Jaipur, the Pink City and Jodhpur the Blue City

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February 16th 2020
Published: February 14th 2020
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Time to move in from the Agra and explore Rajasthan, known as the Golden Triangle.

We boarded the train at 2.30 in the afternoon and just like before it left bang on time at 2.50pm. Could teach British Rail a thing or two!

Out seat numbers were 34 and 35 so we thought they'd be together but the weren't. A group of Americans got on and their seats were all over the place but in the same Area too as was another English couple's seats. Between us we rearranged things so we were sat with our respective partners.
When the ticket man came along he was totally confused and finally gave up. Each time we stopped at a station and more passengers got on we pretended to be asleep so we wouldn't get moved. It worked, only one American had to get out of their seat and move.
The station at Jaipur was huge and very crowded , we wondered how we'd find our driver.
After fighting off the tuk tuk drivers Stan spotted our driver and we were whisked off to his car.
He seemed surprised that we were not staying at the Raj hotel in the centre of town but knew where the Nahargarath Palace hotel was. We passed the Raj hotel, it looked very posh!
As he drove along the streets they became more and more scruffy and my heart began to sink. Where were we going!

He pulled up on a narrow steep street then turned into a small parking bay. Instantly someone was there to greet us and carry our bags. What a transformation from the street outside.
This hotel was like an little oasis set in a desert of grime.
Marble steps went up to the lobby that was luxuriously appointed with brown settees and beige cushions on a beautiful marble floor with a marble staircase leading up to the rooms.
The room was equally nice with pure white bed linen and towels.
The guy who tookbis toboyrcroom was Kern to shoe us around the hotel.
It was hone 8pm by now so dstk. As we got onto the roof terrace I got another Wow! Factor. There was the fort high up on a rock above us all lit up. It looked amazing! He was obviously very.proud of the view. Looking the other was we could see all over the city and he explained how tbecsun and moon could often be seen at the same time up there.

As Stan was not feeling hood from a casenof Delhi belly I ordered a sandwich anfcate it in the room then settled down ready for a busy day sightseeing next day.

After a quick breakfast in the hotel our driver arrived. First stop was the Amber Fort. We had the option to walk up to it or to take a ride on an elephant up there. We chose to walk!

It was a steep hill to climb with elephants passing on either side, the elephants were painted with lots of patterns and adorned with red robes. Made a colourful sight!

In the main courtyard were dancing girls and musical ' instruments' being played. The elephants paraded around before dropping off their passengers.
We spent a good hour walking around inside and outside before returning to find our driver.
Next stop was the City Palace.

The last stop was Hawa Mahal. Our driver pulled up on a bustling street and directed us through some narrow alley ways to find it. It was on a very busy road tbat we had to cross to get the photo. No easy task but we made it!
Sat around the huge roundabout just inches away from the crazy traffic were little old men sat cross legged working on handicrafts to sell.

The driver dropped us off at the hotel at.30pm and after an hour's rest we left the hotel and set off up the steep hill to the fort above us. We planned to eat dinner in a restaurant up there but were too late by the time we got up there, it was almost time to close as it was situated actually in the fort.
Luckily there was a restaurant in our hotel so we ate there and had an early night.
Another early train tomorrow!!

Next train journey again on time 6am exactly we pulled out of the station. Looking out of the window we began to see the real India. Whole families sleeping rough at the side of the rail on dirt and gravel.
Occasionally we saw nice green fields with cattle grazing. Made me feel sad for the cows that roam the streets of the cities. I had asked the driver why doesn't someone round them up and take them to the country side. His answer was that they all belong to someone. The cow gets milked in the morning by the family then gets turned out to fend for itself during the day. Of course the only food it can find is in garbage. I dread to think what the quality of milk would be.

Our hotel in Jodhpur was right in the heart of the old city. As you would expect everything around was painted blue, all the restaurants we name after something blue.
On the sightseeing day we went to the royal palace, then the Mehan fort and lastly a shrine. Jaswant Thada.
The rest of our time here was spent roaming around the streets if the old town.

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