So I’m really not doing much here in Udaipur. I am not going to see all the sights and I am just relaxing. The food is great, the people are great, the atmosphere is relaxing. When I arrived, there was about 30 -40 guys with roses lining the doorway of the airport. "Wow" I exalted, all for me, and I held out my arms. They all laughed and played along with me. "ok, I said, pointing behind me at a man that' had a group standing around him, kneeling and offering him flowers, maybe for the important guy!" And of course, as with all moments that you will never have happen twice in your life, I didn't take a photo...

The view of the Hindu temple from the roof

The view of the palace and the hotel where Octopussy was filmed

crossing the river

This is the city where The Second Best Marigold Hotel was filmed, and where parts of Octopussy was filmed. The actual Marigold Hotel is outside of town, past the airport. I considered making a trek out there, but it is not the same as in the movie, and has become such a tourist trap that I think I would be disappointed to actually see it. The hotel I am staying in has very much the atmosphere of the movie hotel. The first night I was here, one of the women in our dinner group was visiting India to source fabric…

I'm getting used to these door locking systems. They are starting to look pretty normal to me.
On Friday morning, I went with Juliana to the school she is teaching at and I told the kids about Canada. They had lots of questions, but rarely listened to the answers. The kids didn't even listen to the questions the last kids asked, and would often ask the same rote question such as “What is Canada’s national animal?” “What is Canada’s capital city?”. I think learning here in this part of India at least, is expected to be very fact based. I know the people that run the school are Scandinavian and are really working to change that, but it takes a long time to change a cultural mindset.

At the school  with the kids at the morning asse

A couple of guys had planned a trip to the Jain temple at Ranakpur and to Kumbhalgarh Fort, and I was able to tag along.. The fort has the second largest wall on the world, right after the Great Wall of China. It was a very interesting trip. I think the trip there and back was even more interesting, and I wish we had more time to stop along the way in little villages.

Kumbhalgarh Fort

We walked along the wall. There is a little village here and probably others further along the wall.

The front of the Jain Temple. They were very sticky with entrance requirements - they would send people back 3 or 4 times to get it right. No shorts of any length, no food even tic tacs or water, no leather of any kind, no footwear, no electronics except your camera which they charged 200Rs to bring in and you had to pay it even if you didn't have a camera. 

The five bodies of temptation with one head. They represent the temptations of violence, deception, greed, sex, and attachment 

Each marble pillar is carved with different stories.

At lunch, I decided that I didn’t want to pay the princely sum of 300Rs for lunch and just grabbed a couple of samosas up the road as I went for a walk. That is so stupid. 300Rs is about $6. For a full buffet. But I was quite full and I think the walk was better for me than stuffing my face. You know you have been travelling too long when things start to seem expensive:) 

I walked around the old city in Udaipur quite a bit. It was lovely. There was a big parade with many people, and floats and music. I never was able to find out exactly what it was about but it was fun to tag along and watch. I talked to old ladies and men watching their shops. I bought a few items. I ate lunch and dinner a lot at the hotel, and hung out there and just caught up on blogs and other things I wanted to.

Two ladies I met

The children I met still loved me to take their pictures
On my last night, I heard a sad story of a young man. He is in his early 20s and has loved a girl since they were young. She is just as much in love with him. They have been very proper, and approached the parents to let them know how much they want to get married. Today, even thought her parents like him and feel he has a good income and is a very good young man, her parents said no. They feel that because he is of a higher caste than her, the marriage will not be viable. They are arranging for her to marry someone else as soon as possible. He is devastated, I can only imagine how she is. 

We passed a village wedding. They were bringing the groom to the bride's house on horseback. Indian weddings can go on for day and have so many different ceremonies.
This bicycle was really interesting all covered with dust, camouflaging with the dusty walls and door.
This guy wanted money for a photo at first and then I said that it wasn't important, I just liked his moustache. He was too vain for that and wanted me to take the picture anyway and primped and preened his moustache for 10 minutes!
Monkeys on the highway - some of the monkeys here are quite big - probably 3-4 feet tall when they stand up
They often just looked like they were hitchhiking

This gentle bull just stood on the bridge. He stared at me while I crossed and then looked back out over the water.

The little donkeys carry rocks for constructions projects.