Continued from Udaipur Day 1.
I had successfully killed all the mosquitoes in my room with my bare hands last night. I slept in peace with no buzzing in my ears…well, except for the buzzing of the air conditioning.
This place feels more touristy than anywhere else. No one bothered me at all though. They must have all read my blog and know that I do my diary writing online and not in a hand bound heavy leather diary.
Hey! It’s the Italian couple who shared the car with me from Jodhpur to Udaipur! What a funny coincidence. We decided to exchange our information this time and will be Facebook friends. They live in Florence, and I’ve been wanting to go to Florence! For all the drawbacks of Facebook, it’s a great way to stay in touch with people from afar in other parts of the world.
I had to buy another ticket for another 200 extra for the audioguide. It was actually cheaper to hire a real guide. A human guide was only 150, but then I’d have to tip him. It would have been a better deal if I was in a group. Again, the downfalls of traveling alone.
And that’s the tour of The City Palace in Udaipur. It was just OK, nothing spectacular. The palace in Mehrangarh Fort and Agra fort are both better. Again, why is Udaipur a popular tourist spot?
Last night, I had booked a car to go see Monsoon Palace for today. Rickshaws aren’t allowed up there, so the car is the only way. I had hoped that someone else would also want to go see it so we could split the cost. When it was time to go, I was still the only one so I am having to foot the whole 800INR bill for the car. Ugh.
I also inquired the front desk about the weather. I told them that my flight from Jodhpur to here was cancelled due to dust storm. The front desk asked who I booked my flight with, and I said it was Air India. But for my flight from Udaipur to Mumbai would be with Jet Airways. Without checking the weather, he said that I wouldn’t have problems with Jet Airways. He said that my flight got cancelled with Air India is because Air India and Kingfisher are both “Crap!”. It’s that simple. It seems like my flight got cancelled not entirely for the reason of dust storm. It may have been partially due to financial reasons. Crappy airlines.
Well, that was kind of unintentionally comical.
After Lodi Gardens in Delhi, everything else looks lame. I was in and out of this garden in about 10 minutes. The driver asked why I didn’t stay longer. He should have asked why I stayed so long instead.
On the way to Monsoon Palace. You can make it out at the top of the mountain. Usually, the best time is to go up there and watch the sunset. Since it’s so dusty, I didn’t want to go at sunset because the low light with the heavy dust would mean that I’d see nothing.
I believe this was featured in the casino scene in Octopussy. I still have yet to see the movie recently, so I don’t know how it compares to the movie. The Estonians who I met in Agra said that this looks nothing like how it looks in the movie. I can see that, because this looks nothing like a casino.
Well, that was that. I had heard enough about Monsoon Palace before showing up to know not to expect too much. I didn’t and it was a good thing. I did pay a pretty penny to come up here for the dusty view though. 800 for car, plus 290 for parking and entry fee. Again, getting screwed as a single traveler. I also paid 100INR to my guide who was forced upon me. Throughout the tour, he had suggested $10, which would have been 500INR. Errr…fuck no. I gave him 100, to which he protested and asked for at least 250. I said that the tour was only 15 minutes so 100 was plenty.
On the way back, the driver tried to get me to stop by an “Art” place to see/buy “Art”. My guide had also mentioned this throughout the whole trip, and even as the car drove away, he told me that I should go. Well, the driver stopped at the “Art” place, and it was just some tourist shop where they get a commission if I went in and looked. I told him that I didn’t want to go in, to which he replied “Why not? Just for 10, 15 minutes.” I told him that I was tired and hesitantly, he started the car back up and drove me home. The power to say No is absolutely necessary in this country.
Udaipur has just been OK. It’s nothing spectacular. I don’t know why this is such a popular tourist spot, other than that it’s cleaner than other Indian cities. I would compare the level of cleanliness in Udaipur to be comparable to an extremely dirty US city. Bottom of the top shelf if you will. The lake is kind of nice, but nice lakes are everywhere in the world.
I was behind in blogging, so I spent hours doing that. There wasn’t anything else that I wanted to do in Udaipur today anyway.
To be continued at Udaipur Day 3.