Udaipur, India

October 7, 2013

Today we took a 7-hour drive from Jaipur to Udaipur to stay at the Taj Lake Palace, a hotel in the middle of Lake Pichola.  Before we left, we were told that we would have to take a box lunch and that sanitary conditions would be such that there were no bathrooms on the trip. Hats off to Rita for “holding it for 7 hours”.  The driver and I made it 5 hours, before we stopped and used the bushes along the side of the road.  But, at the end of the road from Hell, there was heaven.  Even Rita agreed.  We were taken to the center of the lake by boat to an all white marble Palace to spend two days. This is our ONLY destination that was picked solely for a hotel, rather than the sights to be seen.  The hotel in the middle of the lake had always struck me as beautiful so I had to stay there.  The hotel was built in 1743 by a king.  It was his summer palace.  It really is breathtaking.  The James Bond film “Octopussy” was partially shot on the island.

We felt like movie stars today upon arrival, first because Rita was greeted at the dock with a bouquet of roses for our anniversary…. 

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(Yeah, Rita’s smiling, but all she is thinking is get me to the hotel so I can PEE!) and also because all these photographers and movie cameras were set up on the hotel dock and when Rita and I arrived, we were showered with rose petals falling from the roof. We thought it was odd and we had no idea why we were the center of attraction, but everyone turned out to watch us depart the boat and get showered with rose petals. We later learned that the hotel was shooting a promotional movie today and they used our arrival to test whether the falling rose petals would work, how long they would take to fall, and where they would fall. So, instead of being movie stars we were actually guinea pigs!   Image

 

This evening we took an hour long cruise at sunset to see the hotel from the lake, the City Palace, which is the largest royal palace in Rajasthan,  and several islands that the king also owns including Jag Mantir, where his son lived for several years.  After the cruise, we watched local Indian musicians perform and sing along with local Indian dancers.  Rita and I celebrated our 8th Anniversary together tonight.  We had roses, cards and a cake which were all hidden by this beautiful umbrella.  I don’t think we will soon forget where we were on this date!!  Image Image  

The chocolate cake was scrumptious!! 

Love and miss you all!  

Norm and Rita 

Udaipur, India… Took quite a long road trip to get there, but really worth it!

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I think we're going the right way.. not sure..

I think we’re going the right way.. not sure..

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Looks like lunch time as we approach Udaipur.

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Yep, let’s stop for bite to eat.

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So far, Udaipur looks nice!

This is the drive to our hotel docking pint to catch the boat. Looking better!

This is the drive to our hotel docking pint to catch the boat. Looking better!

This was our first view of our hotel upon arriving at the boat dock that takes you there!

This was our first view of our hotel upon arriving at the boat dock that takes you there!

This is the front of our hotel where the rose petals dropped on us from above!

This is the front of our hotel where the rose petals dropped on us from above!

This boat is for use of the hotel guests for dinners, tours, etc.

This boat is for use of the hotel guests for dinners, tours, etc.

View of the City Palace, Udaipur

View of the City Palace, Udaipur

View of our courtyard area at the hotel.

View of our courtyard area at the hotel.

One of the many flower arrangements hanging around the hotel! These are done daily with fresh flowers

One of the many flower arrangements hanging around the hotel! These are done daily with fresh flowers

Another clever flower arrangement! (Uh oh, are we getting OLD??? taking pictures of flowers??? BTW.... Norm took these!! LOL )

Another clever flower arrangement! (Uh oh, are we getting OLD??? taking pictures of flowers??? BTW…. Norm took these!! LOL )

Just a cute picture and a bird hanging near the spa!

Just a cute picture and a bird hanging near the spa!

Pool area, very nice. Don't understand how they can have a marble tile bottom and walls in the pool. Maybe b/c of the good climate?

Pool area, very nice. Don’t understand how they can have a marble tile bottom and walls in the pool. Maybe b/c of the good climate?

Cows are even hanging out at the City Palace by the lake!

Cows are even hanging out at the City Palace by the lake!

O.K.... now this was in OUR ROOM! How cool!

O.K…. now this was in OUR ROOM! How cool!

One of the gals that was in the photo shoot for the promotion. We caught her poolside here.

One of the gals that was in the photo shoot for the promotion. We caught her poolside here.

This is a view of the hotel with a storm brewing as we went out for our evening cruise.

This is a view of the hotel with a storm brewing as we went out for our evening cruise.

This is the City Palace at night.

This is the City Palace at night.

Jag Mantir island palace courtyard at sunset.

Jag Mantir island palace courtyard at sunset.

View of the Jag Mantir summer house for the King when he wanted to get away from the Queen.

View of the Jag Mantir summer house for the King when he wanted to get away from the Queen.

This is the garden area.. nice place to relax, I'd say!

This is the garden area.. nice place to relax, I’d say!

We thought we'd act like the Japanese tourists.... minus the peace signs! LOL!

We thought we’d act like the Japanese tourists…. minus the peace signs! LOL!

Entrance to the City Palace of Udaipur.

Entrance to the City Palace of Udaipur.

The Palace is so big you can't really get a great picture of the whole thing. This is the best we could do from the courtyard.

The Palace is so big you can’t really get a great picture of the whole thing. This is the best we could do from the courtyard.

Another God inside the foyer of the Palace.

Another God inside the foyer of the Palace.

The Kings bedroom with mirrored walls.

The Kings bedroom with mirrored walls.

The Queen's chair/swing. She sat her and her maidens dressed her from head to toe, including jewelry!

The Queen’s chair/swing. She sat her and her maidens dressed her from head to toe, including jewelry!

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One of the conference rooms used at the Hotel inside the Palace.

One of the conference rooms used at the Hotel inside the Palace.

This entrance is to the side of the City Palace and is actually the entrance to where the KING currently lives.

This entrance is to the side of the City Palace and is actually the entrance to where the KING currently lives.

Such a calm lake before the storm.

Such a calm lake before the storm.

It was weird to see the rain and storms b/c we had sunshine at the hotel. But we loved watching them.

It was weird to see the rain and storms b/c we had sunshine at the hotel. But we loved watching them.

Dancers at our hotel.

Dancers at our hotel.

She's getting flexible, see her feet?

She’s getting flexible, see her feet?

Not sure if you can see this (double click to enlarge the photo) but she is doing a backbend to pick up two rings with her EYES!

Not sure if you can see this (double click to enlarge the photo) but she is doing a backbend to pick up two rings with her EYES!

WHOAH!!! We have never seen this before!! WOW!!

WHOAH!!! We have never seen this before!! WOW!!

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