The best city so far. With the palaces, the drier climate and North Indian food rather than the very different South Indian cuisine, it was a very different experience.
Neha had been to Udaipur about 6 years ago and although the City Palace was just how she remembered it, something didn't seem right when looking at the views across Udaipur.
Then it suddenly struck. Lake Pichola on which the Lake Palace stands (where Octopussy was filmed) was dry. Instead of water we could see green patches everywhere. Udaipur with its palaces and little alleys is still a very pretty city but was disappointing not being able to take a boat trip across the lake and see the reflections in the water, truly making it India's romantic city. We still managed to see peacocks, deers and wild boars at the first hotel we were at.
The second hotel was a restored Rajasthani building with a swimming pool and comfy alcoves on the roof terrace. Once we got comfortable in an alcove, admiring the 360 degree views over the city, it was difficult to tear ourselves away. However we did make it to see the sunset and views over the city from the Monsoon palace. And what a view! Kiran went snap happy and we met this lovely Aussie lady whose rickshaw had broken down en route up the hill. She jumped in our rickshaw and we ended up having dinner back at the hotel together as well. We walked her back to her hotel about 11pm, her hotel being the other side of the lake. We asked some locals if it was ok to cross the lake. All fine was the response. They must have been sniggering a few minutes later. We crossed the lake only to find out that it was not so dry in the middle (lily ponds just don't dry up so easy!). Once dropping off Pauline we decided that taking the same route back wouldn't be so wise so proceeded to get impressively lost in a city that seems to sleep early and not exactly the best lit. It was an interesting experience getting back to the hotel, made even more amusing by the fact that the only other souls we came across were barking dogs, numerous posse's of cows having a nap and another tourist couple looking similarly as lost in the narrow street maze of Udaipur. On approaching the hotel we found that the gates were locked. The final obstacle on our our journey! We couldn't stop laughing as we attempted different ways to climb over the gates (only one step over for Kiran but not so easy for Neha).
The next day was less eventful as said bye to Udaipur for the overnight train journey to Delhi.