Our tour of the state of Rajasthan, where we will spend close to 2 weeks, began in Udaipur, the City of Lakes. After our flights from Goa to Mumbai, and from Mumbai to Udaipur, we arrived at our comfortable guesthouse, Aashiya Haveli, right on Lake Pichola. Udaipur is also called the “Venice of the East” and you cannot help but admire all the beauty that surrounds the old city, founded in 1559.
Lake Palace (Taj Hotel) at Lake Pichola
Our guesthouse was walking distance to the City Palace, where we spent a full day exploring the beauty of the enormous palace. The 4 of us were amazed at all the beautiful details, colors, tiles, architecture of the palace, not to mention the view of Lake Pichola and of Jag Niwas island (now the famous Taj Lake Palace Hotel). There were a few tourists but many more Indians visiting the palace. We also had a nice lunch after our visit and toured the shops inside the palace courtyard. It was a wonderful day as we sat to absorb the grandiosity of the palace around us.
City Palace, Udaipur
Louisa and 2 beautiful Indian women
City Palace courtyard
We also took a bicycle tour around the city recommended by TripAdvisor. We left 7am to meet our guide, it was only the 4 of us. It was quite busy as we were paddling around the old city but once we left town, it was peaceful to bike around, through the small villages and lakes. Everyone we passed was happily greeting us “Namaste” and “Hellos”. Our guide was a nice young man who just graduated from college and was very knowledgeable of Udaipur and its surrounding lakes. After almost 4 hours of biking, we finished the tour with delicious fresh juices from Paps Juice, a small hole-in-the-wall kind of place with a friendly owner (Pap).
Bicycle tour and our guide
Lake Fateh Sagar
We spent the remaining days walking around the old town, visiting the beautiful heritage hotels, getting henna tattoos (the elaborate ones just like the Indian brides) and enjoying delicious Rajasthani meals. The food is really amazing here and we are pretty much eating only vegetarian meals just to be safe. So far so good!
Next stop – Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
We have not been able to update the blog in a while. Between our trip to Adelaide, the Australian outback and the kids sprinting to finish their school term before we leave Australia, the blog got a bit neglected unfortunately. We will catch up on the places we have been in the next few posts.
We arrived in Adelaide on Thanksgiving day, which is our favorite holiday in the US. As a Brazilian, I learned to love Thanksgiving throughout these years as it is such a nice, relaxing holiday eating great food and being with special family and friends. While this year we were not following our traditional Thanksgiving with the Houchin cousins, we managed to find a nice pub in Adelaide – The Highway – serving typical pub food while we watched the 49ers get beaten by the Seahawks, argh!
We stayed at an airbnb during our week in Adelaide. Mel was our hostess, she is a vegan chef and was really great to us. The kids enjoyed playing with her 10-year old son, Liam. We enjoyed Adelaide, the weather was very nice and the “flat as a pancake” city made it easy to walk and bike around. Our place was just outside CBD and we spent a full day biking around the main sites. Adelaide is very bike friendly and offers a great service – free bike rentals (and free wifi in downtown). We took full advantage of it and enjoyed the Botanic Gardens and biking around the river. Also spent a day at the State Library, kids studying while Chris and I checked out the Art Gallery and the South Australian Museum next door.
Free biking in Adelaide
Adelaide Botanic Gardens
The highlight of our week in Adelaide was the day trip to the Barossa Valley. Mel was very graceous to take us on a tour of some of the best local wineries. We started with delicious coffee and gourmet tastings at Maggie’s Beer Farm Shop (loved the burnt fig jam, the vino cotto and the patés) and then on to 2 wineries before stopping for a light lunch at Fino, a new restaurant at the beautiful Seppeltsfield winery. Then on to 2 more wineries before returning to Adelaide in time to get the kids for an Ethiopian dinner and Belgian crèpes for desert. If you are still reading this you can imagine how full we were by the time we went to bed..
With our airbnb hostess, Mel
Wine tasting at the Barossa
We departed Adelaide for our next adventure at the Australian outback heading to Flinders Ranges National Park. This time we did well in upgrading to a 6-berth campervan, much more comfortable than the one we had in New Zealand. We did learn our lesson! More to come on the outback trip…stay tunned.
Quorn, on our way to Flinders Ranges National Park
The Apollo, our upgraded campervan