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Getting out of Varanasi had a few extra hurdles. Haze turned into fog, fog turned into delayed flights. Delays are fine if you know that there is a flight and that you can actually find the plane. Not necessary the case at any Indian airport. For a couple of hours a few dozen of foreigners kept running between the gates, joining queues just to be told that this is not the plane - even though the information was saying it was the plane. After the boarding opened there was still a good chance to get on a wrong plane. Nobody checked anything and you needed to second-guess which of the three planes on the tarmac was yours. Ah - the joys of Indian travel never finish. Finally we managed to leave and let a loud sigh once the plane took off. Varanasi? No thanks. Not in the near future.



The moment we landed (after some proper experiences of boarding and transferring) at Jodhpur airport things seemed different. We actually needed to order and wait for a taxi - there were no hustlers, not TukTuks. The weather was nice - sunny, warm but not too hot. And the air felt fresher.  On the way to the old town we barely heard beeping or experienced any of the crazy driving. On the contrary, graffiti on the side of the road was discouraging people from beeping.


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Jodhpur's city centre, perched on the steep slopes and dominated by the outlines of the Mehrangarh fort, makes quite some impression. Narrow, winding, steep street, old traditional houses, lively market by the gate. The streets were cleaner and there was a very different vibe to the place compared to Varanasi. It felt more akin to Haldwani: cleaner, more relaxed and no hustle. People seemed to care about the place.Getting to the B&B required a bit of a walk since we picked one of the old, traditional houses up the hill. A few narrow, steep streets and staircases later we checked into a tastefully decorated, although still kept quite authentic, B&B.So far so good...


The narrow streets of the old town are like an amazing maze. Twist and turns. Crumbling buildings next to the community-maintained stairwell. Food stalls and dogshelves. The famous chilli samosa and the equally famous potato cake. Colourful and vibrant.

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The old town is dominated by the Mehrangarh Fort perching on the top of the hill. Impressive as it is, the surrounding defensive walls and Jaswant Thada, an elaborately curved marble wonder. Watch for the walls glowing when the sun hits them.




Five days in Jodhpur felt about right. Not too rushed to explore the old town and the markets, revisit the spots that were worth coming back to. With another could of days it would be worth to venture a little further afield to less touristy arid villages nearby or the other side of the town. A week would be perfect. Next time...After a short(ish) train ride from the Blue City was our last place to visit - the Pink City of Jaipur.


We only had a couple of days planned for the visit. Definitely not enough. As the city is much more spread than Jodhpur, it take more time just to get around. It has a lot to offer and savour. The streets are busier and not as atmospheric as in Jodhpur, although chai was good as were some of the street snacks. The food court next to the Albert Hall museum is well worth a visit: clean, safe and often visited by the locals - not just tourists. The museum itself was a bit of a drag - unless you really into pots or some figurines.


All the must-sees really are must-sees: Hawa Mahal to get a glimpse of the life from behind, Jantar Mantar for the marvels of science and astronomy (impressive!) and Nahargarh Fort for some greta panoramas of the city.


And for better view of the Amber Palace take a hike to the Jaigarth Fort or explore the fortifications around the small town of Amer.


Definitely coming back here!


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