During our time here we explored the winding lanes of the old city where motorbikes and rickshaws share road space with pedestrians, cows and dogs
. I always feel sorry for the cows that wander on Indian streets as they are usually picking over a pile of rubbish for something to eat rather than grazing in a lush grassy field. We visited the beautifully carved Jagdish Temple and we explored the endless rooms and passageways of the City Palace with its ornate glass and mirrors and peacock mosaics. The palaces in Udaipur were used in the Bond film Octopussy and are instantly recognizable from the outside. We also strolled around the pleasant, slightly overgrown Sajjan Niwas Gardens and stumbled across the Maharaja's Vintage and Classic Car Collection which had 22 old cars including the Rolls Royce Phantom used in Octopussy. The rest of the time we spent swanning around the pool! To help rectify the slight overspend on accommodation we are eating breakfast and lunch from the local food stalls which produce yummy samosas and deep fried potato and chilli sandwiches which sound strange but are actually delicious.
This evening we catch the 6.15 Mewar Express north to Bundi.
From Mount Abu, it was an easy five hour bus ride east to Udaipur. We are staying in the attractive old part of the city where narrow lanes lined with little shops and temples lead to the shores of Lake Pichola where the fairytale City Palace sits overlooking the Lake Palace on Jagniwas Island. We had heard that one of the hotels here has a superb pool so decided to check it out. It was quite a bit more than we would usually pay but the sight of a gorgeous looking blue pool surrounded by green lawn was more than enough to sway us. It is very hot here so having a pool to come back to after a morning wandering around town is a real treat. Plus the hotel itself is lovely, built in the style of an old havelli with a courtyard containing rose petal filled fountains. It takes inspiration from the City Palace, and has rooms with stained glass windows and window seats and intricately carved balconies. There are even a couple of tortoises that wander around keeping the lawn grazed!