Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jaipur, Day Two

We started off the day by going to the post office with a couple of tote bags of stuff to mail home, and I once again enjoyed the process of watching a man stitch a bag to enclose the parcel.  Being mainly fabric and no books, it only cost 1700 Rs (just over $30) to send by SAL post (which stands for Surface Air Lifted, and will go by boat or air, whichever is cheapest).

From there we hopped on a #5 bus which took us up to Amber Fort, 11 km north of the city.

We took the audio guide and enjoyed wandering around from room to room--such an architectural marvel from the 17th century.

After a quick lunch in the village market (vegetable pakora and samosa), we went to the Anokhi Museum of Blockprinting.  I had visited this museum two years ago, and wanted to go back.  I wasn't disappointed!  I did some blockprinting with the help of a very patient printer who kept saying to me "perfect!" and "good!"  which is very good for the ego!

We took a very crowded #5 bus back to the city and it was with a great deal of relief that we emerged at the right stop, right where we wanted to be at the Hawa Mahal, a palace built for the royal women in purdah.  It's a fascinating place full of beautiful jali screens to shield the women when they wanted to look out over the street below.  

Lloyd enjoyed looking at all the interesting architectural details...

After leaving the palace, we decided to try and find a bar for a beer...had to walk MANY blocks before we finally found a restaurant with a liquor licence outside the old city walls.  The first restaurant we went into didn't serve alcohol, but the matre d' very kindly escorted us a few doors along to a place that did.  We continue to be amazed at small acts of kindness like this.  We are also distressed at some of the antics of young men and boys who view tourists as easy targets for money...little boys who ask for 10 rupees or a pen or's not always easy walking these streets. 

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