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Udaipur is called the Venice of the East and as we arrived in this slightly more rural city we could see why. Rajasthan state is a desert, and during their long dry winters, they had no water to feed animals so back in the 14th century they created man made lakes and very large dams to hold the water from the wet monsoon seasons. Being fresh water, the locals drink, bathe and wash in this water…… there are beautiful lakes  filled from the monsoon season, so plenty of water madam, which we could see from the plane as we landed.

img_5147Our stunning summer palace hotel is just off shore looking east and facing the main city palace, the locals believe in worshiping the sun, hence facing the east ( I can hear your chuckling Steve McCarthy) but don’t worry I know which way the sun rises and sets. A short 5 minute putt putt boat ride away, is our home for the next 2 nights.

They take the boat  transfers quite seriously and every man and sari sister must wear a very un attractive life vest! The vests are made in New Zealand which is written quite largely across you back. Bloody kiwis no inside labels for them!

Our guide Raj is a local to this area, has a history degree and a majored in architecture, so therefore we couldn’t have got a more knowledgable and experienced tour guide.

Raj is an amazing man, very passionate about his town and also has blue blood in his veins as his family is slightly connected to the royal family ….. maybe that’s why we are staying in the summer palace.

Our afternoon arrival here was again emotional. There are tears of joy as we all arrived at the dock to be greeted by the hotel manager with his groomed curly moustache and his beautiful sari style umbrella offering us shade, as we walked towards the entry doors of the hotel we were greeted by another young hotel employee throwing rose petals down from the roof over us ….. ahhhhhh it’s the little things isn’t it ❤️??

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We had a leisurely afternoon, swimming or seeing the astrologer . We slept well possibly due to the double gin and tonics they insist we drink to avoid mosquitos. Followed by a local family dancing their traditional way that seemed to need a bottle of red wine to go with the local vegetarian canapés whilst we watched!

Our spa treatment was next and what a way to have a treatment. Slightly inebriated, but we only live once, and that was the end of our first day here!

The next morning after a leisurely breakfast, we motored back to the main land and walked to the main city palace with our guide Raj who had us in the palace 2 hours before the crowds! Amazing walking through the palace that actually has a small cliff built into the palace so it looks large and scary for warriors of years gone by!

img_5077We wandered from top to bottom enjoying the gardens, rooms, and party areas that they lived in. Outside areas that they entertained in and thoroughly enjoyed having photo opportunities before the masses arrived.

Some hallways and stairs were narrow steep and low, I didn’t have any issues but a few people did. Lots of stairs so is wasn’t for the fainted hearted in 35 degree heat.

As we left the palace, the back servants way, we arrived into the streets of Udaipur and were taken to an amazing bazar where there were amazing textiles, artefacts and furniture. Plenty of clothing choices… shall I on? Needless to say I may have a bag like Beyoncé, and kindy has some treasures for the play rooms !img_5113

My photo was already on the wall (Dame Judy Dench ) and so far, I am up to 7 comments of ~ ‘ gee you look like Judy Dench’ Of course my standed response is ‘ oh yes she is my mother’ !!!!!

Oh well if I look as good as she does at 80 I won’t be doing too bad. Raj actually met her when they were making the film and his says I very much remind him of her…

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The afternoon was spent at a famous artist who does fine dot and small brush strokes with a brush made from a squirrels tale…. No animals are hurt in this and they get friendly with the animals feed them and give them a free hair cut! The work that takes months and months to create, and is simply stunning but wouldn’t really go at the beach house at Collaroy Plateau.

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Late afternoon, we arrived back at our palace to re group and drop our shopping before going on a beautiful sunset cruise, to see the main city that does look a lot like Venice with the buildings looking like they are floating on water.

A quick couple of photos before we did some sunset meditation ?? with Raj….. an enlightening experience with our guide who believes we were all on our putt putt boat together for a reason, we may have fought a battle with him before at Troy or against the Ottomans, or it could be that we were the same naughty children as him at school in a past life.
They really are wonderful with their philosophies and outlooks on life …. it really is a journey.

img_5135Our day ended with our little group doing a master cooking class with the master chefs from the summer palace. Amazing meals that we will be able to create home….. Di and I struggled our way through the class I had nothing on my writing pad and she had done a drawing on her’s! No notes needed when they give you the cook ?

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India really is an experience in many ways and we couldn’t have asked for a better group of like minded travellers to be with.

Anyway my apologies apologies for the previous blogs photos turning side ways, I can see that on my phone but on the iPad they are straight, so just pretend you come from India and turn your head ?

img_5156It’s 7am now and the sun is just awake, so Lindy and I are off to the roof of the palace for morning yoga followed by a swim and a breakfast for kings and queens…. Di just said oh my goodness there’s a little bit of everything this morning except sex ….. giggle ?

Nameste ??