Travel day: 8 HR train from Jaipur to Jodhpur. Went sleeper class which is the lowest, and no AC. It was uncomfortable but at least we had the cabin to ourselves. A little alarming to have beggars coming up to you the whole time though. Arrived in Jodhpur at night and went to the first hotel on our list but it was booked so they sent us around the corner. Got a Rs 2750 room for 1500. Day 1 in Jodhpur: we only stayed one day here so we wanted to make the most of it. We went to the Mehrangarh fort in the morning, which was an extremely imposing fortress built High on a hill, overlooking Jodhpur. It was quickly obvious why it was called the Blue City. We went inside and bought our tickets, which included an audio guide. Really interesting stuff; this is one of the only forts in India that was never captured. There is a massive gate built around a corner so elephants couldn't build up speed to ram it open.
Handprints on the wall are from the wives of the Maharaja who were devastated when he died and threw themselves on the wall. The opulence and detailing that went into the construction of the fort is staggering.
It got a little overwhelming at the amount of people there--Indians don't share the same concept of personal space that we do in the West. Furthermore, I'm apparently a novelty item to them. They enjoy taking my photo for some reason...some ask, but most just point their cell phone conspicuously at you and click away. I just want to know why...is it because I'm white? Or do they think I'm Taylor Swift on vacation?
At the fort, in the astrological wing, I got my palm read by the palmist in residence. Kitschy, I know, but it was fun! (if he's right, I will get married twice, end up doing something in the arts but make no money at it til I'm 28 and not famous til my 40s, and die of heart failure at 85-86. We shall see about that!)
After the fort, we walked down the road to the royal Cenotaphs, which are memorials for all the maharajas that lived in the fort at one time or another. White marble contrasts beautifully against the red rocks upon which they are built.