Udiapur

After dreams of James Bond (pleasant) breakfast was deliciously decadent and eaten on the edge of the lilly ponds outside in the morning sun. We are doing the traveler thing of eating a big breakfast and skipping lunch, which means I get to indulge in my favorite meal of the day. Today was dedicated to discovering Udiapur though we really only saw just a little of what I imagine is really here. The town is small by Indian standards, only 500,000 people yet, as one would expect, so densely populated it feels much more than that. I think the moment of the day I'll always remember is watching the traffic of motorcycles, auto rickshaws, and cars dodge and weave around a women walking through the main roundabout with her 4 donkeys calmly and slowly making their way behind her. No rope to guide them, they knew they had to follow and they were completely unfazed by the noise and speed of the traffic.

On a more touristy note we visited the City Palace (fabulous), the Crystal Gallery in the H.R.H hotel owned by the Maharana, and a lovely garden which had been the ladies garden. As we visited the Crystal Gallery our guide reminded me that there is a No Reservation where Anthony Bourdain is a guest of the Maharana. It's a good one, go watch it. As for what is the Crystal Gallery? It's a whole floor of custom made crystal items (decanters, cups, beds, sofas, etc etc), thousands of pieces, ordered by a Maharana in the late 19th century and never used. Strange and lovely and unfortunately not photographed by me. That said enjoy the snaps.

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