Flight to Ahmedabad was at 12:55pm, lots of time for a relaxed breakfast and then pack-up. Just after 10am, we checked out of the Jaipur Fortune Metropolitan Hotel, it had been a great stay and we were very well looked after, if I was to come back to Jaipur again, would not have any hesitation in staying here again!
Arrived at the Jaipur airport, check in process was easy and painless, in the waiting area, Neha and Nita were busy at the small bookshop getting books by Indian authors, me and Pooja found some seats to chill and wait. Ordered a couple of Pizza’s whilst waiting, unfortunately it did take them a while to make and it was already a call for boarding! Got the Pizza’s in takeaway boxes, off they went with us on the plane! Eating the Pizza’s on the plane was interesting, the smell was yum and we had a lot of jealous passengers .
Flight took off on time, and we were in Ahmedabad just after 2pm. First impressions of the airport – nice, clean and big. Massive poster of Big B promoting Ahmedabad in the airport arrivals area!! Bring on the Kite festival!
Out of the arrivals hall, our hotel transfer was there and guided us to the car park. To our surprise, he had brought over a small sedan!! Not sure what they were thinking, we were after all a family of 4 and I had requested an Innova!! More waiting whilst he called the Hotel to sort it out, an additional taxi was organised there, Nita and Neha were in the one car, whilst me and Pooja were in the other. Not one airport transfer in this trip had gone smoothly!
Arrived at our hotel, The Lemon Tree Atrium, unfortunately our room was not ready yet, time to wait in the lounge! Whilst waiting I organised the nights outing at the Rajwadu – a traditional Gujarati themed place which came highly recommended to me and was echoed by the hotel staff. Our first room was given to us soon after and promised the second would be ready in another hour or so, this time atleast we had got interconnecting rooms .
Settled the girls in the room and ordered them some snacks, then me and Nita were off to Law Garden markets. Was told it is the place to pickup cheap Indian outfits and imitation jewellery. Nita was here for one reason, to get the Brisbane Mahotsav outfits for their dance item.
Got an auto rickshaw to the Law Garden markets, the place is amazing, a very long single street of endless stalls selling every type of traditional Gujarati outfits, imitation jewelleries, decor items, purses etc.
It was quite overwhelming initially and it took us a while to get our bearings on what we wanted. Then was the bargaining part, everything here had to be bargained and haggled. The process was interesting, Nita was in constant communications with Naina masi and Saarika back in Oz via whatsapp for this market visit, and we were sending a constant stream of images of the options available. They were giving it a thumbs or down for each. Lots of back and forth.
Jewellery & outfits selected and deposits paid – pickup was tomorrow. Now time to head back to the hotel. Whilst in the auto rickshaw, could not believe our eyes when we saw an Elephant sharing the main roads with cars and autos!! Would not have guessed this would take place in Ahmedabad – the Capital of Gujarat.
Along the way, a stop over, Nita noticed Asov Palav, we had time so why not. Nita got a couple of nice casual outfits there and whilst paying for it, I queried if they knew of someone who could ship items to Australia – Nita had purchased 10 outfits from the markets for the Mahotsav and they needed to be shipped from Ahmedabad – we simply did not have enough space in our luggage. The guys gave me a contact that Asov Palav themselves used, and also mentioned he would collect the items from the Hotel, which was very good for us. Took his contacts and then it was off to the hotel.
Kids had been chilling out and had also ordered room service – no one was starving here! It was time to freshen up and head out to Rajwadu.
Arriving at Rajwadu, the place was unlike anything we had seen before, not your traditional restaurant. This was an entire village.
We were asked to seat in a waiting area, next to bon fires, the place was surreal, so peaceful right in the heart of Ahmedabad! After around 10 minutes, we were guided to our dinning area which was not your typical table and chairs. The place required sitting on the floor and a low table made of stone (and I mean stone not your typical western caesarstone, this was real stone!).
We were given large plates & bowls made of brass, all empty, and then soup was first served. I asked them if I could get something non-spicy due to my mouth, lucky for me, they had made non-spicy varieties tonight for another party and had enough for me as well!!
Following the soup, a few servers came by with LOADS of food and started putting a LOT of variety on the large brass plate – this plate was approx 50 cm wide! It was amazing as food kept coming and you did not have to move and there is no menu, it is simply all you can eat. Essentially each staff member would bring over a food variety and he would serve you that variety, following by the next guy with another variety and so on.
It was an amazing vegetarian spread, food was delicious and their sweets were wow! Even washing of the hands was done there – sitting.
An amazing Gujarati feast, now to watch the evening show, all part of the package! It was a traditional dance show similar to what we saw in Udaipur. Girls were having a good time! Walked around the place a bit, lots to see…
It had been a great night, a wonderful experience topped with amazing food! Rajwadu is highly recommended!!