So after a day spent in airports or in the air we finally arrived at Bangalore just in time to catch the sunset - and the traffic! We drove through the early evening to Mysore, arriving at about 10pm, although the darkness made it feel much later.
Next morning chance to explore before meeting the group for lunch. We walked in the general direction of the shops, passing these strange banana palms outside the cinema
an old sewing machine shop which has seen better days
and another strange tree
before getting down to some retail therapy. In this shop it seems we had every saree off the shelf so we could choose the ones we were going to buy (purely as fabric, as neither of us intends to start wearing sarees).
More great scissors and a metal measuring tape
By the time we had decided and visited the third floor where the silk scarves were kept, we were running late, so had almost to run back to the hotel to meet everyone.
Then we set off again for lunch: masala dosa - a southern Indian speciality, a sort of pancake made from rice and filled with vegetables; the creamy stuff is coconut chutney - very nice. After a visit to the market we went back to the hotel to get bikes sorted out.
Later on our way to dinner we were able to see the Palace lit up - something that only happens from 7 to 7.30 pm on Sundays. When you realise that there are 97000 tungsten light bulbs involved you can understand why!
The next day we had a guided tour round the palace, which was rebuilt after a fire in the early 20th century. Unfortunately no photos allowed inside, but it was highly decorated. The Maharaja at the time was very much influenced by British art nouveau and employed Henry Irwin as architect. There are ceramic tiles from England, ornate iron pillars painted turquoise and gold, and peacock stained glass from Glasgow (reminded me of the Palau di Musica in Barcelona ).
The red domes are made from marble, and there are eight temples in the grounds - here's one of them.
Apart from that Mysore is very busy and hectic, so two nights there was enough. Looking forward to getting on a bike!