Its been another good day today.
We are in the nice hotels garden in Jaipur. Today we went to visit a few of the local tourist attractions including the Amber Palace, another palace where the Maharajah lives and finally the Observatory.
We started towards the Amber palace were introduced to our guide for the day - Duke. He told us about the driving in India and the fact that you need 3 things - good horn, good brakes and good luck!! He also explained about the cows in India that sleep in the road and why - Its because the flies and mossies are disturbed by the traffic, so if they sleep in the road they can sleep without flicking their tails. We reached the Amber palace, where a few of the group decided to ride up on elephants - which was nice - the rest of us were going to walk up the hill, but were told that it was too far to walk back down and so would have to ride back down in a jeep - this would cost the same as riding up and down in a jeep, so it was a no brainer - We all jumped in the back of the jeeps and headed up the hill, whilst still being hassled by the hawkers who were selling the usual shite - they even jumped onto the back of the jeeps and tried to sell us stuff while we were on our way.
The amber fort is quite spectacular and has great views over the city of Jaipur itself, as well as a lot to look around itself. We met up with the rest of the group who had travelled up on the elephants and then we had a good tour around it before heading back down the hill in the jeeps. It was really hot so we wandered around a bit with the guide, and I was prevented from walking into a wall - thanks Vicky! On the way out we saw a monkey messing about and also a snake charmer - with real snake. We took a few photos, but were surprised when the snake charmerthen started shouting - money, money, give me money! It was quite rude, so we just wandered off claiming stupidity! We were all glad to get back into the coach and head into town to the other palace and the observatory.
The observatory itself has lots of different devices that can be used to read the stars, the sun and their positions - the worlds largest sun dial is also there which is 80- feet high.
The guys seemed to find it a lot more interesting than the girls, so spent a lot of time looking at the various things, whilst the girls relaxed in the shade.
It was then off to the palace next door to see where the Maharajah lives and does his work.
Some of the group even saw him walk past at one point, but I missed him myself! On the way out of the palace there was another snake charmer - we had kearnt from the last one we saw not to take photos, but this one also surprised Lisa, when the snake had a bit of a go at the charmer - suddenly rearing up and having a right go at him - this surporised Lisa who was quite close and gave her a bit of a fright.
Duke had also arranged a lunch for us all, so back on the bus and into town to a big hotels restaurant, where a mix of meat and vegetarian sandwiches were available. For some reason, my nose decided at this point to start bleeding - again!! I managed to get to the toilets before it made too much of a mess of my clothes, but was surprised when the toilet attendant decided to get on his knees and help get the blood stains off my trousers!!
It had been a long day, even though it was only 2pm, so some of us headed back to the hotel, whilst a few went to look around the bazaar.
Having broken both my sunglasses in the last few days, I then took a tuk tuk with Lana, to do some shopping and pick up a cake as its Matts 27th birthday today.
We had a really nice hour or so, checking out all the sunny-g's in the proper shops, rather than the market stalls - We both got ourselves 2 new pairs and the total cost was less than £12 each(total for 2 pairs) Lana also managed to get herself some cool new sandals, that feel like you have really soft rubber on your feet (Yes, I did try them on)
We then found 'The Venus Bakery', where they do decent cakes. A cake was bought for Matt and they even wrote his name and age on in for nowt.
After this we headed back to the hotel for a rest. Lana had arranged for a Henna Tattoo artist to visit the hotel at 5pm and most of the girls sat in the garden and had some really cool henna tattoos done. Most had their hands or feet done, but Laura had her back done, which looks great. I also went online and managed to book 10 tickets for the commonwealth games so that we can go and see the athletics on Friday night!! Lets hope I can find 9 people who want to come with me.
Tonight we are heading out for a meal for Matt's birthday and hopefully a few beers.