Jaipur is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded in 1727, which makes it a baby by Indian standards. The unofficial nickname of Jaipur is the “Pink City.” When the Prince of Wales visited in 1853, the entire city was painted pink to welcome him as a gift from ruler Sawai Ram Singh. (continued after gallery)
Most tour guides will tell you that the ride by car from Delhi is just four hours. Do not be fooled, this drive is at least six or more. Even short distances take forever in India, mainly because of the lack of traffic rules and or lights at intersections.
Once in Jaipur, there is plenty to see. I stayed two days and got a lot of interesting shots. The city is surrounded by mountains and a miniature “Great Wall” around the Amber Fort. I had a few good looks at it from about a mile away with a tripod. Unfortunately the tripod was later broken on a sleeper train but I only really would have needed it a few times after that, most notably at the Taj Mahal.
The main spots to hit are the Amber Fort, Rambagh Palace, Jal Mahal (Water Palace), and Janter Mantar. Jaipur is also a decent place to buy any Indian items, such as silk. Remember that no price is final, even when listed. A good rule of thumb is to haggle down at least 60% of the quoted cost.
Riga is a great place to visit. Being a Minnesota Vikings fan, I might as well point out that the Daugava River which runs through Riga has been a trade route since the Vikings navigated to Byzantium. Historically, Riga has plenty of stories to tell. (continued below gallery)
Most recent, during World War II, Latvia was occupied by the Soviets and then by the Nazis in 1941-1944. Latvian Jews were forced into ghettos and concentration camps.
In 1945 Latvia was once again occupied by Stalin’s Red Army. Latvia then lost approximately one-third of her population because of forced industrialization and deliberate large-scale immigration of non-Latvians from other Soviet republics into Riga. Latvia formally joined the United Nations as an independent country on September 17, 1991.
Riga is an awesome city to backpack, very friendly people and superb food. Old town is the main area to see, it contains several gothic churches, the Occupation Museum, and also the Freedom Monument.
The following is a gallery of historic alley ways in Genoa, Italy. Shops, restaurants, coffee houses, and pubs line the cavernous walkways. “A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” -Samuel Johnson
The following is a gallery of the picturesque Milan main station. This grand structure rivals many of the famous railway stations from around the globe. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” -Oscar Wilde