this blog really has to be quick. It is past 9 pm and tomorrow we must get up at 3:30 to catch the plane from Jaipur to Mysore.
I woke up with a bad cold and a slightly upset stomach – and hope it is better by tomorrow. I always take a lot of kleenex with me and was not too happy when I ran out.
Today was another fabulous and jam packed day. After a breakfast where they actually provided bran flakes, we set off for the elephant ride to the Amber Fort. The elephant ride was up quite a steep road and photographers along the route took pictures of us – which they had developed by the time we left the fort.
Next we went to a textile and carpet marketing co-op. We bought a carpet there and had it sent to Rob's – we need to let them know it is coming. After that we went to the City Palace in the centre of Jaipur. The old city of Jaipur is designed on a grid with 9 sections, each identical, all with roundabouts in the centre. The whole old city was designed and built at the same time with shops lining the streets and living accommodations behind and above.
The City Palace is the home of the current Maharaja of Jaipur who is a 12 year old boy who goes to the same school as Gopal's son. His flag was flying above his palace so we knew he had not gone back to school after Diwali. The City Palace was really magnificent – this time painted a kind of amber colour rather than the red we have become used to seeing. There is so much less pollution here in Jaipur that the sky is brilliant blue. We started our tour of the City Palace with lunch there. We visited a textile museum with clothing from various Maharajas and Maharinas. Another highlight was the solar observatory where we saw how the moguls observed the sun and stars and figured out latitude and longitude – not to mention astrological information. We had dinner at an outdoor restaurant with Sarah, Curtis, Roger, Joan and Gopal.
Fire crackers are going off outside our window and only 6 hours to morning. Goodnight!