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Old 15th April 2008, 00:12   #316
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
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.)
Eritrea, Asamara, Amharic, yes I'm aware, and no I didn't Google it. I asked about being Rajput because you said the fort belonged to the ancestors of your people, or something similar. Just curious.

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I am Indian. And quite into Germans. One in particular.
You mean JUST one German. Single. Or you will be. Lol, sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 15th April 2008, 02:16   #317
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You should go to Rajasthan for a lot more than its music.
Actually, it is one particular instrument that draws me there: the morchang. I have some experiencing of playing its South Indian incarnation, the Morsing.

But, hey! While I'm there, I guess I'll take in one or two other things too
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Old 15th April 2008, 10:06   #318
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
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.
now I am confused...I thought you were part malyalee. anyway this is OT.
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Old 15th April 2008, 12:39   #319
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You mean JUST one German. Single. Or you will be. Lol, sorry, couldn't resist.
Emphasis should be put on just ONE German. Anyways, that is enough to cope with already I think lol.

Last edited by TheOne® : 15th April 2008 at 12:58.
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Old 15th April 2008, 17:23   #320
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We sleep in, go for breakfast and relax at the pool – of course, you will find the German chick IN the water while her boyfriend is peacefully reading the newspaper, courageously hanging his feet into the blue wet.

At 11.30 it is time for the ayurvedic massage. On our way Sam is talking about something, randomly mentioning the fact that I will have to get naked.

Huh? Naked? What do you mean?
That is an ayurvedic massage my dear. This is how it is done.
I cannot do that! Thinking: damn, what if it is a guy massaging me? Oh no.
Why not? Come on, half of Germany has already seen you naked in the sauna!
That is something different, nobody there touches me!

A second’s silence

It will be a girl doing the massage, right?
I suppose so!
Okay!

He is turning his head away, thinking I cannot see that fat grin on his face but his shoulders, shaking with laughter, betray him. Guess this is the revenge for the sauna now, lol.

We enter the spa and are greeted by the staff. Sam is taken away by some guy and a girl is coming towards me. I relax immediately! Okay, even if I have to get naked, I can handle it that way.

I will now definitely not get into detail about this massage lol. It was for sure very different from everything I knew so far. Fast movements, strong grip and very very oily, finishing with a steam bath, a body peeling and a shower. Wow! Sam was right: I loved it.
The only strange thing for me (apart from having to undress completely) was the fact that somebody else would wash me and dry me with a towel afterwards.
My overall conclusion: really fantastic! I felt like newly born.

I wait for Sam outside, he takes a bit longer. Men! Or rather: Sam! As usual I think, haha. When he finally arrives we continue our exploration of the fort, we have not seen everything yet, that is for sure. We discover the gym, some more rooms and little aisles, follow the stairs to the back of the fort where they have more rooms and are doing a bit of construction works for even a few additional rooms. In the end, somehow we end up in front of the lunch area again. Time for feeding the beasts, as we would say in German!

After another superb lunch we go and relax a bit more around the pool. I go back to the room to fetch a few things as suddenly Sam comes running in SANDSTORM!

What, where? I quickly look outside the window but all I can still see is a lot of sand and dust in the air. It came, swirled around for a bit and went as quickly as it came. Only evidence left are my shoes that were blown away and that Sam didn’t manage to pick up in the hurry to collect clothes, camera etc. I cannot believe I missed it, I have never seen a sandstorm before. Shame!

In the afternoon we spend some time at the TV room where there is a table set up for playing games. Sam teaches me how to play carrom! With a few difficulties I somehow manage. It actually takes a while until I get how to snip away those little stones, ouch!

After that I am getting a bit restless.

Lets go downtown, see what is there, ja?
What, why? There is nothing there.
If it is boring we can leave again, don’t you think?
Okay, lets go then.

We step outside the fort, we have agreed on leaving the car behind. The first few buildings have a couple of touristy shops, jewellery, clothes, fabrics and so on. We look around a bit, enter one or two shops, and want to go on. Two guys belonging there want to take us to some well hole, something special in town. Okay, why not?

We walk through this village while talking to these guys, they tell us lots of nice stories about Neemrana and the fort. In the beginning it is all very interesting. I see colourful dressed women collecting water in huge water jars from the local well (wow, I am impressed – no water in the houses?), lots of buffaloes and camels (scary for me when coming too close lol) – small little houses and rooms, lots of children that come running outside to greet us. The area seems very rural, sometimes the patios where they keep their animals are bigger than the actual houses for the people themselves. In between lots of ruinous houses, empty places … But as we continue walking and walking I think Wow, where is this place, we are already walking forever – what special fountain can this be? I hadn’t quite understood what we are going to see, I think neither Sam was really sure about it.

Finally, already far outside town, we reach the place – and again we are left speechless. There is this huge stepwell stretching in front of us, an entire building built into the ground, NINE floors deep. It is truly amazing. Neither have I seen anything like this before nor did I know something like this existed. An ancient gathering place in the desert, hundreds of years old, telling the history of how to survive in the desert.

Next to the building is this huge deep hole. I peek into it carefully (I am very afraid of heights), holding onto Sam’s shirt while he is making pictures.

Don’t fall, ja?
No no – laughter.

This place is wonderful, exciting and we are grateful towards those two guys who took us here. Their eyes are full with pride and they are happy we like it so much.

After a while we make our way back, it is slowly becoming dark. We can already hear, and back in town actually see, the many many wild peacocks belonging to this place. One of the guys owns a small little jewellery shop close to the fort, he invites of for a cup of tea. How can we say no? We enter, talk a bit more, he is a very polite and friendly young man. I even find something of his jewellery collection that I like, so in the end when we leave from there to back to the fort, we are all happy and satisfied.

We end the day with a nice dinner, again the location has changed. As we are told dinner is inside now due to the sandstorm in the afternoon. No worries, we are happy – that way we get to see another huge hall of the fort, that is actually right next to our room, behind the pool. It is fantastic, as the rest!

End of day 8!

Last edited by TheOne® : 15th April 2008 at 17:30.
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Old 15th April 2008, 17:48   #321
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Kudos to TheOne and Sam

for this wonderful,witty and very very interesting blog.

keep it coming,we love it
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Old 15th April 2008, 17:56   #322
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Default YetiBlog - 28th March 2008 - Part 1

It is a quiet lazy morning in the castle. No alarm bell, wake up when we want. TheOne® has gone to sleep dreaming of that swimming pool.

The swimming pool doesn’t fascinate me as much as the surroundings of the pool. As soon as we wake up we visit the very first restaurant in the castle where we had breakfast. It’s a mixed breakfast, some conti, some Indian. Overall a good meal. We eat light, we have a massage in a few hours and it isn’t nice to go with a full tummy.

We laze around the pool a bit, I’m reading, Jenny is swimming. Later I join in, the water is cold.


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Ah this is wonderful, my mind is in slow motion, dull, relaxed, happy.
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Later we explore the fort, can we manage to explore all of it? Not at our pace, for sure. Better to leave it for next time.

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Soon it is time for our Ayurvedic Massages, Kerala style. The staff are well trained and fairly authentic.

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Jenny is so sleepy after the massage, she appears half dead.
She returns to normal after a little rest.

While she is resting I am sitting around and suddenly things go crazy. There is a sandstorm. Everything is covered in Sand, my diet cloke (half full) goes off flying over the edge. Jenny's clothes and stuff are flying. I manage to collect everything and rush back to the room. By the time I reach back, it's over.

We wait a short while, but now it's almost like it never happened. We leave the room again.


We continue exploring the fort at a snails pace.

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I find the recreation room. Soon I get Jenny, come on let me show you something. She has never seen a carrom-board before, just as I expected.
Was ist das??
Carrom. Let me show you how it is played.

We play a game of carrom and she learns pretty quick.

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We chill a bit in that room and then leave.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th April 2008 at 17:57.
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Old 15th April 2008, 18:22   #323
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
We eat light, we have a massage in a few hours and it isn’t nice to go with a full tummy.
I agree. Not good to be belting out bassy numbers during a massage.

Excellent report Sam and TheOne. Would love to vacation in that palace someday. What is the tariff considering the couple is indian and not imported?
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Old 15th April 2008, 18:30   #324
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Default YetiBlog - 28th March 2008 - Part 2

Let’s go to the village.
The village? Why?
I want to go to the village.
I don’t think there will be anything to see.
Come on let’s try.

We leave the Fort Palace and I make some pictures. I can never get enough of this beauty.

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We walk down to the basti below. There are 3 or 4 shops that’s all. We visit a silversmith but she likes nothing, though the stuff appears quite good to me. We visit a small clothes shop where Jenny wants to try a skirt.

Do you have a changing room?
No, my house close by, you can go.

Jenny looks confused. Your home?
Yes, no worry, my wife also there, no worry, safe.
She looks at me questioningly. I smile. Go, it’ll be OK.

Soon she returns. Didn’t like the skirt. We’re getting ready to move on.
Instead of forcing us, after we step out, one of the salesmen ask me if I’ve seen the bawdi, the stepwell.
No, says I. Aaeey, hum dikhate hain you he says enthusiastically, smiling. No, no says I guardedly, we will manage.
No sir you will not manage, come you are our guests
. Soon we are joined by another guy and we are walking through the village. Even though this is strange by all standards, there is nothing threatening about their manner and somehow it is easy to trust them. We walk through the village, kids pointing, buffaloes mooing, camels and all.

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We stop at a camel.

I stand to the side with my camera, Jenny goes up to the camel with Balwant. A group of young boys collect behind me laughing at her amazement with the camel.

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One boy tells the other Ek laat padego gori ne, jameen upar giregi. I take my picture and then turn gently smiling. I know they're simple village boys having some fun.
Koi laat-vaat nai padego, ay gori mhari mangetar hai
The boy stares at me in shock. Another whacks him on the head. He bows Bauji and they run away laughing.

Where are we going?
To a
Bawdi. Shrugging.
What is that?
It means pond. I don’t see what the fuss is about a pond.


Ballu hears us. It is not a pond sir, it is a stepwell. 400 years old. Ah ok.

We have walked for about 30 minutes. I can see the fort some distance away on the hill.

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It’s just the 4 of us, merrily chatting away. Balwant’s English is excellent, he is educated. Ravi’s English is poor, if it all. Balwant talks to Jenny mostly. Ravi tells me he is training to be a classical musician and that is his uncles small shop.
Balwant is a silversmith by trade but also a certified guide.

The village of Neemrana is poorly developed. Rich people drive up to the castle, stay a few days and leave. Neemrana itself is ancient and beautiful, but has not much to offer except the ancient step-well. Balwant talks of a few German women that were living in the village for its welfare. Germans are nice people, he says.

They tell us the history of the fort, when it was sold, about the Indian businessmen and the Frenchman who own it. It is very interesting.



Nothing prepares us for the ancient ruin we are about to see. It is gorgeous.

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We walk around, trying to imagine what it must have been like for the desert weary travelers to come here and rest, a sarai made for the thirsty.
After about an hour, we leave, chatting away all the way back to the fort.

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Back through the village at te foor of the castle, it is beautiful. Little children playing, peacocks in the trees...

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We stop at Ballu’s silver shop and Jenny’s buys some stuff. Nice authentic stuff.
Amongst all the stuff she also buys a payal. Putting it on immediately and keeping it on always. I can now hear her walking around in our room will the end of our journey. Chhin chhin chhin.

If I’m not mistaken, she’s still wearing it in Germany.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th April 2008 at 18:33.
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Old 15th April 2008, 18:49   #325
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Default YetiBlog - 28th March 2008 - Goodbye Neemrana

We return back pleased. While TheOne® gets dressed for dinner, I take some night shots of the views.

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Don't miss her new earrings bought from the village below.

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Dinner will be inside today (owing to the sandstorm), the dining hall is magnificent, just like everything else here.

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Dinner is lovely, over too soon, as is the bottle of Rose wine.

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We sit on the balcony for a while in silence. Goodbye Neemrana. Tomorrow we will drive to Delhi and fly to Mumbai.

We are sorry to leave but not upset to go. We have many more beautiful adventures to go.
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Old 15th April 2008, 19:00   #326
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Excellent snaps, especially the one of the deep well. Hope the camera strap was around your neck at that time.
One question for you and TheOne®, do you blog anywhere? Would love to read your other posts also (apart from the ones on Team-BHP).
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Old 15th April 2008, 19:16   #327
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Excellent snaps, especially the one of the deep well. Hope the camera strap was around your neck at that time.
One question for you and TheOne®, do you blog anywhere? Would love to read your other posts also (apart from the ones on Team-BHP).
Strap around his neck, his t-shirt in my hands, for sure - not that this would have helped if he had really fallen haha.

No, I don't blog anywhere else. Sorry!
I am not sure if and where Sam blogs apart from Team-BHP. Lets wait for his response.
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Old 15th April 2008, 20:14   #328
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Wonderful snaps and write-ups by theCouple. Keeps me glued to this thread.

The pictures of the stepwell and the fort at night are brilliant. Way to go!!! The more you guys keep explaining the more I fall in love with this place. Truly amazing. Keep it coming.
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Old 15th April 2008, 20:32   #329
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I am not sure if and where Sam blogs apart from Team-BHP.
No i do not blog anywhere else.

I have been toying with the idea of a YetiLife® travelblog and general pish pash site but Team-BHP is my home, I guess until they throw me out for excessive non-automotive content. lol
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Old 15th April 2008, 21:24   #330
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What is the tariff considering the couple is indian and not imported?
lol, They don't have different rates for desi and videsi people.

The price for each room/mahal is different. Some as low as 2000/- a night, some as high as 17000/- a night.
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