Sunday, September 30, 2018

Our Last Club Adventure - Days 16 & 17 - Jaipur

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We got an early start and arrived at our maharaja palace hotel mid-afternoon in time to enjoy the pool.  This was a grand place, built in the 19th century and full of antiques.  The rooms were older and well appointed and the air conditioning worked great.  There was a nice restaurant and all of the walls, both in the public and privatre areas were hand painted with Indian and Arabic designs.  Some of the gang joined Davey for street Tandoori chicken while the others dined indoors.

We met our guide Dhillipe in the lobby and via tuk-tuks headed over to the Wind Palace for a photo opp.  Our driver wore a crisp white traditional tunic and leggings.  Quite stylish.

Street barbers.
The Wind Palace, part of the City Palace with its beautiful carved windows and screens.

Our next stop was the Amber Fort.  We stopped at the bottom to change from tuk-tuks top jeeps instead of climbing the steps or riding elephants.
The main gate.
Assembling our group.
View from the terrace overlooking the village below.

The mosque.

Inner courtyard.  Notice the elephants.
Specatuclar inner rooms with finely carved details.

Frenchy and Andi.
Hall of mirrors.  Small mirror tiles embedded in the plaster and painted walls.  Stunning.

Crazy jeep parking lot waiting to take tourists back down the mountain.
Next up was the astrological observatory build in the 1700's.  All of the stone instruments work in precision detail.  Sundials, astrolabes, and sextants.

Later this evening many of us attended a showing of "Needle and Thread."a new Bollywood film at the famous Raj Mahir theater.  It was a great film, all in Hindi, and the cultural aspects and audience participation was exhilarating.  Our second night in the palace hotel was great as we prepared for our journey to Delhi in the morning.  We were not allowed to photograph the interior so here are some stock photos.

This is a poster of the film.  It was really a lot of fun and based on a true story.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Our Last Club Adventure - Day 15 - The Lady Herself...the Taj Mahal!!!

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We got up before sunrise and were transported by tuk-tuks to the monument.  We were inside just before the sun came and the light on the white marble was remarkable.  It was already crowded but it did not matter.  It was AMAZING,

The west gate.

Davey and our guide for the day.

And there she is...

The inlaid marble was crazy beautiful.

Several of us wore traditional clothing.  It was fun.

Leaving the monument, we were wisked off to the home of our tuk-tuk lead driver for a special breakfast and time to meet his family.  A wonderful Muslim family in a modest home and they were indeed so very pleasant and accommodating.


From there we visited a marble inlay showroom and watched the artisans perform the intricate work of creating masterpieces in stone.

We broke the bank and purchased this tabletop.  It will be shipped to Louise in December.  We of course will not see it again for four more years.  The artist posed for a photo.

Our last adventure for the day was a visit to the Red Fort.  Wow.  It was blazing hot by noon and the marble and sandstone was stunning in the bright light.

A grand view of the Taj from the Red Fort terraces.

The maharajah himself.

The day ended back at the guesthouse for some R&R.

This eveing we enjoyed a lovely dinner at a local restaurant.

And celebrated Jo Ellen's birthday.  She departed the follwoing morning for home due to a death in the family.  She will be missed.