Merry Christmas to friends and family alike. Know that we are missing you all and would love to have been able to spend this time with you.
We are spending Christmas in Udaipur, India and have been hunting furiously for a venue that will offer something like our idea of what a Christmas should be. We have failed but we came across a special Christmas Eve function at some of the flash hotels. The flashiest of these is in the middle of town, atop the hill, in the palace. For a small fee (and a limb) we got ourselves an invitation. Now my mother, as she always does, sent me a sum of money to be spent spoiling myself for Christmas. This year it did just that so thanks mum. We got the tickets to the Christmas Eve ball, on the pool deck, at the Shiv Niwas Palace.
Needless to say our backpacking attire did not exactly include formal wear. So we went shopping. This was possibly a good thing as some of our original items were getting a touch aromatic and were in need of replacement. We settled on neat casual…Indian style. Safe to say that for the cost of our splurge tickets we could have stayed at our dodgy little hotel for almost a month. Instead we opted for the all you can eat, all you can drink Christmas Eve gala ball at the palace.
The place was spectacular…as was the food. We ate, drank, chatted and generally had a fantastic night. So much so that Jill claims it to have been her best Christmas ever. We got to have our turkey…along with almost anything else that you can imagine. We steered clear of the Indian food as we have eaten nothing else for about a month now. While I like eating Indian food I also love the variety of being able to have different things.
A couple of things that you need to know about Udaipur to give context to our evening…the James Bond movie Octopussy was filmed here with the evil baddie having her hideout/headquarters in the middle of the lake (images to follow in the Udaipur post). Prior to finding the evil baddie…James Bond, as he does, seduced a Bond girl by a pool. This was the pool that we sat beside having our Christmas feast. As this movie is the big claim to fame of Udaipur, almost every rooftop restaurant plays this movie nightly between 7-9 pm. We will be heading to one of these tonight to refresh ourselves on the movie and to see the sights of the city that we are bouncing around in. For those that own the movie there is an oval shaped pool with a fountain on one side. We had the table directly adjacent to the fountain.
The evening was all about excesses with a list of experiences too long to list (but included floating ice sculptures and flower petals on almost every unattended surface) suffice to say we had a great time. One of the attendees at the function was actually the Maharana (local king) and his family, there was also a lesser Bollywood star who had apparently made it big in the UK and had come back and bought up most of Udaipur.
Missing you all…thinking of you… Hope that you all have a great Christmas.