The Blue City...and BATMAN!!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
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Trip End Sep 01, 2011


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Friday, May 6, 2011

"Welcome to Jodhpur. The local time is 6pm and it is plus 40 outside."....the announcement from the airplane says. Flying into Jodhpur, a city in the desert, is quite the view~! You can see the old forts, built high up on hills, the blue city, and the beautiful, amazing palace from the window of the plane. Stunning! The airport is neat too! It is built with Indian style architecture, so as soon as we got off the plane, I made Jay stand in front of it for a picture. "MAM...MAM! ERASE THAT PHOTO! MAM!...YOU NEED TO ERASE THAT PHOTO!". We turn to see a guard running towards us as he yells at the top of his lungs. HOLY CRAP! What's going on??!! We try to calm him down so we can figure it out...he makes me delete the photo...but being curious as I am, I continually ask, in a nice way, why we can't take photos. Finally he decides to answer us...It's not a civilian airport, it's a military airport! Why the heck wouldn't they tell you that on the plane or something??...there's NO signs around until you get into the airport and with the amount of tourists that go through that city in a year, you'd think they would inform people before landing...lol. So..happy that he was nice enough to watch us erase the picture, rather than shoot us, we tried to get back in the groove...grabbed our bags and paid for another rip off taxi ride. The ride was interesting...dusty, deserty, and very run down...that describes the whole city. We pull up to our guesthouse...a luxurious guesthouse that used to be the home to a royal family of sorts...or so the reviews online said! We pull up...I didn't even want to get out of the car! The place looked like a disaster! The upstairs was all hollowed out and barren cement rooms showed...the neighborhood looked like a garbage dump...we thought we were doomed. But, we unloaded our bags anyway, and headed inside. WOW! Thank goodness! The upstairs of the house is being renovated...the rest is immaculate and gorgeous! They welcomed us with a drink and gave us flowers and forehead dots. We sat in the common room and had a long discussion about the history of the guesthouse with the current owners...the fifth generation. Our room was amazing! We had a garden outside, an entrance way, a sitting room, the bedroom part, and a HUGE bathroom! The decor was antique style furniture as one of the brothers owns a furniture export business. It was great. Breakfast was served outside in the backyard in the mornings...before the sun got too hot for us! haha.

The temperature was 45 above during the day...almost unbearable in the afternoons! We found out that the fort we were going to see, the Mehrangarh Fort, was the host to the filming of a movie for the two days we were there, so it would only be open in the evening. Movie?? What movie?? We did some research and discovered that the new BATMAN movie was using the fort for two days of shooting! SWEET! So we went early, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone famous...haha. We didn't. But we did see the movie set and the crews...who also yelled at us for taking a picture...lol. It was great. We made it just on time to get a few pictures of the city before the sun set. The Fort is wonderful. You can walk within the walls and put yourself back in time. The set up is great with people in costume and live cultural music. There are holes in the walls from cannonballs and the spikes are still on the doors to prevent the elephants from charging. I'm not a history person, but it's tons of fun to be able to explore these forts and imagine life during that era!

Earlier in the day, we went out to the clock tower and the local market. Yikes! Jodhpur isn't a city that makes you feel comfortable! Everyone stares, crowds around, and tries to sell their goods. It's a run down, poor city. As soon as we got out of the rickshaw...which was quite the party...literally! He had Indian music blasting for the whole drive! haha. Anyway, as soon as we got out of the rickshaw, we were chased down by a guy trying to get us to go to his "spice" shop. After promising that we would go later, which we didn't, he finally left us alone...but not before warning us..."Be careful around here. And watch your camera!". Great! It's always comforting when the locals warn you about the other locals! lol. We took some wonderful pictures, strolled around a bit within the cobblestone market, then moved on to see the gardens.

The Mandore gardens were interesting. Guards on both sides of the entrance, the first thing you see is a giant sign: "Tourist Do's and Don'ts"...umm...how interesting. We had about 8 out of 10 Don'ts right...haha. Things like, Don't accept food or drinks from locals, Don't accept invitations for dinner from locals, If you are a girl, Don't flirt or make the local men think you are interested in them, Don't wear revealing clothing...which I apparently failed at since I was wearing shorts. We wanted to take a picture of the sign, but the funny thing is....even the sign was behind wire caging! I guess so no one could "alter" the Do's and Don'ts and confuse the tourists...lol. So we continue on, criss-crossing the street to avoid people who wanted money from us. It's interesting how you can say NO five times, but they follow you anyway...playing their musical instruments. Then when the song is over...they EXPECT you to give them money! What part of the first 5 NO's did you not understand??!! I always feel bad. We walked around the gardens, taking pictures and exploring the old tombs located inside. The architecture is stunning, and the detail is unbelievable. The heat was getting to us, so we decided it was time to leave. We started walking back out, along the street, criss-crossing once more. We had just crossed the street when I somehow dropped my water bottle...right into dried animal excretions. I leaned over to pick it up...without touching the newly contaminated parts...stood back up and....PLOP!! Nine months of traveling and the inevitable finally happened! The gross, disgusting dung of a bird landed right on my shoulder! Unbelievable! So we decided to go home to change instead of heading to our next location...I hate birds!
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