India .. where do I begin?
Maybe by the fact that I almost forgot my laptop at the airport. We were already on board, the “fasten your seat belt” has just turned on and the doors were about to close when I asked my boyfriend where he had put my laptop. When he replied that he didn’t touch it I immediately knew: I left it at the gate. Within seconds I jumped up, rushed to the air hostess and told her my dilemma. After seconds I saw someone bringing my laptop and I could have not been more happier and gave her an immediate “Thank you, thank you thank you” hug.
Ok, now I was ready for take-off. More or less, because I have a terrible fear of flying. But against all my fearful expectations it was a smooth and pretty much turbulence free flight. After about 7,5 hours we arrived in 2016 (Yes, we celebrated new years on a plane – so proud I started the new year off by conquering a big fear) and at the Dehli airport.
We quickly changed from the international flights airport to the domestic one to get our second flight to Udaipur. It took only about 2 hours or so and I was so tired after our over night flight to deli, where I pretty much didn’t get any sleep, that I completely passed out on this flight. Apparently it was a bit turbulence-y, thank god I slept through it.
In retrospective I can say that Udaipur has been my favorite place in the west of Rajasthan, India. It is both, busy + loud but also quiet + peaceful. The last part is probably thanks to the beautiful Lake Pichola. If you seek the hustle + bustle, take a rickshaw and drive through the old + new town, stroll around the many markets or dive into the bargaining for some beautiful indian textiles or clothing. I recommend hiring a rickshaw driver for a couple of hours, so you can save yourself from negotiating a new price every time you want to go somewhere. He can also take you to the most beautiful sights and famous places. We had an amazing driver and paid him 600 Rupees for half a day. It was a funny coincident how we met him. We were at the train station looking to get back to our hotel but for the same price (40 Rupees) we paid when we got here. This rickshaw driver approached us and when I gave him our price he laughed “good luck, you’ll find no one driving you for this price” and drove off. Funny enough he turned around and took us to our hotel for our given price. He turned out to be super nice and friendly, had a little book with reviews from people all over the world. This was when he told us about his guided tours and how we ended up with him. A well and truly lucky find!
Places I can highly recommend:
The Food Temple – nice family owned restaurant, very friendly staff and you eat in a beautiful garden set up, food is delicious
Grass wood Cafe – again a very friendly owner and family run vegan cafe with fresh smoothies + juices (rare to find in india)
Charcoal by Pratap Bhawan – literally the best 360 view over Udaipur, beautiful and comfy set up and delicious food (ask to make it vegan, no problem for them) and don’t be thrown off by the outside appearance, wait until you get up the stairs 😉
If you want to eat like the locals, try out one of the re-fill thalis for 200 Rupees (just ask a rickshaw driver to take you) We filmed our experience and you can watch it in the video below. It was fantastic and we didn’t get sick!
After Udaipur we went via train to Bundi, but only spent two nights there. My boyfriend got sick, so we didn’t really do anything apart from relaxing in the hotel and walking around the city. From Bundi we took a private cab to Pushkar (400 Rupees).
We heard that Pushkar is a hippie place and it really is. Old and young, all nationalities. It seemed like everyone came to stay. We were so surprised to see how many expats were living or even retiring here. The holy city is built around Pushkar Lake and had a lot to offer. Especially shopping wise you could spend all your money on jewelry and fancy fabrics.
Locals will try to pressure you into getting a “Pushkar Passport” and give donations. Please, only do that if you really want to, it’s absolutely not necessary.
The “Pushkar fever” really caught on to me and I felt like I could stay here for a while. Enjoy some sunrise yoga, have a yummy porridge by the lake and just enjoy my carefree life. Yet it was time to move on to Jodhpur. Or at least we thought so at that time.
Places I can highly recommend:
The original Lake View Restaurant – easy to miss but this turned out to be our favorite place to have breakfast/ dinner and to just chill and enjoy the lake view. Vegan food and delicious porridge with almond or rice milk. Service is slow, but the food will make up for it 😉