Colours of Rajasthan: Pink & Amber

Amber Fort
And so into the colourful state of Rajasthan and to its lively capital Jaipur, just in time for a VERY special day... my birthday :) And fit for such an important occasion (ahem), we bagged ourselves another extravagant hotel, Dera Rawatsar, for a couple of nights. It's becoming a little too easy to spoil ourselves...

At the heart of Jaipur is the Old City, aka the Pink City, so named as they painted it pink (the traditional colour of hospitality) in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). As we wandered its streets and bazaars I wondered why they hadn't thought of giving it a fresh lick of paint ready for my arrival (& my birthday)? Must have been an oversight...

See, it's pink! (or rather a dirty orange colour)
There were plenty of sights to see, here are a few in photo form...

City Palace, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
We also experienced our first Bollywood movie 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' (The Man Who Never Dies) at the pink Raj Mandir Cinema - we were expecting a film full of colourful whirling saris set against backdrops of dusty Indian cities, and for it to be in Hindi. As it turned out the film was mainly set in London (against every conceivable landmark imaginable) and the actors all wore Western clothing (in a far skimpier form than you would EVER see here). And it was also partly in English. Solid cheeseball fun none-the-less!

Spot the Houses of Parliament top right (we didn't)
Drum roll please... the next day was MY BIRTHDAY! Although I'm starting to wonder why I'm so pleased about that as I'm now 37 years old (& each year the emphasis seems to fall a little heavier on that last word). Anyway, other than the fact that I didn't get to ride an elephant, we had a really good day.

After a bit of shopping in the morning we booked ourselves a driver (more extravagance) and headed out to Amber Fort, via a quick peek at the Water Palace (Jal Mahal).

Water Palace (Jal Mahal)
At Amber Fort our driver sorted us out with a brilliant guide who not only knew his stuff inside out but was also a dab hand at taking clever(ish) photos of us.

Clever photo... check!
Plan was to then go and ride an elephant through town. But frankly when we got there and saw them chained up and looking a little sad we didn't quite have the heart to do it. So we just gave them a stroke and bid them farewell.

Next we headed to Nahargarh, aka Tiger Fort, for a killer view (with beer) as the sun set over Jaipur...

And then back into the city to be presented with a bouquet of roses and an Angry Birds cake courtesy of my beloved.


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