fortAmber fort

Interior is marble
sits in an artificial lake that was constructed including dam in the 1700's. Clever chaps these Moguls building a palace on a lake just to keep cool in the summer well it does reach temperatures of 45 C. We're entertained by a young lad who claimed he was a magician and showed us his tricks. Quite clever really, he made our money disappear his way with a well earned tip. Nice to see a smile on his face. We then went a gem factory and a cooperative who were only interested in flogging us something. Did however witness a carpet being made together with hand printing on material. After a quick lunch including an old geezer entertaining us with a local instrument, the musical variety, we made our way to an outdoor observatory. Along the way we saw the Palace of the Winds built in 1799 and currently being restored which was used by the ladies so they could see the procession that came down the street. The observatory dates back to the late 1700's and was very impressive being the largest outdoor Observatory in the world. All very clever stuff and a bit beyond me, the guide being an educated fellow firmly believed like most Indians in horoscopes to direct his fortunes, including the choice of wife, takes all sorts. Final stop of a busy day was the Royal Palace of Jaipur, painted pink as a welcome that matched the dainty looking portraits of the various Maharajas the adorned the walls. One of these Maharajahs was 7 foot tall and 4 foot wide but had skinny legs well his pyjamas looked that way. The largest silver objects in the world are housed here, two ginormous silver pots that are in the Guinness book of records. Met up with Cuckoo and Bill, is that her real name?told a few non pc jokes to Vikram which he eventually got and motored back to our hotel by 4.30pm.

Additional photos below
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Steve learning a new skillSteve learning a new skill
Steve learning a new skill

Retirement is for learning new things
Wind palaceWind palace
Wind palace

This is just a facade, being refurbished where ladies can watch the procession

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