Yes we are tourists, no we don't want a tour
Trip Start Oct 31, 2009
52Trip End Feb 25, 2010
So the nice man at the tourist bus station sold us our nice seats on our nice AC bus. He reckoned it would take about 4 hours to get there - which we did think excessive, but we only had the guidebook to go on and it had certainly been wrong before.
Positive: bus turned up on time
bus had individual padded seats
Negative: bus hung out in Bangalore for another 2 hours picking up passengers
bus stopped for 45 minutes for no reason
about half an hour short of Mysore (already 4 and a half hours into journey) bus pulls into a temple complex and a guide jumps up and starts talking in Hindi.
*bus is an Indian tour bus on day trip from Bangalore*
We are in the same clothes we have 'slept' in, have just come from the land of temples and have no wish to see more at the moment...
bus drives straight through Mysore, up the hill on the other side to another temple - driver decides this is the ideal time for us to get off and arranges taxi for us (not included LOL) into town. Taxi driver insists he knows a better, cleaner, newer hotel than the one we have booked. Taxi driver abandoned to irritation of tour bus driver and more pliable tuk tuk driver is found.
Arrival in Mysore: 2:30pm - 4 and a half hours after ETA. Grrrrrrr.
Mysore itself is refreshingly modern and compact compared to other Indian cities we have visited. The Palace is grand from the outside and like a pastel wedding cake on the inside. The British had a lot to do with the design, the highlight of which was a huge round room with an inner circle of pillars topped by a glorious domed stained glass window featuring many peacocks. The local market (which turned out to be open despite our tuk tuk drivers insistence it would be shut and why not visit a nice emporium instead?) was extremely colourful and fragrant - filled with stalls selling oils, fresh flower garlands, spices and conical piles of bright body paints.
One delicious tandoori dinner later and the tour bus ride was already a fading memory, and another story to tell rather than a depressing irritation.