Peacock doorway at City Palace

I’d had a few beers with my neighbours at the hotel the night before so was wondering if I was going to be rather fragile for dealing with and Indian pharmacy in the morning to look at black toe. After an eggy breakfast on my sunny verandah and buckets of strong tea I was feeling less jaded and ready to face anything.

Another splendid doorway at the City Palace

Now one can’t go to a new country without some kind of injury or trauma. It’s compulsory for me to smash and bash my way around until I’m injured in some way, or push myself so hard I get sick with some kind of flu or sunstroke or sumfink. Well my running around so much, in what turned out to be unsuitable canvas shoes, had rubbed my big toenail until it had kind of a blood blister underneath which had gone dramatically black. Meet Indian black toe. He had a lot to answer to as the next weeks unfolded and would finally depart into the sea in Indonesia in the form of the last bit of nail floating away as I snorkelled. I was blissfully unaware thank god.

Indian Black Toe.

Anyhoo. I’m ahead of myself. In Jaipur on my final day I saw what had been a throbbing toe from running around the palaces so much had gone black and was very painful. My tuktuk took took me to a ‘pharmacy’. Kinda a hole in the wall on a very dirty sidewalk off a big road in the centre. As it was just a dust track next to the tarmac they had placed and orange box for customers to clamber up on. I did this and perilously lifted my leg so the pharmacist could see the offending toe for a diagnosis. He was very good actually and gave me some painkillers and a very high dose cortisone cream, which I’m sure has been banned in the U.K. for a while now, and some kind of antiseptic balm too. He grinned at me .

‘Now all good. No problem’ he said.

You’re sure this is going to be OK?’ I said squinting at him suspiciously.

‘No problem, no problem’ he was keen for me to leave now he had spied someone over my shoulder.

‘Alright, alright’ I said humpilly placing offending foot back into its flip flop

I turned to descend onto the dusty foul pathway and nearly knocked a one legged man off his crutches, he was obviously a customer of the pharmacy. No wonder that chemist most foul wanted me to be off, he had spied that man lacking a leg . I suspected that said man had had Indian Black Toe previously. I’m not a betting woman but I suspect he ended up losing his leg after being treated by this pharmacist. He had most likely told the luckless man ‘no problem’ about it too.

City Palace.

The ruler of Amer Sawai Jai Singh II built the city of Jaipur in 1727 because of an increase in population and increasing water shortage. So he shifted his capital to Jaipur from Amer, which lies at a distance of 11 kilometers from Jaipur. The city palace site is used for hunting by Amber Kachwaha kings.

It is now owned by Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh, who still uses it as a residence. He recently made the suite room of the City Palace, ‘Gudliya suite’ open for a stay on Airbnb in an attempt to support the women’s empowerment initiatives by Princess Diya Kumari Foundation. Notably, the suite of the iconic building has all the latest amenities. Located within one of the private sections of the City Palace, Gudliya Suite can be accessed by the guests. Earlier, it was only open for the royal guests.

Peacock Gate. Pretty pastels abound occasionally punctuated with richly coloured peacocks

The City Palace is a joy. Pretty pastels abound occasionally punctuated with richly coloured peacocks. Ornate and beautiful with several courtyards, buildings, pavilions, gardens, temples, and peacock embellished doorways and a gallery of all the Mughal Emperors One of who is fondly known as John Lennon, I wonder why?!

Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. 1835/1880. Cool dude.

Top Tip: My advice for visiting this Palace is to go early. as it’s next to their Jantar Mantar both of which become hellishly hot as the afternoon approaches. I tried to squeeze in too much and so I was like a roasted old bird when I finished there. Jaipur I found hotter than Delhi and Agra and drier heat so beware. Hats, and sunglasses for the glare, cooling water spray if you have it is excellent. Realistically if you have time spend your sightseeing times in the morning and chill out in the afternoons. It’s a wonderful place to loll around like royalty in the afternoon. So if you get a chance go to a hotel with a garden like I had with fat sultan cushions around the marble verandahs and a grassy garden with trees and the birds singing. Get in the vibe for this special royal city! See Shahar Palace Hotel

Albert Hall Museum.

Albert Museum Jaipur
Albert Hall Museum named after our V&A

The Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur is the oldest museum of the state and functions as the state museum of Rajasthan, India. The building is situated in Ram Niwas garden outside the city wall opposite New gate and is a fine example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. It is also called the Government Central Museum. 

I had a couple of hours to spare in my last day so I hit the Albert Hall Museum. It holds an odd selection of the very rare to just plain bizarre. My favourites were the little modelled figures of Yogis in a variety of complex poses, and tradesmen going about their daily humble activities. It’s a lovely old building but this old bird didn’t feel the love. A lot of galleries were closed and there’s a lot of armour and dull geezer stuff.

The turban section.
Miniature Buddha.

I had painted my toenails to hide Indian Black toe but my foot was throbbing so I rather scooted around saw another few bits on the way to the airport to fly back to what I now felt home, Delhi and the Park Hotel.

Yogi models