Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

India’s City of Lakes is fairytale beautiful, with white marble palaces, glittering lakes and winding narrow streets hiding stores and cosy cafes on the street and funky rooftop restaurants at the top. Walking around and discovering a must-buy/adorable street dog/chatty local/picture perfect cow moment is all in the fun. I could definitely have spent a week here instead of two days, but I made the most of the time I had.

Udaipur is the kind of place you could just wander around for ages – sure it’s a little more tourist-centric than the rural areas I’ve just travelled through (there are a lot of market stalls and shops selling jewelry, clothes, woven blankets, handmade leathers shoes and silk) but as it comes towards the end of the tour it’s kind of welcome at this point.

The first afternoon I wandered around, did a little shopping (such as some lovely silk scarves for presents and some colourful embroidered bags for me) and soaked in the creative, bohemian atmosphere.

Later I met up with some friends from the tour and we went to watch some artists painting in the famous ‘miniature’ style. They showed us lots of their work and I bought two miniature matching peacock paintings on white marble. Then I had a peacock painted on my finger nail (as you do).

Next to explore was the City Palace, which dominates the scene being the largest palace in India and set picturesquely alongside man-made Lake Pichola. It was built in the late 16th century and is only partly open to the public as the current royal family still live there. In a nutshell, it is fairytale beautiful and opulent. Unlike the other palaces I have visited (oh ladi-dah! I mean the ones I’ve seen in India. On this tour. I don’t mean to imply I’m a frequent guest at Buckingham) this one has many furnishings and murals on display which was quite fascinating. There were lots of little touches around the place with a big emphasis on aesthetics and beauty.

There’s so much I love about this photo, but the Indian lady takes the prize.

OK I think that is enough from Udaipur Palace.

In the evening we watched a local dance performance showcasing traditional Rajasthan dances – the women were so beautiful in their colourful and sparkly costumes, their performance was mesmerising. I particularly loved a dance where a woman stacked more and more clay pots on top of her head (and kept them on!) I love Indian music and dance so the evening was really enjoyable.

We later had dinner at a rooftop restaurant with candles flickering and the breeze keeping us cool, another unique never-to-forget Indian moment.

I joined a the group from my tour in a cooking class with a local business called Spice Box. We cooked a range of super delicious Indian classics and then got to eat our results for lunch (yum!) I wonder if I will take the time to cook Indian food at home? I like to think I will, but there are so many ingredients involved, and quite a shopping list to prepare for… and so easy to order take-away (for shame).

On our last night before we moved on to Pushkar we caught the cable car to Sunset Point to watch the sun set.

And because I like to end on a ‘just because’ whenever possible, a pretty photo for pretty’s sake:

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A traveler, dreamer, designer and optimist sharing all of the above.

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