Merry Christmas from Udaipur! We started Christmas at 1 a.m., when we got to our room from the dinner. We all had two presents to open. Just little things, one from each of us to the other. Our Christmas presents to each other have been this trip and this experience. It has been special. We love India and the people who live in it. As far as the commercialization of the season, I will most likely get caught up in it next year. It is hard not to. But it got us thinking. I have not missed a single thing this entire trip. I have not missed any place or food item either. My friends and family, however, I have not been homesick, but I look forward to seeing all of them. Love to you all, and Merry Christmas.

We got going about 10. Our driver, Sohdi, thought we should do a little sight-seeing today. We were glad he did.

We started at the classic car museum.

I won’t bore you with more. Car buff that I am, not. If you want to see more ask Sean for the photos He took scads. I enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong. What I enjoyed though was listening to Jim and Sean talk about the various cars.

The Sas Bahu Temple was one of our favorite temples we have seen on our entire trip. We had to backtrack and leave Udiapur to Kalaishburi to see it, then we had to go through a wetlands which were pristine. There were only a few people there too. Its detailed carvings were very well preserved. This temple is dedicated to wives and mother-in-laws.

Right next to the temple were 2 women farming wheat in a field with snowy egrets looking on.

This was our first view of the temple complex. All the marble in the area means the temple and its carvings are made of them and therefore last a long time with minimal erosion.

The temple is right on the water. The setting was idyllic.

Literally hundreds of photos later for all 3 of us, we were ready to go. Next stop was the gardens. It was very so-so. I only recommend stopping there if you love old fountains or have extra time.

After a short walk through the gardens, we went to the Monsoon Palace. This Palace is high up on a hill. It is a perfect location for avoiding flooding during torrential rains. You would want to be at the Palace before the rains struck however. I would not want to be on the road up to it during a torrential rain storm.

You get to the palace through the wildlife sanctuary. There seems to be more focus here on preserving the wildlife in this area of Rajasthan, perhaps because the Maharajah still has a presence here.

Here is the palace on the hill. It is not as well preserved as the other palaces in this area.

Have you thought about all the info in English? Well I have. It rocks. Thank you India. It was neat to find all this information inside the Monsoon Palace.

We didn’t actually see any of these live. We did see a weasel though.

A view up at the Monsoon Palace.

A view out of the Monsoon Palace. The haze from a light fog obscures how steep and far down the valley goes.

Here is the Lake Palace at night. It is now a very exclusive hotel that can only be reached by boat and can only be bisited if you are a guest there.

Jim and I walked around a bit in the evening. We went back to the room and ordered room service with Sean because he did not want to go out. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, from the three of us!