August 7, 2015

We are now in Jaipur India, better known as the “pink city.” Well, better known to us as the city where we get to ride elephants at! How awesome is that! We were all eager to ride the elephants and it was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip. Erin and I bought matching elephant skirts at one of the markets so of course we had to be festive for this event! We had been looking forward to this part of the trip since I met these girls. Before we even got to the elephants we saw a real life snake charmer! Heck no!!!!! It was scary but so cool at the same time to be right in front of one. I just hoped they stayed in their little baskets šŸ˜‰ We rode the elephants up to Amer Fort which was simply beautiful. This was probably my favorite of all the forts we saw (and we saw a ton!) We got on the elephants at a little platform and sat in a little metal “seat” kind of thing. We were so high up and the ride moved very slow! Some of the elephants were even painted, and had bells around their necks. We could hear the jingling below as we rocked back and forth during our ride. Arion and I had an absolute ball with our selfie sticks on the ride! The view was beautiful as the fort was up on a hill and the defense part almost looked like the Great Wall of China or something. Once we got to the fort, we got off the elephant after he stopped for a bathroom break (leave it to our elephant of course!), and started the tour. There were so many rooms and upstairs that we got to see and lookout from and it was just picture-worthy everywhere we turned. Our tour guide was awesome which made the whole experience that much better for us and so much more memorable. India has such a rich culture and long history that it is hard to capture it all in the time we were there. But what we did see was truly spectacular.

After the Amer Fort, we visited a place called Chokhi Dhani for the evening and for dinner. It was like an Indian version of a fair. We got the traditional Rajasthan greeting when we arrived which is like a red dye on our forehead and then rice on top of that. Here we saw traditional Indian dancers and music performances. It was really casual but still a lot of fun. We even got to dance with these women who had fire pots on their heads! Our moves weren’t really what they were doing, but we tried! We also got our fortunes told by an astrologer and my highlight, RIDING A CAMEL! He was so tall and just getting on was a challenge! Erin and I rode together and we bounced even more than on the elephants earlier. It was the most amazing thing to say I rode an elephant and a camel in the same day here! I was in tears it was so fun just laughing and smiling so much. At Chokhi Dhani we had a traditional Rajasthan meal too. We took our shoes off before we entered and washed our hands from a little kettle of water. It was an endless buffet until you told them to stop. I was pretty skeptical at first when I saw the leaf bowls, but this was the most Indian food I ate the whole trip. I must say it was pretty tasty. After dinner the guys who were serving us wrapped turbins for us before we left and that was just hilarious. Never in my life did I ever expect to wear a turbin! Quite the look really šŸ˜‰ Later that night Sharma and us girls surprised Kiran with a cake for her birthday and had a little celebration together. It was a great day that will bring back amazing memories for sure.

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