Tuesday, March 4, 2014
To our pleasant surprise, Jodhpur is a calm and peaceful town on Indian standards and we immediately decided we liked the place.
We had hardly eaten since we left Varanasi, so as soon as we arrived at our hotel, Yogi’s Guesthouse, we set back out in search of a nice place to eat.
We found Jharokha Rooftop Restaurant, which had fantastic food and great views of the Mehrangarh Fort looming above the town.
While eating dinner we made tentative plans for the next day: wake up, drink pots and pots of coffee, visit the fort and then at sunset take the Flying Fox zip line tour around the fort walls.
Somehow exhausted from sitting in a train all day, after dinner we went immediately back to Yogi’s and straight to bed.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Just as planned as soon as we woke up we headed to the rooftop of Yogi’s Guesthouse and ordered pots and pots of coffee to help get our day started right.
Fully caffeinated and ready to go we set off into town and made our way up the steep hill toward the fort.
From what I understand, the economy out here in Rajasthan isn’t doing so hot, so to help create jobs and grow the local economy the region has invested heavily in tourism.
After everything else we have seen in India, I can wholeheartedly confirm that this investment has paid off in spades. If it hasn’t helped create jobs, which I’m sure it has, it certainly has taken the tourist experience to a level that cannot be found anywhere else in India.
Not only is the town exceptionally clean in Indian standards, but the Mehrangarh Fort has been maintained and restored to a standard that would rival even the greatest tourist attractions in Europe.
I would even argue the museum, galleries and guided tour are a step above those found in top tourist attractions in Rome and other parts of Italy.
Not only is the inside of the fort amazing, but the views from the top are breathtaking.
Jodhpur is known as the Blue City, and the reason is evident in the photos above. Traditionally, the blue paint signified the home of a Brahmin, but these days almost everyone has gotten in on the action and the cityscape is bluer than ever.
We spent about three hours roaming around the fort, taking in the history and enjoying the mid-day views before making our way back down to Yogi’s for a late lunch.
Lunch had to be a fairly quick affair because we had reserved a spot on the Flying Fox zip line tour for 4:30 p.m. and we had to arrive early to get checked in and fitted for our harnesses.
The zip line tour consisted of six different zip lines traversing the fort walls, all varying in height and length.
It turned out we had chosen the perfect time to go on the zip line tour, because the views are absolutely incredible as the golden sun set on the magnificent red fort.
The zip lines took us from wall to wall and from rocky cliff edge to rocky cliff edge. We sped over deep crevasses and emerald green water reservoirs whilst under the dramatic shadow of the 500 year-old fort.
While we were waiting our turn on one of the zip lines, our guide pointed out that a particular area near the outer wall of the fort was used in the prison pit scene in The Dark Knight Rises. Sure enough, I recognized it immediately.
When we finished the zip line tour the sunset was just starting it’s grand finale. We stopped briefly on the top of one of the walls to watch the sun slip behind the hills in the distance, before making our way back down into town toward the clock tower market.
We spent the early evening feeding Tarynne’s market obsession. We bought a CD hit Bollywood soundtracks from the last year and stocked up on some toiletry essentials.
After making a couple of laps around the market, Tarynne headed back to Yogi’s so we could set up a dinner cooking lesson in the hotel restaurant while I walked into town in search of a wine shop to buy some cheap beers.
The cooking lesson set up at Yogi’s is actually pretty cool. Basically, you get to order anything on the restaurant menu and then you are invited into the kitchen to watch the chef prepare the meal.
He explains everything he is doing and essentially tells you how to make the dishes you ordered. It’s not hands on, but it’s free of charge to anyone staying at Yogi’s and it’s pretty cool to order something in a restaurant and then get to see how it’s made. Since Tarynne is the sneakiest notetaker, you can check out recipes here!
We had every intention of being productive after dinner, working on the blog and planning more of our trip, but we we unexpectedly tired after hiking up and down the fort.
We only lasted a few minutes before we both through in the towel and went to bed.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Exactly one month until John and Jude meet us in Malaysia!
Once again, our morning started with pots and pots of coffee. I think it’s now safe to say that we drink more coffee out here on the road than we do working nine to five back in Seattle.
On this morning the harsh reality of having a blog set in and we spent the entire morning in Yogi’s restaurant uploading photos and writing blog posts.
After a productive morning, we finally set out for one last exploration of Jodhpur — a trip to the Umaid Bhawan Palace and then another stop at the clock tower market.
The palace was really not worth the Rs.150 rickshaw ride or the Rs.60 museum entry fee. It seems like they are just trying to squeeze some extra money out of the building. It was honestly a waste of time, even to the point where Tarynne didn’t take a single photograph. Now that’s saying something.
After visiting the palace we stopped by the market once more to buy some laundry detergent and string for a clothes line.
With all our chores completed and the sites of Jodhpur already visited, we headed back to Yogi’s for lunch and to wait for our night train to Jaisalmer.