An Enchanting Lake City

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Monday, November 21, 2005

Our 13 hour trip to Udaipur was quite an adventure.

Our first 6 hour bus was a local one which stopped all along the way, picking up and dropping off and carrying various commodities (no chickens though!). We were the only westerners on this and the later bus we took. The roads in India are quite rough and busy with traffic and stray animals and the bus drivers spend the whole time tooting their horns, swerving and yelling. The buses have lousy suspension too! The second bus which took some 7 hours went into darkness for the last 2 hours which was quite frightening as it is bad enough the driver trying to stay on the road without having darkness to contend with! Anyway we arrived in one piece but very tired and found our way by auto rickshaw to a lovely hotel (with 24 hour hot water, a rarity) with gorgeous views over the lake from the rooftop restaurant. A lovely meal and hot shower ended the day off on an excellent note.

The next day we explored this pretty lake city, packed with palaces and temples, and found the hassle a lot less and people more genuinely friendly. We took a boat ride on the lake which took us close to the amazing exclusive Palace Hotel which seemingly sits in the middle of the lake as the building takes up the whole island. This was originally built in 1754 as a summer palace but today is the ultimate in luxury accommodation and way outside our budget! We enjoyed spending some time watching the daily life unfold at the bathing and dhobi (clothes washing) gnats. It is an oxymoron that so much washing goes on in hugely polluted water, which continues to get more polluted from the washing detergents!

The James Bond 007 Movie "Octopussy" was filmed in Udaipur using the palaces and lake as beautiful backdrops and scenes. Some of the restaurants have screenings of the movie each night so for a bit of fun we went along and watched it while having our evening meal.

Talking of food we are loving the Indian food and have only been caught out a few times with things too hot to eat. So far we have not had stomach upsets but this could be because we have not eaten much in the way of street food as the restaurants are so cheap to eat in anyway. Most restaurants are vegetarian and do not serve alcohol. On our last evening in Udaipur we had a candlelight dinner at the romantic Jagat Niuws Restaurant in a reclining cushioned alcove.

Udaipur turned out to be a lovely place to spend a few days before heading back to hectic Delhi and then onto Bangkok.
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