Not the first stop on my Indian adventure but certainly one ill never forget.
This place is buzzing, thriving and just exploding with the most incredible colours, sounds, smells and sights.
From the moment of arrival I felt so comforted. Something about the soft pinks and oranges everywhere (it is called the pink city after all) is so calming amidst the absolute chaos that is, I guess, any city in this wild country.
And yet even among the blaring horns, the thousands of cars, tuk tuks, rickshaws, scooters and cows! on the road, I felt so blissfully ate peace.
We had the absolute pleasure of staying at a local hostel named Zostel. One of the biggest hostel names in India and they didn't disappoint. The accomodation was clean and adorned with beautiful artworks, incredibly friendly staff and an array of ridiculously cheap activities.
We spent our first night wandering the streets and found a little food stand on the side of the road surrounded by locals. We were told that you would just eat what the man handed you until you were full and then simply hand him 10 rupee (just under 20 cents AU)
Officially named Patashi, although we are fondly calling them potato puffs. A hollow fried crisp filled with spiced potato and then with a spice infused water and you eat the whole thing in one mouthful. The first few rounds you ask for Pita which is the savoury and the when you are ready to round off you ask for the Meta, a sweeter version. The combination is simply perfection and for anyone on a budget... boo ya! you got yourself a damn fine solution.
(general advise though is to go to the ones that are crowded by people, as part of the ingredients is water, you want to choose the popular ones as no one has had a bad experience from them hehe)
Keeping with the favourite theme of food, we took a food tour the following evening. For around $5 we were leas around the city on foot. First to the ice-cream stand for the local Kulfi... the most amazing mix of cream, rose, cardamon, saffron and pistachio. We proceeded to three other places in the back streets and underground that we never would have ventured into alone, and had an array of local cuisines. Ending with delicious chai and some sweets.
After the hostel lead us through a Bollywood dance lesson which quickly became a great way for everyone to relax and laugh and get to know each other.
Huge thanks to both Juniad and Shradha for being so open and friendly to a couple of crazy kiwis abroad. You made us feel at home in a place that is very fast from it.
We did a sunset excursion to the fort and watched as the sunset over the whole of the city as the sound of prayers rose up around us. We hung out on the rooftop of the hostel as the boys played rooftop cricked (with a rope attached to the ball so as not to lose it off this roof) and were brought our evening chai complementary every evening at sunset.
Every rickshaw and tuk tuk driver we took treated us like daughters, protected us and helped us to get to all the places we needed with calm and caring natures.
The hostel provided an amazing buffet breakfast each morning for minimal cost with a huge assortment of foods and the wifi was excellent, which was great for me to be able to spend my mornings working online and being able to called loved ones when needed. To relax in the multiple common areas when the wildness of the day outside had exhausted us.
Not too shabby at all for a place that charges a mere $7 a night!
There was just something magical about this city and I know that we barely even scraped the surface.
Ill defiantly be retuning Jaipur, you were just gorgeous!!