I may be speechless, speechless in Udaipur, sitting on the roof of my Haveli looking at the lake and there in the middle is a fairy palace, you know, out of a fairy tale. It is the one in that Bond movie of decades ago. I am sitting here with my tea and don’t think I shall move until the sun goes down. I hear a trumpet sounding a familiar tune, it sounds like some sort of salute, I hear bagpipes, bagpipes ? There is the loudest, amplified music coming from somewhere. The sun is dipping down over the Aravali Range, quite beautiful, the shadows are lengthening, the swallows are swirling around chasing the mosquitos, ten seater tourist boats putter past with orange life belt clad passengers, a man plunges into the lake and washes while his wife cleans her teeth. A queue is forming below me at the dock, sunset cruises maybe, and, yes, there is a lady taking photos with her iPad. An inexplicable loud bang, that seems to happen a lot in these parts, and every bird in the city takes flight, pigeons mostly, but a few large unidentified ones. The tourist boats leave, tootle around in a circle, come back, and now we have that silly situation, them taking pictures of us on the bank and us taking pictures of them on the lake, though actually there is no one else on our rooftop.
Night fell and I explored a bit, turns out the loud amplified music is the New Year’s celebration. Happy 2089 everybody. Jam packed on the lakeshore, mostly locals having a rip roaring time. A few Westerners, up front with massive lenses, I hung back and sat among a crowd of Moms and kids, when the compere asked for a round of applause for the attending foreigners I got a few friendly beams. The problem was of course that I had absolutely no idea what was going on due to a difference in the language so I didn’t stay too long and headed back to the hotel for dinner. Alas, no dinner at the hotel so went without and went to bed.
Breakfast, scrambled eggs and toast accompanied by thwacking, again, memories of the Kerala backwaters as the day’s wash gets under way on the lakeshore, also chanting and many Bon jours et ca vas. The Lake Palace looks bright and white in the morning light and the Aravalli hills behind are coming into focus topped by shining forts, white marble in the sunrise. A quick glance at the Guide and off to the Palaces, though will stop by the lobby and see if the wifi is working, yet.
It’s amazing how far I fall behind after just one day, now two, without the wifi, how shall I find time to tell you about Jodhpur ? Maybe in photos, will try anyway.
The view from the rooftop. Wifi working but desperately slow, one photo upload takes over five minutes. It may improve!
Sounds fantastic! I was in Udaipur almost ten years ago! It was one of my favorite places of India. I still remember it as having my favorite street foods ever, hot Jalebi and the best lassi’s. Our package arrived today! I can’t believe the linen packaging that it is in, truly amazing and way way better than a fedex box. Erin and I are both wearing our scarves and the peppercorns made it in one piece 🙂 So much love from Seattle.
Nat and Erin
Hey Nat and Erin, happy package arrived, you got the peppercorns, hope they are not ruined. It’s funny Nat, I seem to be following in your wake, Hanoi, Jaipur, Udaipur, thanks for leading the way.
I saw this lake on the telly the other day, it is man-made to make use of the monsoon rains and they had a photo of it some years back when the monsoon failed and there were herds of cows and goats trailing across it… amazing sight.
SO pleased it has water in it for your visit, would have been a bit disappointing dry and dusty!! xx
Ha ha, yes I know, there was a huge map of the lake catchment area in the Royal Palace, I was engrossed, don’t think any one else was.
What a wonderful picture you paint! Stay safe.
Ah so beautiful again, 20C here today and people in shorts! Enjoy the last weekend of your travels what will we all do without your fantastic tales, take care x
So good to see you on the Skype, thanks. Looking forward to your hot weather on Wedesday.