My India story continues. What do you think, are you ready to go to India?
After Jaipur we hoped on a plane (thankfully no more car rides in India) and flew to the city of Udaipur. Udaipur is where I saw the magic of India. Agra was nothing special besides the Taj and very toursity, Jaipur was really interesting but it was loud and crowded and hot. Udaipur was everything we had been missing. Set in the mountains, the city (or more like a town really) overlooks this beautiful lake.
In the center of the lake is a beautiful maharaja palace-turned hotel called the Lake Palace. Remember from my earlier post where I mentioned a fancy hotel that I wanted to take Luke for his 30th and instead we ended up in a hostel? That was the Lake Palace. The Lake Palace (and Udaipur) was the backdrop for the James Bond movie Octopussy, so you know that it is going to be amazing! Sadly we didn’t make it to the Lake Palace – so I admired it from afar.
Besides the bout of Delhi Belly I really enjoyed Udaipur. You could walk everywhere without getting run over by traffic and tuk-tuks, the city wasn’t quite as dirty as Agra and Jaipur and the lake and the mountains were beautiful. But there were still cows everywhere. Look at how close we are to this guy who is just strolling down the street. That is something I never got used to – the whole cow everywhere thing.
One day we went up to another maharaja palace to visit the Monsoon Palace which was high up in the mountains overlooking the lake. It was stunning. I felt like you could see forever.
I also found a dog who finally wanted my attention.
After 3 days in Udaipur we hoped on a train to Delhi. Luke has a thing for train travel. Which is fine by me as long as it is along the Italian coast with a large bottle of wine and some cheese as provisions. But this is not the case for Indian trains. There is no glamour in Indian train riding. We needed to get from Udaipur to Delhi and the quickest way was an overnight train.
The only tickets we could get were in 2nd class, thankfully it wasn’t 3rd class because then I would have opted to walk. There is no air conditioning in 2nd class which was fine since it was an overnight train and you could open the windows. But you do not have your own private area -instead it is walls and walls of bunk beds with perfect strangers – mostly Indian men – with only a little curtain to pull around you when you sleep. As my luck would have it we were sleeping next to 4 large Indian men who ate curry and watched Bollywood movies with the sound on – all night long. So made for a looong day in Delhi when we arrived at 6am.
I think had we gone with someone who really knew the city, it would have been different but. We spent one night and Delhi and then flew home. Honestly, I could not wait to board that 15 hour flight home. India is exhausting.
Looking back, I really enjoyed India. I can say that now that I am back in my cozy apartment and comfortable bed. India is amazing and awful all at the same time. Visiting India is travelling, it is not a vacation. People who said they had the best time in India are probably the people who stayed in the really fancy maharaja palaces turned hotels. We had a drink at one during our time in Jaipur and it was amazing. It was like stepping into the most glamorous hollywood film you could imagine.
But that is not really India. Don’t tell Luke, but I am glad that we stayed in a hostel and not the nicest of hotels. Because you get to see a more “real” side of India. You see things that are uncomfortable. You eat things that you have no idea what is in it. You smell things you wished you hadn’t. But that is why you visit – because it reminds you of how good you have it back home.
I would love to visit India again someday – it is a big ol country and I would love to see more of it. However maybe next time we can stay at the Lake Palace? Just for one night?