My God, we really loved this place! I had a hunch it would be the case when I was planning for it, but it even beat those high expectations. Wanna go back…
The Royal Cenotaphs
I love sunrises and sunsets… or any other time there is beautiful light to take pictures. So off we went to the Royal Cenotaphs for a relaxing and magical sunset. We were a bit surprised to see a series of wind turbines lining the hills closeby. Something the locals seemed to be very proud of.
I was trying to do my thing, wandering around for good picture opportunities, when a young guy from the area started talking to me. Nice and friendly enough, but I wanted to do what I really wanted to do… taking pictures. Especially after a long day trip I wanted to walk around and enjoy the views. Something that works best when I don’t need to pay attention to a conversation. He understood my friendly way of saying I wanted to be left alone: “I will move on and take some more pictures”.
Only to meet the next person interested in starting a conversation. This one was much more persistent. Gosh, how many different ways can you say “no” before someone gets it? “You seem to be getting angry?” he asked with a friendly face. “Do you think so?????”. My friend intervened and guided him away. I admire him staying so positive though.
A nice and relaxing spot to enjoy the sunset. Or sunrise I guess, as it is perfectly positioned. Next time.
Here, even further away than anything else, the ability to pull money out of an ATM is an art. It is so weird that 9 on 10 ATM’s seem to be empty all the time. That is… if you can find 10. Then again the government had switched overnight to different bank notes in their mission against money laundry and tax evasion. So, one of the daily activities was “getting hold of cash”. There was a certain tension at the ATM’s: people trying to skip the line and then getting yelled at by the others, others taking the lead in trying to organize the chaos up to the point they would stand next to you telling you how to do it. No thanks, I don’t feel the urge of you looking at how I enter my pin and seeing how much cash I am redrawing so I become a walking target or center of anger because I have taken so much.
Buying silver jewelry
Arghhh… I found heaven! Not sure where Babu – our driver and by this time friend or big brother – was taking us. Somewhere with a lot of alleys and no space to park the car. I was greeted by a cow sniffing on me probably to check if there were some late night snacks to grab. And then we entered… the gates of paradise. Needless to say I really love silver jewelry, especially the authentic type. I seem to have an annoying – but in my eyes very efficient and satisfying – habit of needing to see and check out everything. Just to be sure I don’t miss out on something really beautiful I really need. Bless my dear friend Greet, the salesman and Babu for being so patient. The bounty was worth it.
Nathmal Ji Ki Haveli
As this haveli is a very famous and popular one (with the elephants in front and built by two brothers not fully aligned on the design), I was mentally ready for a tourist trap. But I was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome by the family and craftsmen. A silk painter was doing his thing – making beautiful paintings 🙂 – on the left side when you enter. He grew the nail on his pinky as an extra tool to handle the paint on the silk. But my jaw dropped when we got upstairs. What a cool shop in a cool environment. This was not the standard tourist souvenir shop. Not pushy. Anything a bit older, special or pricier – so, all the stuff I like – seemed to sell a bit slower and so the shop was full of these nice things. I definitely had a hard time not buying all I wanted. And honestly, still regretting it…