Today I spent my last day in Udaipur, reluctantly. So far this has been my favorite destination. There's just something beautiful about a rajistani sunset over a floating lake palace. Today I took a boat ride from the city palace to the lake palace, where James Bond's "Octopussy" was filmed. I saw the movie for the first time last night at my hotel's open air lounge. Apparently they've been showing it every night for the past 9 years. So has every other hotel in the city. They're really milking that 15 minutes of fame. There's a fantastic scene in the movie where Bond gets into a car chase in autorickshaws through the streets of Udaipur. There are women in saris running for their lives, cows to be avoided, street market carts overturning. I was watching it with 6 other foreigners and we were laughing hysterically because a "car chase scene" is exactly what it's like driving in this town on any old day of the week.
Udaipur is covered in these glass mosaics, made with fragments of mirror. It lends a certain Marrakesh feeling to the buildings (I'm just guessing, since I've only been to Morocco in my dreams). The palace is full of them - usually in the pattern of flowers, trees and peacocks. I spent the first half of my day in this guys studio watching him make one from scratch. Some are small, for tables or chairs. Some are huge mural sized. They are stunning creations. He could live a cush life if he set up a shop in Beverly Hills. I'm going to try to attempt one when we get to our new home in Washington. (Just what I need, another hobby.) This town is filled with artists. Even the guys on the street are handcarving blocks of marble into works of art. My kind of city.
Onto Jaipur next where I am thrilled to be meeting up with Rachel and Scott!