Days 256… This morning i awake early to the dulcid sounds of Indian monks chanting away 19 to the dozen and listening to it echo its way through the city like a rolling ocean gently breaks upon the shore. Yes it’s cheezy, but it was magic to wake up to… like human bird-song. Anyway… its really early and really cold, but i am up with 2 other intrepid Intrepid people are going on a hot air balloon ride! And a spectacular experience it was! Standing in the dusky morning chill waiting for the golden ball to inflate and rise… then we board the best balloon in India to sail gracefully across the desert landscape and see the sun rise like a phoenix across the horizon. Our captain was brilliant, a gun at navigation and altitude… bringing us within meters of the rooftops of little outlying villages where they have never seen a balloon before to the cheering and waving of kids and adults alike, sheer magic! After that amazing experience we head to brekky then the Mirrored Palace of Sishmahl at Amber Fort which was just beautiful… so amazing with glittering mirrored tiles everywhere… very happy i saw it! After that jaw dropping spectacle, we head out to see a textiles shop that still makes patterned material by judicious use of natural dyes and stamps making the repetitive, intricate, repetitive patterns. Astounding. I mean, it’s seriously old school tech… and we know it worked in the past… but to see it still in use… and used well… incredible stuff.
Then we head to the local bazaar for some quick shopping before we finally wind up at an expansive park/museum/heritage astronomy thing… the Jantar Mantar. The park contains dozens of immaculately crafted, immense structures that have stood for centuries and helped oldey timey astronomers AND astrologers tell the time on various sun dials… work out where the north star is and all the intricate measurements involved in tracking constellations and where they are not only in the sky… but in relation to all the astrological star signs… leo, virgo, etc. It’s the birth place of modern astrology and these monuments are just so bafflingly well crafted!