Udaipur Day 2

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.

Today started the same as all other days, breakfast at the rooftop restaurant. I was the only customer at this hour. It was almost 10, and everyone else had already eaten before me.

Love free breakfast.

It took me a while to finally lazily mosey out of my hotel. Some people seem to really enjoy Udaipur, and others are very lukewarm about it. I belong to the lukewarm crowd.

Octopussy apparently gets shown everywhere. What does Godfather have to do with anything?

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.

I seriously don’t feel like I am in India. This place feels a little like Disneyland. It just seemed a little artificial, and I can’t quite put my finger on what.

Entrance to the City Palace Museum.

Ah yeah, make me pay the camera fee. Of course, I have a camera. Me and everyone else who comes here.

As I took this photo, I heard someone trying to get my attention.

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.

Entrance. But, the audio guide entrance is at another doorway.

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.

I thought that this was cool. The Mewar warriors attach a trunk to their horses so that enemy elephants will think of the horses as baby elephant and won’t attack them.

This is one of the kings of Jodhpur(perhaps the founding ruler?) who loved his horse. This is a painting depicting when his horse was wounded in battle and died.

Looks like a freeze frame, but it actually tells a story. The same characters are depicted in different spots in the painting and there’s a chronological sequence to them.

The elephant with the dagger wounds the horse.

The horse and the king retreats. The horse has a wounded leg. Then in another part it shows the horse dying.

The actual weapons of the king.

The king’s armor. It’s interesting to me how this is basically chain mail that we always associate with the European countries.

Elephant fights. Must have been cool to watch. Actually, I’ve always wanted to see a tiger and a lion fight!

They had plans to add a tower to Monsoon Palace, but the tower was never finished.

Still hazy from all the dust.

One of the ruler had disabled legs, and this was his toilet.

A life size photo of the ruler and his wheel chair.

These glass inlay peacocks are the highlights of this palace tour.

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?

Water well hand pump.

Yes, I see a burger strolling down the street.

At the ATM. It does say to throw paper on the floor, right?

Back in the hotel having some lunch. There actually aren’t that many restaurants on the streets of Udaipur. All the restaurants are attached to hotels.

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.

My driver and my ride.

The clean streets of Udaipur.

First stop is a garden.

This is the center piece of the garden.

This was inside the garden

I am pretty sure that’s not an alligator.

This place was like a middle school science fair.

Hence, Love All!

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.

This is the other large lake right by Udaipur, Fatehsagar Lake. It’s still very dusty out.

I got out of the car, looked at the lake for about a minute, then a kid came up to me and started begging me for money.

I retreated back into the car, and got a photo of the kid. I didn’t give him any money. Poor, yes, but he didn’t look to be hungry.

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.

Lots of hairpins.

The moment we parked, my driver introduced me to his “friend” who will be showing me around. Well, I guess a tour guide has just been forced upon me.

No one was up here. There were maybe 10 other people here, and still, I couldn’t avoid this guy in my photo.

A mongoose pointed out by my guide.

Udaipur. This was an awesome view, despite the dust storm.

Front entrance to Monsoon Palace. It’s pretty dilapidated.

The drainage system feeds into a rain water collection system for storage.

My guide, with a key for the padlock, showing me the water tank.

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.

The view can’t be beat though.

The concubines’ rooms.

I saw a piece of shit on this wall, and it perplexed me. The guide said that it was monkey shit. Now it all makes sense.

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.

These people elected to walk up to see Monsoon Palace. They’ll probably be walking for 45 minutes all up hill.

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 came back to the room and turned on the TV hoping to catch Octopussy, somehow. Well, no James Bond sighted, but I did see Doraemon on TV dubbed in probably Hindi!

I flipped through some channels and saw Doraemon again on another station, and this time it’s the Disney Channel! India today is like my childhood, but just twenty somwhat years late.

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.

Thali for dinner at the hotel restaurant. It was superb!

To be continued at Udaipur Day 3.

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