Friday, April 11, 2008

Bundi and Udaipur

Well life continues to be very full. Every day is yet another adventure.
I have added some more cities to my itinerary since my last post.
The last few have been my favorites.
Bundi was wonderful and my visit there was far too short. After a short tour of Bundi Palace and its magnificent views, I walked through the town with Puja looking for contact solution and nursed my slightly infected eye. (no worries, after a horrible night of hot compresses and washing it out I am all better). I would have loved to have spent more time in Bundi, the place just had a great feel. It was very relaxed and chill. It is slightly off the tourist tract but gets enough to have services for wandering westerners.
From Bundi my friends and I moved on to rural Rajasthan where we stayed in a beautiful castle of the old ruling family (that still lives there), and toured the near by villages. Everyone I met in the villages was warm and welcoming. The people are very poor but there life is so much better than life in a city slum.
Puja was amazing in helping us organize a day trip to Udaipur. Udaipur, "the most romantic city in Asia" also know as "Venus of the East". I feel in love with Udaipur as soon as we arrived.
Udaipur City Palace is by far the prettiest palace I have seen in India. There is a courtyard with trees on the 5th floor!! how cool is that?! Our guide for the Palace was also the best I have had yet. Udaipur is just the best of everything.
After the tour of the palace and a rather disappointing lunch at a German bakery, I was introduced to a friend of Puja's. Javed asked me if I was free that afternoon (of course I was) and then asked if I would like to spend it with him. I was game, he was nice and cute, and when he showed me his motor bike I was on it before he could finished asking me if I would be scared to ride. We whisked through the city streets, he gave me a wonderful tour, showed me the lakes and then took me up one of the mountains to the Monsoon Palace. The roads were windy, deserted, and I was having the time of my life. I teased him that he was kidnapping me, but he did not find this so amusing as he was trying to make a good impression. It took me a little while before I realized I was on a date, and the sweetest date ever! Javed lives in Udaipur but works as a tour guide all over India. We hung out at the palace basking in the winds, which cooled the otherwise soaring temperatures, until it was time to met up with Puja and my friends for an evening boat cruse. Javed is finished work for the summer (it is too hot to give tours) and asked if I would meet him again. I asked Puja to join us and maybe we will head up into the hills in a few weeks to get away from growing heat.
So Udaipur was very exciting. Very beautiful, and lived up to its slogans.
Enjoy the pictures.

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