After Amritsar, Michael and I decided to travel to Jaipur as it was described as one of the most beautiful towns in northern India.
At the station, we were not the only travelers but most likely the ones, who were cornered the most by the pesky taxi and tuk tuk drivers who wanted to take us to our destination. But we were prepared this time! Michael downloaded the Indian version of UBER, called OLA and ordered a taxi to pick us up. While waiting for the OLA every taxi driver at the station (it felt like it) approached us. After some calls to the OLA guy, he canceled our trip as he couldn’t or wouldn’t drive to our pick up location. Next to us was a young woman, who was waiting for her husband to pick her up. She already helped us to shoosh the taxi drivers away and to talk to the OLA guy, but it didn’t help. When she was picked up, the car stopped in front of us and she shouted out of the window: “We drive past your hotel location, hop in – we will drop you!” Michael and I shared a glance and took our chances. While in the car she told us, that her husband will be awarded “chef of the year” the next day and this was the reason she came back home earlier. Both scooped us up when we were lost at Jaipur station and then it turns out that he is the Chef of the year. Do you believe in karma? ‘Cause we do!
Of course we asked about the restaurant and what we can do for sightseeing etc. and they gladly gave us recommendations and invited us to their restaurant at any time. We just have to call them and they would help us out any time. Numbers were exchanged that evening. 🙂 After a short drive we arrived at the hotel said goodbye to our new friends and promised to come by their restaurant.
The following day we used effectively to sleep in, don’t move much and add some functionalities to the blog (see the subscribe button on the right? :D).
On the second day we decided to do some sight seeing as our research showed, that Jaipur has much to offer. After a short and firm negotiation (Michael loves those) we got a tuk tuk for a day and started our discovery. We started with the palace of winds, where we drove by as only the exterior is worth looking at (pretty overrated) and headed to the Amber Fort in the outskirts of Jaipur (yes, it’s called by it’s color). We stopped there so that we could walk up the path and have a nice view from the fort. On the way up you see hawkers who want to sell hats, postcards, etc. and beggars who beg for money. Just in front us was a small group of female travelers who gave the begging children/infants some lollipops and on our way down, when we left the fort, we saw that the sweets have been untouched and thrown on the pathway. From the amber fort, we drove to some hidden gems close by. Our tuk tuk driver showed us a small step well, where you could go down the steps for a “special fee” to the guard, although a sign said clearly that you are not allowed to go down. Good thing – we were the only tourists there! Next to the step well we went to an old Hindu temple and had a guided tour through the attic of the temple where hundreds years old pictures tell the story of the temple and the Maharaja. The amber fort itself had an amazing view on Jaipur and on our way back to the city, we passed tuk tuks as well as camels and elephants. 🙂
The water palace was similarly disappointing as the palace of winds and so we drove downtown to the former royal palace and had a nice view on it from the outside as we did not want to go inside. Tourists are charged extra entrance fees and we were tired already, it was hot and we made an appointment with a tourist agency as we wanted to go to a national park where you can see tigers. 🙂
Our tuk tuk racer took us across the city to the agency and after we were finished back to the hotel, where we prepared ourselves to go the Restaurant of the chef of the year! 😀
The restaurant is called “Le Spring” and offers continental food as well as a modern interpretation of Indian cuisine. The Chef, Nitin, welcomed us himself and described the menu he had in mind for us! All we can say – it was fingerlicking (in India you usually eat with your fingers) delicious. A 5 course menu which was concluded with fried snickers and self-made ice cream… YUM!
With a full tummy we rolled back to our hotel!