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Old 14th April 2008, 15:27   #301
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Breathtaking Sam. Truly breathtaking. The Neemrana fort palace is truly exquisite.
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Old 14th April 2008, 17:57   #302
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Default YetiBlog® 27th March 2008 - Neemrana day 1 continued

It is incredible to stand around this exquisite fort and stare at the sun and the town below.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0607_thumb.jpg

Later we decide to go for a steam to the spa in the recesses of the fort. Even that is truly picturesque. The shower is built into a rocky recess. Sparse and beautiful. There is complete privacy, the staff are trained to leave you well-alone and one is free to be completely clothes free in the steam and shower area. It's a small private steam room for the 2 of us.

However the steam turns out to be super hot and we have to leave a little sooner than we'd like to. It's time for a shower. The feeling of a natural bath in a open rocky recess is indescribably pleasurable.

We make appointments for ayurvedic massages for the next day.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0632_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0635_thumb.jpg


After the spa, TheOne® and I spend an hour just climbing around and diving into the various areas of the fort. There are only 50 rooms and therefore the number of guests is not so much. The staff have been trained to stay out of sight until needed. Every room has a BSNL fixed wireless phone, so there is no wiring either.
We walk upto the amphitheater marvelling at it and exploring the various hidden passageways and beautiful arches.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0641_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0658_thumb.jpg

Evening sets in. We are not witness to an expected dramatic sunset as it gets cloudy and drizzles a little. The sun just chooses to hide from us before sleeping.

The lights switch on. It looks beautiful. In fact words truly fail me.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0673_thumb.jpg

As it gets darker I decide it's time to get the tripod out for some night photography.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0677_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0678_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0679_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0681_thumb.jpg

We go to the bar & share a bottle of champagne listening to some wonderful music.
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0683_thumb.jpg

Later we climb up to an old roof, champagne glasses in hand and stare at multiple layers of stars. It is like a dream, unbelievable. The staff do not bother you, you are free to do what you like, be where you like. Climbing down turns out to be a little tricky, the pathways are steep and narrow and TheOne® is a little afraid of heights.

Soon it's time for dinner by the lotus pond. Dinner is exquisite, well laid out and excellent food.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0692_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0698_thumb.jpg

It has been a long and beautiful day.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0708_thumb.jpg

Though it's not very late (We eat at 8pm and are ready for bed by 10pm) it seems like it is. The sound of crickets and nightsongs of creatures are around us.
I bid goodnight to the town below (it looks brighter than it actually was, a slight overexposure) and we're off to bed, smiles on our faces. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0712_thumb.jpg

End of day one at Neemrana Fort Palace. Good Night.
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Old 14th April 2008, 17:58   #303
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Ring ring, out of bed, dress, and off we are!

Sam is trying to make his way out of Delhi, with the help of some self-made maps given to him by his colleague. Well, I guess he was still a bit tired but at our second try we make it!

Yeah, we are on our way. The drive is relaxing – we listen to music and chat away. At some point I see a lot of vendors to our left – marble in all different varieties, no matter how far we look.

This is how marble is sold here?
Also.
Oh wow. I have never seen so much marble in my entire life. Can we take a look?
Yes, of course.

We look around, I find this quite interesting! Then we get back into the car and go on driving. The further we get away from Delhi the more interesting it gets. Camel carts on the highway, colourful trucks all around us, landscape to the left and right – brown coloured fields with sparkles of bright blue, red, pink, yellow and green, local women dressed in their saris!

We reach Neemrana at about 2 pm. We drive through town, looking for signs to the fort. Everything rather looks like a small village, buffaloes, camels, cows and lots of people running around. Small little shops everywhere, no good infrastructure. We see a sign pointing out the way to the fort – the street narrows, it is more like a path now – lots of mud and stones everywhere.

Jenny, where the heck does this lead us to?
I am laughing lets see!

We drive further, the path gets steeper. Around the corner and WOW – this is it? Jesus, look at it, this is incredible. Sam stops the car for a second, we can’t believe it. We are looking at each other, grinning, SUPER! In front and on top of us, there is this HUGE fort, built into the mountain on different levels, looking absolutely ancient and authentic.

We park the car, some staff comes to us, asking us for a reservation and taking our luggage. We follow and soon lose sight of them as we stop after every ten metres to look around, to feel this place and to actually believe that this actually exists and that this is where we will stay for the next two nights.

Everything looks precious and old, well-preserved, original or brilliantly recreated. From the doors to the windows, archways, flooring, ceilings and walls, paintings, furniture and inner décor – everything is thought of and lots of attention given to even the smallest details. We are truly impressed.

We search for the right way to reception, there are lots of stairways, little aisles, doors to other rooms and halls – it is amazing and quite an experience. You feel like living in another century. We climb further upstairs, Sam, we will each lose 5 pounds while we are here, the amount of stairs and metres from one point to the other is astonishing (hmm, I forgot about the delicious breakfasts, lunchs and dinners we were to have here, so this weight-losing business didn’t really come true).

We finally get to reception, the staff is already waiting. We register and then go directly to have some lunch. Delicious food, a bit touristy maybe, but nevertheless fantastic. Sam is full of adrenaline, he cannot wait to explore this fort. I however, feel comfy with my tummy being full and resting there for a bit to let this experience settle in. Jenny, I am off to see what is around this lunch place, ja? Just up to this terrace there, see what is next …. Go then! Lol. I am thinking: Like a child, so funny! He is gone for a few minutes, then shouts for me from upstairs. There is no escape, I have to get up and see why he is so excited. He is admiring the view, the many different details added to this fort and can simply not get it yet. From this terrace we can look further around, we see the amphitheatre, the hanging gardens, many small little terraces, pavillons and balconies, different halls and rooms… I enjoy, I laugh - then I see it: some shiny blue in the middle of some brown and green.

Oh Sam, there is the pool! Jajajaja, lets go, come on. WATER, finally.
Jenny, lets go to our room first and then explore for a bit more.
No no, please Sam. It is nice, cold, blue WATER. Lets just quickly jump in, please, and then explore the rest of all of this! Ja?

He laughs, he knows. I am crazy about swimming. I was a lifeguard in Germany for many many years, grew up with the swimming pool being my second home. When there is sun and good weather I miss the water, even if it is only to quickly jump in.

We make our way back downstairs, then follow the staff up and down the many stairs, from this aisle to the next, across the pool area and up one narrow spiral staircase – dead end in front of a door: OUR room. We step in, we realise: nobody else’s room is close by, nobody can come and use our terrace, it is OURS for the next two days. Lovely, ancient (with fantastic restored furniture), intimate and with the most amazing view. We look down at Neemrana village itself and beyond, see the pool to our right, the amphitheatre underneath and the fort all around is. The room is slightly scented – some light flowery odour. It adds further to the overall impression. All of it is so overwhelming – I am missing words.

We change and go to the pool. Sam is lazy but SPLASH, here I go. I am swimming, splashing, circling around, enjoying the fresh cold water on this hot day.

Sam, come on – it is truly refreshing
It is cold
Oh, come on
Wait, my sun cream, if I go in now it will all wash off
Then you put some more later
Jenny, wait lol

After some time he makes his way in – haha, slowly slowly, breathing heavily as the water is too cold for him – it takes him forever I think, lol. But finally, he is in and enjoying with me.

After we get out of the pool we relax a bit more, happy not to have to do anything.

To be continued...

Last edited by TheOne® : 14th April 2008 at 18:08.
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Old 14th April 2008, 19:06   #304
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Default Continuation Day 7 - Neemrana

Then Sam has this splendid idea of going and taking a steam bath. We find our way to the spa, following this very narrow balcony all around one of the towers. While we are waiting for the steam bath to be ready Sam decides we will go for an ayurvedic massage the day after, he cannot believe I haven’t done this yet. You will love it, I am sure!

Finally, one of the staff leads us further into the “rocky tower”. The atmosphere in here is very different from the rest of the fort. The walls are made of huge solid rocks, no inside plastering or anything. Just rocks! It is a bit dark and fresh in here, some herbal scent coming from somewhere along with a bit of music.

We enter the little cabin that obviously is the steam bath.

This, Jenny, are Indian steam baths – very different from yours, I know.
Okay, well lets see if they are as good as ours as well.

When we enter it is warm and humid, not hot. There wasn’t enough time yet to get the temperature further up. From some point close to the bottom more hot steam is blown into the cabin. It doesn’t even take 2 minutes and Whew, now it is becoming hot! Sam, where are you btw? I cannot even see you anymore lol. His hands grasp my arm. Here!

We leave the steam bath too soon, but we can’t take it anymore. After ten minutes it got so hot that we feel like burning. The staff hands over some fresh towels and leads us to some showers that are built into the solid rocks of the walls. Men to the left, women to the right – we shower and talk, our echoes reverberating from the walls. What special atmosphere!

We get back outside, blinded by the sunlight. Now nothing can stop TheCouple® anymore – we start our expedition through the fort. Stairs up and down, into some secret passages underneath the amphitheatre and from there into more little offshoots. It is fun! Once or twice we lose each other, running around searching for the other. We enjoy all the different kinds of views from the various platforms and terraces, always different, always revealing something new to us. After an hour or so we return to our room, exhausted but filled with happiness.

We change for dinner, it is beginning to dawn. When we step out again we see the first lights being lit. Wow, can there be even more? Again, we stand and look around. It looks truly wonderful – it feels like being in another world.

Jenny, sorry but I have to get my tripod. This is overwhelming.

We go down to the car – somehow we get there, using some different paths than when we first got here, this place is huge. Sam gets his tripod and starts making the first pictures immediately. Trying to catch the atmosphere! Our way back up takes longer. Stop, picture, go on, stop, picture…. But it is worth it.

We reach one of the terraces where they serve drinks before dinner and where a local family does a live-performance by singing and playing music. Sam is blown away, it reminds him of his childhood, his feet cannot stand still. The music is unique, the family nice to watch. The woman’s face is covered with some light shawl, Sam explains to me that she can see through it. How much I wish I could see her face!

In between we sneak away to one of the upper terraces, admiring the thousands and thousands of stars that sparkle like diamonds. I feel very small! We stand in silence, suck in the atmosphere and feel totally at peace. Soon after it is time to go for dinner.

Again, we are lead to a different place. Some sweet little patio with a small water basin in the middle, covered with water lilies. The buffet is excellent, everything is just perfect (except for the loud Americans a few tables next to ours).

We go to bed early, what a day!
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Old 14th April 2008, 19:36   #305
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amazing place sam! nice find...
now guys answer up how many of u hit google for Neemrana Fort palace hotel
i did....
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Old 14th April 2008, 21:51   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
I'm confused, parsi, sardar - which part of you is a malayalee?
You haven't heard about the world-wide Yeti chain of tea stalls yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
... ... We're busy trying to make it one small world, no race, no colour, no borders! lol
That's the way!

I'm sold on neemrana. Want to spend a week there.
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Old 14th April 2008, 21:57   #307
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Originally Posted by arpandiv View Post
amazing place sam! nice find...
now guys answer up how many of u hit google for Neemrana Fort palace hotel
i did....
lol believe me my friend, there are some beautiful hotels in India. And they do NOT belong to famous 5 star chains.

I was in a state of true bliss. To be here, in a place where every wall whispers of centuries gone by, to walk the passageways where royalty of yore once walked.

To be here with someone that you can connect to on so many levels. A comfortable silence even where it is clearly apparent what each one of you is thinking. This tranquil castle belonging to my people's ancestors.

To be here. To be able to afford living in this kind of luxury. To have someone perfect to share it with.

I thanked my fortune before I slept. I am deeply grateful and feel very blessed. For who I am, for TheOne® (my completely awesome matka lag gaya woman, lol), for my friends, for my job, for my family. For life.

Life is beautiful. And I'm living it.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 22:06.
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Old 14th April 2008, 21:57   #308
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Originally Posted by arpandiv View Post
amazing place sam! nice find...
now guys answer up how many of u hit google for Neemrana Fort palace hotel
i did....
Forget Google. This travelogue is much better. Don't think any site would give you such in-depth information about this place. If all this was on the first day, I wonder what lies in store for us when you start writing about your second day of stay at Neemrana.

Last edited by wheeler : 14th April 2008 at 21:58.
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Old 14th April 2008, 22:05   #309
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TheOne® and I write independently and at separate times, never once reading each others writing till it is actually posted. Believe me, not only are you guys enjoying this YetiBlog®, I am too. Because I too read her posts with deep interest and find a beautiful and interesting perspective, often details that I have missed and more.

And Jenny, I want you to know that I love reading your posts. You paint vivid pictures with your words. I have to rely on my camera.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOne® View Post
This is how marble is sold here?
Also.
Oh wow. I have never seen so much marble in my entire life. Can we take a look?
Yes, of course.

We look around, I find this quite interesting!
A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0470_thumb.jpg

A YetiHoliday® - TheOne® visits India for the first time.-dsc_0460_thumb.jpg
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
I'm sold on neemrana. Want to spend a week there.
Anytime. Like I told you when we met in Chennai, anytime you want to see anything in India, it would be my honour to help and suggest. You know where the PM button is

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 22:09.
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Old 14th April 2008, 22:50   #310
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I have stayed a couple of times at the Hotel De L'Orient in Pondicherry; belongs to the same group, although not on anything like the same scale.

I need to visit Rajasthan ---for the music--- one day
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Old 14th April 2008, 23:11   #311
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Believe me, not only are you guys enjoying this YetiBlog®, I am too. Because I too read her posts with deep interest and find a beautiful and interesting perspective, often details that I have missed and more.

And Jenny, I want you to know that I love reading your posts. You paint vivid pictures with your words. I have to rely on my camera.
I can only say: ditto!!!
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Old 14th April 2008, 23:11   #312
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I need to visit Rajasthan ---for the music--- one day
Mharo Rajasthan

The day you sit on the hot sand, with a camel saddle under your backside, watching 2 ladies wearing completely black clothes, dancing the snake ghoomar, the day you enter a little house and drink spicy pepper tea laced with the smell of sand... you will be in Rajasthan.

The bland colourless land, whose people wear every conceivable colour, men in little frocks and women behind veiled faces. Little boys singing in high pitched voices to the beat of bells tied to camels tails...
The sarangi played by wizened old men with beards yellowed by the sands of time...

The smell of fresh dal with bati, covered in pure ghee, the ghevar that will follow shortly after... Buss thoda aur lelo bauji, buss thoda sa, koi nai, buss ek roti.
Those roti eaten with chillies and onions, the huge green chilli wrapped in potatoes and fried like a vada...
The smell of clean cotton in the air mixed with camel dung. Fresh buffalo milk, all frothy and fragrant.
That guy with his female donkey, going from door to door asking if anyone has a cold and wants donkey milk.
Where water is often more precious than gold..

The women dressed in fluorescent green and bright pink with those completely impossible armbands. The sound of Banna re being sung in some part of the village.
That smell that tells you that you now stand in the great Thar. The ruins of the Maharanas and the Maharajas that stand around you.

You should go to Rajasthan for a lot more than its music.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 14th April 2008 at 23:14.
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Old 14th April 2008, 23:42   #313
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
You should go to Rajasthan for a lot more than its music.
I just did and here is my travelogue, it's not that Well written like yours ( nowhere near you )

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ravelogue.html (Holi Day & A Road Trip - Jodhpur & Udaipur - A pictorial travelogue.)

And Yes, Rajasthan is definetely one of the best tourist destinations in the world, and one can only know why if they visit it.
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Old 15th April 2008, 00:01   #314
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Sam bhaya, you are Rajput?
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Old 15th April 2008, 00:07   #315
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Sam bhaya, you are Rajput?
My mother was a Rajasthani Sindhi/Sardar,orginally from Sindh, pre-partition. My Dad comes from Eritrea, where his family came from, it is a little Italian colony in North Africa. If you haven't heard of it, it's probably because it was annexed by Ethiopia for many years, it is independent again. While his family was very much of Indian origin, there is italian blood too - Hence the blondes in the family. (My cousin, his daughter etc.)

I am Indian. And quite into Germans. One in particular.

My parents loved holidays (so you see where THAT comes from) and would often leave me with my Grandparents in Rajasthan for my entire vacation, this is where my affinity comes from

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th April 2008 at 00:10.
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