December 24, 2007

Sundrenched Udaipur

Udaipur is gorgeous. A white palace, prohibitively expensive beyond the means of the ordinary tourist, floats in the middle of a lake, surrounded by lush green hills. Luxury hotels cluster around the edge of the lake, promising romantic, roof-top views, perfect sunsets, and "Indian, Continental, and Chinese" food. And every roof-top boasts a 7:30pm screening of Octopussy, the Roger Moore 007 flick that was partly filmed here.

We have spent the past three days doing nothing but sitting and enjoying the beautiful scenery. We found a lakeside restaurant called Ambrai, where the food is better than average, the sunshine is plentiful, and the views are stunning.

We did visit the city palace, but, after having seen about 4 other Rajput palaces in the past two weeks, we decided not to go inside. An enterprising security guard tried to stop us before we could even get into the palace grounds.

"Yes, please?" he asked, motioning for tickets.
"Oh, we're just going to sit in the garden.
"Yes, no problem. 10 rupees each."
We looked around - no one else had been stopped.
"Is this 10 rupees for YOU or for the palace?" I asked.
He couldn't suppress a guilty smile.
"That what' s I thought," I said, as we pushed past him.

We are on our way to Mumbai in two hours.


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