24 May, India – ‘All Over The Place – Asia’
Jaipur is also known as The Pink City, and it’s easy to see why. All the buildings are painted pink. This was done in honour of the Prince of Wales’ visit in the 19th century and people obviously liked it cos they’ve stuck with it ever since. The most ornate of these buildings is the Hawa Mahal. It’s got 953 windows and was built by the Maharaja due to increasing Muslim influence in the country. His many wives liked to look out on the streets and parades, but it was frowned upon for them to be seen in public, so instead they hid behind the tiny ornate windows. It’s several storeys high, and was quite a pleasant place to spend the morning filming due to the breeze that passes through (it’s also known as the Palace of the Winds).
Chris and I confused the local tour guides with our 1 minute fact off interview, then were filmed investigating the place and opening and closing the tiny mouse sized doors on the back of some of the windows. Then we got dolled up as two of the Maharaja’s wives and confused the locals even more doing a comedy sketch where we spoke like footballers’ wives. Once we were done we made our way back through the hectic back streets, skirting around passing tuk-tuks and rickshaws, to our bus for the big drive to Bikaner.
We’ve done so much driving that it’s all starting to blur into one, and because I’m writing this a few days later I can’t really remember anything about it apart from the fact that I noticed the landscape getting more desert like! It was a big old drive (our bus driver is a hero and effortlessly navigates the lorries and farm vehicles heaving with hay on the single lane carriageway) and we got in late to our hotel – another ornate palace where you can live like a colonial prince for probably less than the cost of a room in a Premier Inn in Barnsley. Shame we were only spending about 8 hours in it!