After saying goodbye to our volunteer pals in Pune, we were back on the road. Next stop: Mysore.

Our 4-month trip was split into 3 distinct parts (travel, volunteer, travel), and now that we were on the home straight, I definitely felt much more comfortable. I’m not sure if it’s because everything was so new to me in the beginning; or if the hustle and bustle of Pune city life was too much; or because I suddenly found myself living and working with a whole crowd of volunteers I’d never met before (or maybe all of the above?), but now that we were back on the road I almost instinctively found the flow of India and was able to relax.

We stayed in a large family-run hotel, Hotel Dasaprakash, but always ate out in a different cafe or restaurant to get another view of the city. Our favourite was this little place over-looking Ghandi Square where we had our first poppadoms (locally called ‘papads’) since arriving in India! I think this was the rooftop restaurant of RRR Hotel:

Restaurant overlooking Ghandi Square

Restaurant overlooking Ghandi Square. Dunc still sporting his 'tache from Movember!

Ganhdi looks over his Square

Ganhdi looks over his Square

Mysore itself is a really great city, with a good mix of tourist spots, traditional culture, and modern amenities. The market place within the walls of the city centre is a hidden treasure. It’s perfectly visible on a map, but takes a bit of detective and orienteering skills to find the hole-in-the-wall that lets you in. The market is a packed full of vegetable stalls, bags and bags of spices, perfume shops, jewellers and antiques stores. The craft store pictured below is a family-run business that’s been standing for over 100 years, so of course we had to pick up a few gifts from the kind owner who told us all about it’s history.

The nearby Mysore Palace is well worth a visit, if only for the free audio tour for foreign visitors! Tourists never get freebies in India! 🙂 The Palace is huge, with beautifully restored paintings and furniture inside and iron tiger statues outside. We also discovered that one of the architects was actually from Glasgow!

Mysore Palace

Mysore Palace

Perfume store in the market

Perfume store in the market

Craft shop in the market

Craft shop in the market