Trip Start Oct 20, 2007
Trip End Nov 13, 2007

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Udaipur is the lake city of Rajasthan. We spent two full days and three nights here. The first day was a tour of the City Palace,
which was jam-packed with school kids and other Indian tourists. The local maharajah is also a bit of a car aficionado--we got to see his classic car collection.

That afternoon, we boated out to a restaurant on the lake where we had overpriced drinks (thankfully we didn't eat there), and got to see the sunset over the lake on the trip back. The area near the waterfront and City Palace also has a large monkey population. They are, of course, totally tame and accustomed to the tourists.

The next day in Udaipur we had all to ourselves as a free day. Morning was spent shopping. I'm not much of a shopper, but I ended up purchasing some lovely miniature paintings, which are a cottage industry in Udaipur. After a delicious thali lunch for only 100 rupees, five of us headed up to the Monsoon Palace at sunset. What an adventure! Avery and I got stuck in the woefully underpowered tuk-tuk. It stalled about three times trying to crawl up the hill to the palace, and one time even had to pull over for ten minutes when the engine started smoking! But the view was worth it! The palace itself is unspectacular--it's the sunset that you go to see.

Somehow, our ride back to town wasn't any quicker than the ride up the hill, but we made it back in time to join the rest of our tour group for the 7:00 light and sound show at the city palace, which tells the history of Udaipur over the last 500 or so years.

We left the next morning, but not before I managed to run down to a street vendor and buy an authentic Indian breakfast for 20 rupees, rather than the overpriced, Westernized junk at the hotel buffet. What a meal! Four pieces of bread, a ball of falafel, some fried chilies and onions, and the centerpiece--a bag of soup. Yeah, a bag. I got razzed for that the rest of the tour. The vendor ties up a plastic bag full of lentil soup, and then gives you a teeny little paper bowl to poor it into. Overall, a delicious breakfast, but oh so spicy! Sweat was pouring down my face.
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