India: Rajasthan

Jaisalmer: "The Golden City"

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan


February 27, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

India is blessed with ancient stone -- deep deposits of granite and marble and sandstone. For centuries, for millennia, masons, architects, artisans and artists have quarried and designed and cut and carved their local stone to build a dramatic and eternal heritage.


The glossy white marble of Agra, the sparkling pink sandstone of Jaipur, the rich red sandstone of Bikaner -- the geological riches are the pride of India and a prize for her visitors.

And now, Jaisalmer -- a golden city! Jaisalmer, the golden-yellow sandstone walls rise up from the hills to dominate and defy the golden gauntlet of the Thar Desert.

Udaipur and Chittorgarh: "Happy Holi"

Udaipur, Rajasthan


March 4, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Here I am at the Amet Haveli, another one of those recommended Special Places to Stay. [*] The broad terrace of the Ambrai Restaurant overlooks a very inviting Lake Pichola. (12 sq km. 7.5 sq mi.)

I am sitting with Yasmine (an Israeli beauty) and her mother Mali, and Madam Fee, a German ex-pat who has lived here for many years, and John from England. Hair, face, arms and shirt, John and I are totally covered with a rainbow of pastel chalk -- mostly reds and purples. Happy Holi.

On the Road in Rajasthan: "Horn Please!"

This Travel Letter was "almost published."  The editor of To North India With Love liked this letter better than one she had already chosen on a similar topic, and she had to honor her commitment.

Jaipur to Bikaner
Rajasthan, India 
February 24, 2007

Dear Family and Friends, 

The phrase "Horn Please" is emblazoned in huge, colorful and artistic boldfaced letters on the rear end of every powerful, solid, steel-framed intercity truck. Or "Sound Horn" appears. Or "Blow Horn." My favorite is "Blow Horn." India is a nation of one billion horn blowers.

It is good form. Everyone is encouraged to sound his horn to alert the truck driver ahead that his rig is about to be overtaken. And, (and this is a big "and") every driver of every type of vehicle alerts everyone else of his presence and his insistence to proceed unimpeded according to some preordained universal master transport plan known only to himself.