Saturday night is party night in ... Oh, who am I kidding? I just watched Around the World in 80 Treasures. The problem with this program is that it makes me want to hop onto an aeroplane and head for exotic places. I have a long enough list of destinations—I don't need any more to add to it.
This week the affable Dan Cruickshank was in India and Sri Lanka. I haven't travelled to either country. (Well, I was in Sri Lanka for a few hours when I was three but I'm not sure that counts as a real visit.) Both are on my list. Cruickshank went to Cochin, the Taj Mahal and Red Fort at Agra, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth in Kandy ... He also went to Jaipur.
Jaipur is on my list for the water palace and the forts. But I didn't know about the observatory*. Built between 1727 and 1733 by Maharajah Jai Singh II, it is the largest astronomical observatory of its type. It includes a sundial with a gnomon the size of a ski-jump** that measures the time more accurately than my bedside clock. The complex looks like an astronomical Disneyland.
Next week Cruickshank is off to explore Persepolis and Tamerlane's Mauseoleum in Samarkand. The week after he's at Petra, Burgon's "rose red city half as old as time". I might have to give up watching television. Either that or earn more money, so I can visit all these places before I enter my dotage.
Where did I put that plaid rug?
* Because I seem to have lived much of life without knowing very much at all
** For wimps