How is it already Day 4 in India? Time Flies! For breakfast, we had an array of choices from Western Cereals to Indian delicacies. All the Americans in our group loved the Eggs and Bacon because eating it made them feel right at home! After stuffing our stomachs with some of our favorites from the menu the group headed over to the city palace.
The guide told us all about the history of the palace. He told us that this palace is the most popular sightseeing place in Udaipur. It is on Lake Pichola and is almost 400 years old. It is made up of beautiful domes, arches, and towers. Several rulers in the Mewar dynasty were said to be the ones who built this unique landmark.
A lot of the palaces here have black marks on the side of them and the guide explained that they were from the monsoons. It is on them from the wind and rain of each year, and they just leave it because it is too much to paint over each year.
Udaipur is known as the City of Seven Lakes. There are seven man made lakes and in the middle of them, the Indians would build a palace. The king would then come to live in that palace during the summer because it would be cooler being on the water. Currently, only the prince and some of his family live in a portion of this palace. The rest is made up of hotels that they operate themselves. The grounds were amazingly maintained. You could tell they were on top of keeping the whole place in order and in good shape.
Within the palace, there is a place called the Crystal Gallery. A king long ago ordered crystals for his wife from England and they were made and delivered to Udaipur. After it was delivered, he unfortunately passed, and his family saw this as a bad sign, so they left all the crystal boxes unopened for around 100 years.
Eventually, people found out about these crystals and decided to put them on display. Things such as crystal plates, glasses, silverware, etc. unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures there, but it was magnificent to look at.
Chris and I got to ride a tuk tuk to our next destination. It was a wild ride and neither Chris nor I knew exactly where we were going, which was equal parts exciting and nerve-racking, winding in and out of tiny streets. It was time for a cooking demonstration at the Bedla, put on by a woman and her daughter-in-law. They prepared 7 different courses for us all. Chris and I both very much enjoyed watching some of the food being prepared in a traditional Indian fashion.
I cook so much back home and I was paying close attention so I could try some of these new techniques when we got back home. One that I really loved was that for the Okra dish, to get rid of the sliminess, they put salt or lemon on it after cooking and that fixes the problem. The demonstrators also cooked goat that was marinated overnight, smoked then cooked.
Being Vegans, we did not try the meat, but we were given the opportunity to try the sauce and it was very spice filled and flavorful. Chris and I really enjoyed their version of cabbage and peas as well. The hot chutney was the perfect additive to most of the dishes as well to add that nice kick!
After enjoying a magnificent lunch, we had High tea then some of the ladies and I went out to the Bazaars to shop some more while Chris went back to the room and slept. After a good nap and some nice shopping finds we had the opportunity to tour the hotel. We saw the rooms, suites and lobbies. The ladies that worked at the hotel were kind enough to let us take pictures with them in their beautiful Saris. This property was straight out of a magazine, from the infinity pools to the finely detailed rooms.
We had dinner on the big outside porch area right by the lake. There were no Mosquitos to our surprise. We were expecting a lot of them because the monsoon season had just ended. The hotel said that all their locations fog the yards to make sure the mosquitos stay away. After finishing up the delicious meal that was prepared for us we headed up for the night.