The cool morning air of the Rajasthan hills was refreshing as we ate our breakfast of fresh coriander omelettes and fragrant masala chai in an elegant dining room complete with fine china and white tablecloths. Such a contrast to the teeming streets outside our courtyard.

The day exploring Jaipur was filled with so many different experiences that it is almost hard to recall. The Amber Fort, woodblock textile printing, a palace in a lake, venturing on our own to a local market, tuk tuk rides, etc. Of course all to the soundtrack of beeping horns.

As our intrepid purple G Adventures bus drove to the Amber Fort perched high above the city, we stopped for a photo op and were charmed by the snake charmers and awed by the view. Our group then transferred to jeeps to take us up the very steep and winding road to the Fort. The sight of a train of elephants carrying tourists up the hill to the Fort was both majestic and sad. We were pleased to know that G Adventures does not support practices that are cruel to animals.

The highlight of the day for me was a visit to a textile store where we got to try our hand at woodblock printing on fabric then a shopping spree in the store.

Walking on the main street of the market in the Old City included the usual flurry of entreaties from vendors to enter their shops however when we went down the smaller streets behind it, the shop keepers and local shoppers carried on with their business hardly glancing at us. The streets were too narrow for cars but it didn’t deter the motorbikes thus necessitating the need to be on guard and ready to get out of the way pronto! It was magical to come across the street dedicated to saris. This is where all the women are! Small groups of women in vivid saris sitting on the floor in tiny shops with the merchants spreading out their best wares for their perusal.

Had fun taking a tuk tuk back to our oasis in the city.

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