Thursday, November 18, 2010

India: The Amber Fort

Wake up, wake up, we're leaving very early this morning to go the Amber Palace. We need to be there at 7am to make sure we get an elephant.

mahouts, elephants, Amber Fort
The mahouts are stretching and yawning, checking their harness and fluffing tassels. It's overcast again. Let's hope the rain holds off till we finish exploring! Picturesque, aren't they? Pushy, too, in spite of the huge 'no tipping' signs posted everywhere.

elephant driver, Amber Fort, Jaipur
Come on, climb aboard!

Follow the other elephants up the switchback ramp

elephants, beggars
past all the beggars and sellers-of-useless-trinkets
encampment, trinkets, sellers, souvenirs

through the outer gates

courtyard, stairs, trees
to the main courtyard.

Up the stairs through the Lion Gate, turn right and go through the Ganesh Gate, then turn left and head for the Hall of Mirrors.

mirror, mosaic, delicate, detail, reflection, shimmer, convex glass
All those silvery-grey pieces are convex glass.

convex glass, detail, macro, mosaic, mirror, shimmer, reflection
All of them.

mirror, mosaic
Like glittering bubbles, even on a cloudy day. Make sure you look up:

mosaic, mirror, rosette, reflection
and around corners:

mirror, mosaic

The honeycomb window lattices throw lovely shadows.

archway, mottled stone, lichen, patina
Let's keep moving, there is an endless maze of rooms to explore.

 Little balconies have ornate roofs

and every courtyard seems to have a pavilion for receiving guests.

 And just in case elephants and palaces aren't exotic enough for you, there are cobra charmers by the exit.

Careful on your way down, the elephants are serious road hogs.

Oh nuts, here comes the rain again. It really makes it hard to get a good outdoor photo.

Let's duck into one of these lovely and convenient pavilions and listen to the rain on the lake.

carved stone railing, archway, framed view
There, aren't you glad you set your alarm clock?

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