Loire Valley in 3 days


This was the second last leg of our “French road trip”, though Loire Valley commands a dedicated trip to itself. Spending 3 nights here didn’t seem enough, but basing ourselves in the picture-perfect town of Saumur helped cover all bases!

Loire Valley in central France used to be the summer getaway for the French nobility who built numerous Chateaux along the river Loire and its tributaries. The rich river banks are lush with vineyards and fruit orchards, and dotted with magnificent chateaux, each with its own individuality, not surprisingly, attracting tourists and locals alike!


We left L’isla’sur’la Sorgue (in Provence) at about 11 o’clock, after quickly visiting the Sunday market. This was expectedly a long road journey of about 8 hours and after traversing an “Oh-so-French” countryside, reached Saumur at about 7:30 pm.

Having ogled at the photographs of the Loire region in one of the travel magazines, we were inspired to cycle around, imagining happy summer days of tasting delectable wines and soaking our eyes in the magnificent architectural marvels while cycling around. On deeper research, we figured that it’s not easy for weekend cycling enthusiasts like us to bike from one chateau to another, as they are spread far apart. And we had a kid and grandparents along! For the abled cyclists, Loire is their oyster, and Chateaux a velo website, their guide. For us, there were two options, either hire our own car and cycle, lug them around, and use biking trails. Or one could tie up with local bike rentals who could drive around and carry the bicycles too. Unfortunately, none of the two options worked for us, the former was not possible because of our big troupe (place for either cycles or cyclists 😅in the car), and the latter was priced a bit too steep for comfort. We did manage cycling eventually, as the pic above proves, but you must read on!

During the planning phase, choosing a base to explore the Loire was challenging with many variables to factor in; like proximity to the chateaux, whether to stay amidst vineyards, or staying in one of the many quaint towns.

Town of Saumur (pronounced, saw-mewr)

Factoring in all these variables, we finally decided to base ourselves in Saumur, in itself a very picturesque town. We had booked ourselves in a downtown apartment (Air b& b) which was perfectly located close to all the best eateries, shopping streets, carrefour 😉and a hop across from the banks of the placid Loire river with its romantic vistas.

The first evening was a task to find dinner, as most restaurants/ cafes had shut shop, except for an Italian place. After our hurried dinner, we opted to walk along the river after dropping our car at the charming river-side parking lot. Being dusk, the most beautiful time of the day, and free of usual touristy hordes, (we prefer to call ourselves travelers 😀), this turned out to be a walk to remember!

Words cannot adequately express the feeling of tranquility as we wandered along, while feasting our eyes on the dreamy spectacle of twilight hues, reflecting on the placid waters. After clicking a hundred pictures in maybe 10 minutes we came upon a bridge where we heard some melodies floating in the wind.. and decided to follow the music. This whimsical decision turned out to be a wonderful experience, as we chanced upon an outdoor musical soirée with military bands playing from across continents! The band from Belarus knocked our socks off, playing all our favorite English oldies! Little one burst into an impromptu jig on the road!

The next day was dedicated to visiting the chateaux, and we sat with a map (acquired from the visitor center next door) and chose according to the grandeur (based on pictures), the attractive features, and proximity. Some are known for their manicured gardens, some for their architecture, others for the boat rides, etc The decision was also influenced by the help of fellow travelers and their reviews on various forums. A common sense advice is to wear comfortable footwear, as there’s lots of walking. Hats and sunscreen and water and munchies, the usual “day-in-the-country” needs.

We started with the furthest and worked our way backward. Chateau Villandry was first on the list, best known for its exquisite green spaces with manicured flower and vegetable gardens and a breathtaking water garden. It’s advisable to buy tickets online, though reaching before the usual daily hordes, we easily managed to acquire tickets onsite.

The trip was made worthwhile right from the parking lot. I presume, everybody is a photography enthusiast in their own way, and would understand when I mention my obsession with hay stacks…and trying to photograph them. Now on a road trip, one can see acres of fields and the geometrically organized, picture-perfect hay stacks. But it’s so not possible to capture them while on the go, driving on the autoroutes.

The point of this diatribe is that as we parked outside Villandry, a picture-perfect field with stacks of hay was waiting to be photographed! It was a dream(a long time) come true! Not dithered by the thin fence, I and the little one marched up to the nearest stack and had tonnes of fun, posing and clicking! Must have spent a precious half hour, with every moment worth it!!

As far as the Chateau Villandry is concerned, pictures are worth a thousand words!

Chateaux Villandry

Next, we headed to Chateau Chambord. And what a place. We never once ventured inside any Chateau for fact, not really interested in the grandeur of the nobility’s bed chambers or their dining rooms but definitely their vast green spaces and spectacular vistas around.

The highlight of Chambord, or more like the entire Loire trip, was the cycling we could manage around Chateau Chambord! This is a sprawling place, with a tributary of the Loire meandering and encircling the palatial grounds with biking and walking paths and availability of Rental bikes. This ticked our dream of cycling in the Loire! The grandparents and their grandchild biked around in a “Rosalie- pedal car”.. which can carry three or four bodies, while two can pedal, holding hands…could potentially sing “We are going on a summer holiday…”😊

Chateaux Chambord

The short, about 5-mile bike trail around Chateaux Chambord was spectacular. The chateaux itself is out of a fairy tale, and the cycling path goes along the stream, over footbridges and woods.. just perfect! No wonder we spent a bit too much time here…which made us a tad late for the next two!

Chateau Amboise must have been a spectacular chateau, but now seems hedged in by the overgrown town.. which limits a panoramic view. The town itself is like many other small French towns, beautiful and on top of the list for tourists to stay in. It sprawls on either side of the bridge and the views of the town are great from the opposite side. We found a dilapidated parking lot, across town, and took some great shots!

Now it was almost 4:30, and we really wanted to see Chenonceau, but knew it to close by 5:30. so decided to wing it, managing to reach by 5 pm, almost closing time. This was a drawback only in one way; that the souvenir shop was closed. In every other way, it was a blessing. Nearly empty parking lot, vacant and thus beautiful green walkway to the chateau, and nearly complete absence of the hordes (other than a Korean family)!

On the outskirts is a maze which was great fun for the little one. The Chateau is a novelty, like no other, surrounded by a moat which makes for great reflections. We meandered through the beautiful wooded grounds, so peaceful and awe-inspiring, just what’s needed at the end of a long day. It also was the time for the take-off of Hot air balloons, and we saw many colorful ones in the sky, making for another unique photo shot! We stayed as long as we were allowed and then started our drive back to Saumur.

Day 2 was about Saumur, the small train ride around town, up to Chateau du Saumur, shopping in town, and Degustation at Combier!

Wine a little, you’ll feel better…

“Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin.” 

― Napoleon Bonaparte

Infact, if you whine with wine, you’ll feel even lighter! 🙂 So, who else out there is missing wine country? Come on, let’s whine together!


Once upon a time, there was a studious city girl who went on a grand trip with her bae, to San Francisco, the city of her dreams and also the city hosting a Radiology conference. While this trip was being planned, she chanced upon a luxury travel magazine and fell in love with the pictures from Napa valley. “Oh, please can we go…” she chimed! “You don’t even know wine or enjoy wine!” stated DH, matter-of-factly. “Why do I need to know wine…I just want to enjoy the beauty of a lush countryside, the vineyards, cycle around the rolling green hills…!” DH…rolled his eyes so hard, he saw his brains!- True Story!

Yes, somewhat like that, in an unconventional way, started our life-long love of Wine-countries and then, Wine!

Though Australia and South America are yet to be uncorked, we have some of the European (the Old world vintage) and North American (new world charm) wine regions, bottled up! (do see the movie Bottle-shock, if you haven’t already!)

Sitting with a cuppa coffee (folks please, it’s early morning) I’m flipping through tons of pictures on Iphoto and drooling over wide open spaces, something we city dwellers sorely miss. Noticing that some of the greenest scapes are from our travels to wine regions, I started compiling a list of my favourites and hence this post, based in order of the impact they have left on our memories and the special charm they bring to the table!

Napa-Sonoma (Northern California) (2007)

Since this was the first-ever wine-country experience, it will remain our favorite. Though pictures 13 yrs back were not DSLR quality, we still had to discover wine snobbery 😉 and our palates were not as refined (not saying we are connoisseurs now but can differentiate the fruity notes of a Pinot Noir, from a spicy Syrah), we loved the experience which is etched on the memory as if it was yesterday!

Different notes that one can expect in a typical red wine

Right from the pre-planning stage when we read and acquainted ourselves with etiquettes of wine-tasting which included, practicing “spitting” in the wash-basin, to reading California Driving manual (for rules against DUI), extensively planning which towns to stay and which wineries to visit and pre-renting cycles, mapping the routes, this trip was an eye-opener.

It was like being Alice, in a wonderland, exploring wide-eyed, an entirely extraordinary world! It’s not only about tasting, buying and drinking wine, we learnt about viticulture (which is the art of growing wine) and vinification (the process of making wine, including the grape crushing, mainly staged for us, the tourists, but still fun!).

Ever visited a temperature regulated, cool and dry wine cellar, stacked roof-to the floor with wine barrels, collecting wine from a barrel using a Wine-Thief and keeping a straight face when all about you are claiming to sniff peppercorns or red berries in their wine.

Did you know that some of the wineries are actually housed in beautiful mansions or places of historical interest or simply owned by famous families/ popular personalities, housing memorabilia, made into museums, and giving private pre-booked tours of the properties? One such was the Jacuzzi-family winery, yes the same jacuzzi that we soak-in.

Some of the wine-makers might entice visitors with wine-food or wine-cheese pairings while others might break the ice with a game of basketball or Golf!

Almost every tasting room has a view to-die-for and prices of some of the “Reserva” wines on offer, to die-off. Most of the wineries predictably have shops selling labeled wine merchandise but also, wine-vinegars, olive oils, preserves, all produced locally, worth the money that you buy it with and worth the effort put into bringing it back home!

Though, this is not a Napa Valley exclusive post, its still worth mentioning that we stayed at the top of the valley, in a town called Calistoga, very scenic with hills dotting the backdrop, ideal for those long cycling days, and known for its Mud-baths!

France (2017)

Stop smirking right there and let me explain. Its very-very difficult for me to choose between the famous wine regions within France (hell we drove for almost 20 days and through some of the most scenic routes). I cannot choose between Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire or Provence and cannot ignore upcoming regions like Bandol.

picture-credit: winefolly.com

Before the trip, as usual, we scavenged for information on forums, as to which regions to visit for which wine, the wineries to visit, any festivals around that time, best cycling paths, and which child-friendly routes to take. A note that kept popping up was the snootiness of french winemakers and how making appointments was mandatory and sticking to them, even more. Now either we call the french snooty or accept that they appreciate punctuality and that’s no reason to think they are uptight.

In fact, our experience was in most part, very pleasant except for one very over-priced wine-lunch which, in all honesty, could be blamed partly on me being a vegetarian and partly on lack of vegetarian cooking skills of rest of the world. In one particular incidence, the host at a winery in the village of Pommard, in Bourgogne (popularly Burgundy) was so helpful and patient with us, despite us getting massively delayed due to a small biking accident, that he hosted us very pleasantly when we showed up three hours later for a cellar tour and tasting!

There is something to be said about being the old world when you can boast of cellars about 1000 yrs old, all cobwebby, no electrical lighting, wax candle-lit tasting, and in all a bit vampire-style spooky if everyone is wearing black! 🙂 It’s only polite when you buy not one but four bottles! Pity we couldn’t ship back an entire case!

We had the time of our lives, cycling in Burgundy, picture-perfect in every way, on the Véloroute! Enjoy the scenic vistas and do check out the dedicated post from our trip to Burgundy, before planning your next trip (Don’t worry, it’ll happen sooner than you imagine…keep the faith)!

Repose in Bordeaux, in the middle of a vineyard, near St Emillion, was as high as it can go in terms of staycation experiences, and we cannot wait to go and park ourselves there, again! Pictures are worth a thousand words…so here they are!

It’s like a painting!

Can one have enough of cycling? Never, says me, through verdant wine regions, because that is one way to slow down your pace, your thoughts and soak-it-all-in! Here’s cycling through some of the most iconic landmarks of the Loire valley.

Chateâu Chambord, Loire valley, France

Lavaux, Montreux, Switzerland (2015)

Why Turquoise Blue for the Title? You may or may-not wonder but it’s my job to give you all unnecessary trivia.

Close your eyes and imagine vibrant green hills bedecked with grape-laden vines, rolling down to a turquoise-blue Lake-Geneva. The vista around Lavaux region of Switzerland is jaw-dropping in beauty and so exceptional that one has to go there to believe the stunning beauty.

Switzerland is not primarily known as a wine-growing country, because the world is not used to seeing Swiss wines on the aisles of their generic wine-shops. This is because the product is lesser in quantity, but great in quality, and is produced mainly for local consumption within the country, rather than for export. In fact, the Swiss drink a lot of wine per capita, import 2/3rd of the consumed quantity, and for a fun-fact, import more Beaujolais than the whole of the USA.

Spain (2009)

Spain as a wine-growing country is as complex or even more so than France!

Haven’t we all enjoyed a fruity red Tempranillo, one of the most famous red wine varietals, from the famous Rioja region of northern Spain? Cava, the sparkling wine, grown in the regions along the Mediterranean coast, which includes a blend of Garnacha (or Grenache in neighboring France) or the exquisite oaky Dry-Sherry (not the sweet sherry sipped by elderly English ladies) from Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalucia!

Spain is ideally located in terms of latitudes, with its warm to hot climate aptly suited for viniculture and the various influences on the wine-growing process from the neighboring regions.

Sant Sadurní d’Anoia

Though Rioja in the Basque region is still on the travel bucket list, we visited Sant Sadurní d’Anoia near Barcelona to sample their famous Cava and instead of cycling or driving, ended up on a long walking-trip in the country. Not definitely by design, was too hot to handle but makes for one hell of a reflection!

We drove through the spectacular Andalucian region of southern Spain, bedecked with charming Pueblo Blancos or white villages, stunning countryside dotted with wine and olive groves, ancient Moorish, or Romanesque architecture, and turquoise lakes.

Montefrío, Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia epitomizes the charms of slow-travel, driving through awe-inspiring landscapes and breaking for wine/sherry tasting in tradicional bodegas, during the day.

Checking into a new town every-other-day, exploring street-foods or go on a Tapas-bar hop, in the evening, pairing food with Cerveza or Sangria according to your whim! Later, head out for some foot-tapping flamenco experience or just stroll to a local popular Plaza and soak-in, life-as-a-local!

Setenil de las Bodegas, Spain

If you ever felt like “there’s so much to see, so little time”, you will feel it a 100 times more in Andalucia. Needless to say, pre-planning is your best bet!

Moselle River Valley- Germany (2013)

The Moselle (or Mosel) valley is a region around the river Mosel, meandering through parts of western Germany, eastern France and Luxembourg and is known for its White wines, especially the famous Rieslings from Germany.

What makes this region spectacular and on this list, is the landscape, as distinctive and charming as it gets!

Close those eyes again, and now imagine… hiking through terraced vineyards on hill slopes while the placid river Mosel, calmly meanders below, and a medieval, almost fairytale-like castle sits atop a neighboring hilltop.

Alternatively, imagine cycling along a beautiful track right along the river bed, with bird-song in your ear, dense foliage along the banks, intermittently opening its curtains to panoramic vistas of hillsides adorned with palisading vines.

Pacific Northwest wine regions (Washington and Oregon states)

If you’re wondering what or where’s that…nobody will blame you. The lesser-known of the New World wine regions, over-shadowed by neighboring Californian wines, but holding the fort, are the wines produced in Oregon and Washington states of north-west USA. While Oregon produces Pinot Noir in the majority, inland of Washington, along the Columbia River valley which is warmer in climate, produces a mix of great whites (including Chardonnay) and Reds.

Columbia River Gorge

Having driven along the scenic Pacific Highway 101 in California earlier, we wanted to explore the more rugged northern Pacific coasts and the Olympic peninsula.

Thus, originated the mammoth trip to the North-west pacific (including British Columbia in Canada), including their famous wine regions!

While boarding a flight from Seattle airport, the immigration officer seemed dumb-founded when we said we were visiting Walla-Walla, and he went, “Who the hell visits Walla-Walla”…and hubby goes, “we crazy, wine-loving Indian nomads”. Another, absolutely true story!

One of the kid-friendly wineries

If you consider yourself a traveler and scoff at touristy attractions, you just might understand the charm of visiting places that are off-the-beaten-path! The novelty of visiting unheard-of places, being greeted with warmth, enjoying uncrowded vistas, and never having to come across the terms “booked-out or sold-out” are all, “simple joys of life”. Sampling delectable wines amidst splendid country setting is a top endorphin-releasing experience too!

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Though, “there is so much wine and so little time” …the quest is on, albeit on a corona-break, and hopefully, we’ll be on a road-trip soon, on another continent, driving or cycling through sun-soaked, verdant countryside, sampling wines, cheese, and chocolates, keeping ourselves hydrated, sipping and spitting (part of the 4s’s…sniff, sip, swirl and spit) and minding speed limits.

A wine colored lolly is always a good-idea!
A can, really?

And now it’s time for a workout!


Udaipur Jan’ 2017

“So many sites, so little time”.

This has been the motto of “Rajans” for ever. Even the “chhota Rajan” has inherited the itchy feet and if mom-dad appear lackadaisical .. he starts chanting…” I miss holidays- I want to go on a holiday” (BTW, by holidays he means a big aeroplane, specifically with in-flight entertainment 🙄)
Since we could afford only a few days leave, we started exploring short trip destinations in North India.. and zeroed down on Udaipur, this trip being long overdue! We planned this 4N trip in Jan, flying back on the republic day. This was good and bad.. good that there wasn’t much commute on the way back home from the airport…but flight did get delayed thanks to congestion at the airport, due to republic day security hold-ups!
We chose to stay in Trident, couple of quick reasons why:

* It was tried and tested and loved; having stayed in Trident Jaipur, many years back.

* Beautiful hotel, kinder on the pocket than other 5 star hotels,

* Relatively close to the old city (10 min cab ride away).

* Sort of situated on the lake Pichola, in a fabulously lush garden

* Far from the maddening crowd ( as well as the grime) of the city.

* Another plus being part of the Oberoi chain and sharing its grounds with its younger and high-end cousin, the ‘Oberoi Udayvilas’. We spent some part of every day, strolling the lush gardens of Trident, gently merging with those of Udayvilas, hearing the thousand different bird calls, spotting a myriad of fauna including the majestic peacocks and soaking in the spectacular views of the lake as well as the interiors of the hotel!


Many travellers opt to stay within the old city in many of the ancient, renovated Havelis, within walking distance to many restaurants, lake, boat ride etc. Flip side being not much greenery to soothe the eyes.

Day One:

We boarded our flight from Delhi around 13:00, landing at Udaipur airport in an hours time. The airport is located on the outskirts of the sprawling city and is about 40 min cab ride from the city centre.

This day was all about exploring the gardens, the palatial hotel(s) and the lake view!

These hotels also house a wild life conservatory housing wild boars, deers and peacocks which are fed at fixed hours in morning and evening when the onlookers can see these species closely.

Day 2:

After an elaborate breakfast buffet, typical hotel style.. we set course to explore the city. The first choice was naturally one of the iconic landmarks of Udaipur, the City Palace. The short upward sloping walkway leading to the palace reminded me a bit of Neuschwanstein, though more sunny and stark.

The palace must have been a ‘looker’ in its time.. but at present, except for some bits, is not very well maintained. This is a bit sad despite it being under private control. There are remnants of the glorious past but having seen many more majestic marvels of architecture, in India and abroad, we were a bit underwhelmed and after a few mandatory pictures we set course for lunch.



For Lunch we wanted to sample a quintessential Rajasthani meal including the “Dal- bati-Churma”. Our cabbie suggested ‘Krishna’ restaurant, well rated on Trip-advisor and for a paltry amount of 250rs/ thali, does a decent job of ticking all major items. A thali comprises of a pre-fixed menu, on a non-sharing basis.

Post lunch we roamed about the old city… with small shops selling curios..typically touristy, but something that every tourist expects (and likes). Bought some curios/ Rajasthani Show-pieces to adorn our walls from Kajri Arts, recommended again by the cab driver.


About 16:30 hrs, we reached the boat docking site to visit “jag- mandir” temple, situated in the middle of the lake Pichola, one of the many lakes making up this “city of lakes”. Jag Mandir is situated close to the pompous Lake Palace Hotel, under the Taj banner, latter, exclusive to its guests and elusive to others! The timing of the boat ride was good, this being considered the Sunset boat ride with extra-fares.

The short 15 minute Boat ride, toured around the lake with awesome views of the city palace (which looked better in a panoramic view), The Lake palace hotel, other havelis, smaller palaces bordering the lake as well as the beautiful facades of the high- end, lake facing hotels.



The Jag-mandir ( translated as the Universal-temple) still hosts some wedding ceremonies of VIP’s and can be visited at certain hours with a certain fee. At 5’o’ clock, by the time we reached, it was closed.


The facade of the temple is beautiful, though. There is a fancy dine-in, with a beautiful terrace top giving spectacular panoramic views. Special ferries are available for restaurant guests for dinner.

After soaking in the sunset views on the lake, we trudged back..in a cab, to the hotel. Here we enjoyed the Folkdance and music show while enjoying the dinner spread in the roof-top restaurant at Trident.

Day 3:

This happened to be Mademoiselle’s birthday and we set out to make it ‘memorable’. Over the years and over many vacations, we’ve realised that our most cherished memories are those which we’ve experienced at a very slow pace and amidst nature; be it gardens, hills or rivers, while hiking, trekking or cycling. That, in our humble ways, is the best way to experience a place, inhaling the fresh air, making lasting memories!

So we set out cycling around the lakes. We booked a tour with “Art of bicycle trips” based in the old city where we checked in at 7:45 am. They provided us with a child seat which was a blessing and made this cycling trip possible. After the mandatory delays with cycle adjustments and trials, we set course starting with meandering narrow lanes of the old city, wobbling (in my case) our way amongst other cyclists, motor cyclists, cars and cattle, avoiding the open drains. Thankfully this was a short stretch beyond which it was mostly vacant roads with few motor vehicles passing us by.

We cycled through mostly flat terrain with gentle up and down slopes with few ascents which were tiring for ‘my’ quadriceps. Passed by small villages, with school-going children happily waving and greeting us (they’re usually enthralled with foreigners), along wheat fields, some mustard fields just getting speckled with yellow, across small hills, passing — fort and finally the serene placid lakes.

The more popular Udaipur lakes, namely Pichola and Fatehsagar are within the city amidst its hustle and bustle. But the smaller lakes that we passed by on this cycling trip were spectacular and serene, unspoilt by urbanisation and tourism. We sat by them and just gawked!

The tour guide Ali, was a sport. An enthusiastic youngster keeping up with the varied pace of all members. Did a pit stop at a dhaba for tea and another impromptu stop at a road-side stall for ‘Rajasthani style sweet-sour poha’- which was delicious! Our little one greatly enjoyed the trip with daddy, calling it a wonderful day!


We wound up this 30km trip by 12 noon, took a cab back to the hotel, ordered room service and crashed! The feeling was of pleasure and pain.. but overall great! The hotel staff surprised us by decorating the room and sending some flowers for the occasion.

Evening was spent relaxing in the grounds and some splashing in the pool. The little one persisted in his efforts to take a dip in the pool and finally persuaded daddy darling to take the plunge. This was possible since the weather was mostly warm, even in January. But that is desert climate for you.

For dinner we had made reservations, along with our new cycling buddies, in a highly recommended restaurant by the lake Pichola, called “Ambrai”. The place did not disappoint in the views; with spectacularly lit City palace as well as Lake palace lighting up the placid lake.


Would not comment too much about the food here as we did not do justice to it. After couple of ‘heavy meals’ over past few days, our tummies were not in a very accommodating mood and we ate light. But immensely enjoyed the views!

Day 4:

Set out for some pending sightseeing. I had visited Udaipur last, when I was 1 yr old and have seen pictures from that visit all my life. So this day, my agenda was to recreate that picture.. before after kind. After enquiring from my parents as to the spot where the pic was taken and correlating with our helpful cab driver, we reached Fatehsagar lake. Nehru garden is located in the centre of the lake, a 10 min boat ride to the gardens. It’s a rectangular garden with domed gazebos at it’s corners.. and after speculating as to which looked nearly the same spot.. we started clicking pictures. This was a fun activity!


Post this activity, we had to tick another major kid attraction which is a camel ride. Since we had done the same with the little one in Jaipur, he was looking forward to this.

In the evening we bought tickets for a puppet and folk dance show in “Bhartiya kala Kendra” at 18:00 hrs. This was entertaining for the kids and adults alike, the auditorium being packed to the hilt. Gave us a glimpse of the entertainment forms of yesteryears,at the Maharaja’s Darbar, aka, King’s courts. Skilled dancers balancing their feet on pots and pans, and balancing pots on their heads.
Dinner was to be another light affair; by this time we understood that we could not digest the greasy meals. Had read about ‘Grasswood cafe’ in the old city so we thought we’ll try it out. This was a hole in the wall but such a friendly relaxed vibe to the place that we loved it. Dotted with quirky curios, fairy lights and foot tapping music.. we felt transported to another place. The food (tuna sandwich, salad, maggie 😊) was delicious including the smoothies😋. Happy tummies means happy souls who went to bed and dreamed happy thoughts.


Last morning in The city of Lakes, needless to mention, we sat on the breakfast table for nearly two hours. Then lounged on the garden bench spotting many bird species, few being the elusive cuckoo, both male and female of the species, the coucal, sunbirds, bee-eaters, green avadavat, drongo and ofcouse the Peacocks!


Bid Adieu to Udaipur and flew back to New Delhi at noon.

PS: Don’t have his picture, but this is the number of our very sensible, responsible cab driver called Mohd Rafiq  (mobile: +91 98291 91649), who was more like a personnel guide and chauffeur throughout our stay!