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Published: April 7th 2005
Beautiful gardens of the Lake Palace
This is where we had our way-too-expensive dinner. We had that tent at the back.
Today was to be a day of luxury. We were off to Udaipur, a city in Rajasthan reknowned for its beautiful and huge palaces. In particular, the lake palace is the most famous of the lot, being situated in the middle of a picturesque lake and in fact having starred in the James Bond movie Ocotpussy.
The day started off with an early morning 6:50am flight to Udaipur. However, thanks to Indian Airlines efficiency, we discovered upon arriving at the airport that the flight had been delayed until 12:30. After yelling at numerous staff (I was a bit cranky since I had to get up at 4:30am) we decided to go into Mumbai to see Chowpatty Beach - one of the nicer places in Mumbai.
However, the dumb taxi driver took us to some dodgy Chowpatty beach. Although it was beautiful (nice palm trees like those tropical islands on a big sandy beach), there we a lot of beggars sleeping on the beach which kind of made it look a bit rundown. We didn't realise that it was the wrong Chowpatty beach, so I sampled some of the food from the local streetside vendors which looked dirty but had
Fateh Prakash Hotel
This was the palace we stayed in.
been recommended by the Lonely Planet. I was only after I had eaten the food that we discovered that this beach was a different place and thus the filthy street vendors stalls were probably very much germ infested and that I could expect a bout of food poisoning shortly (these stalls were quite dirty because many of the beggars slept on the counters during the night, and there were many stray dogs sleeping inside them).
We wandered around on the beach and got into some interesting conversations with locals, and then decided to head over to the real Chowpatty beach. However, Mumbai traffic got the better of us, so we got half way there and had to turn back to make it back in time for our flight.
Arriving in Udaipur we were greeted by a hot steamy day but a beautiful room in a gorgeous palace (we had decided to spoil ourselves for the day by staying in one of the heritage palaces named Fateh Prakash - a clean toilet - yay!!). The walls of our room were covered in blue china plates which looked really cool, and we had these really cosy window seats with massive
Eating breakfast in our window seat
We love these window seats. Nothing better than to laze in one of them looking out onto the lake (what little of the lake there is)
cushions that looked out onto the lake (except that since there was a drought in Udaipur there wasn't much lake to look at - just lots of Wilderbeast that now grazed in the area that used to be lake).
We spent a lazy afternoon in the palace, then headed over by boat to the Lake Palace - the most exclusive palace in the area - and apparently one of the most beautiful places to stay in the world. We decided to have dinner there since our wedding anniversary was in a few days. It was amazing - we dined privately in the middle of a garden with all these fountains and with almost nobody around except for the waiters. It would have been the perfect romantic experience, except that Melenie got another bout of food poisoning. Thus, of the 3 hours spent there, 45 minutes was spent with me dining alone looking like a friendless nobody while my wife was in the bathroom throwing up (she had numerous throwing up sessions). The waiters were rather worried because I think they thought it was their food that had poisoned her, so they offered her tea and another less spicy meal
and all other kinds of things (even offered to call a doctor for us) to make her feel better.
We met this really nice Australian couple who were staying at the palace. They offered to show us their room which was apparently the room that the Maharani (Queen) of the palace used to stay in. It was really nice, and even had a cushioned swing in the middle of the room. The bathroom alone was bigger than most hotel rooms. Very lush, but apparently costing them a hefty $900US per night. They also showed us around the rest of the Lake Palace. It was amazing, especially the view from the pool area looking back onto the palace we were staying at on the mainland.
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