|Octopussy's gaff innit|
When planning my travels around India in 2009, there were a few sights I could not miss off my itinerary.
The Taj Mahal, Mumbai and, of course, Udaipur - aka the place where they filmed Octopussy.
For a Bond fan it is a pretty remarkable place. The guide books are true: they really do play the film in restaurants every single night. The waiters must be furious with the flawed script and plot defects.
Of course, as soon as I arrived in Udaipur (via a sweaty and snory overnight train from Ahmedabad) I just wanted to see with my own eyes Octopussy's palace, the 'floating palace' in the middle of Lake Pichola.
But first I had to check in to my hotel. About two months earlier in a train station waiting room in Varanasi, I had read about a small hotel in Udaipur that had a special "007-themed" room. I had to book it.
Never mind, I thought, and hotfooted it to the rooftop terrace for the view of the Lake Palace.
The lake was half-dry but I got the general gist: it was effin' awesome.
That night, watching Octopussy in an adjoining rooftop restaurant, was very special. During the scenes featuring Octopussy's palace, it give me a little tingle when I glanced to the left of the knackered TV screen and there it was for real.
Over the next few days, I saw as many Bond sights as I could.
The trip to Kamal Khan's house - the Monsoon Palace - was a highlight. Some way out of town, the house itself was in the middle of being refurbished and there wasn't much to look at, and certainly no Bond-related ephemera.
The main pull was actually the views of Udaipur and surrounding area. Of course, looking up at the Monsoon Palace from the town isn't bad either - especially at sunset.
|That's the Monsoon Palace on the hill|
So to be swimming in the same pool as Sir Rog was one thing and then I realised... this pool area was where they'd filmed the Bond-Magda dinner scene.
|"He suggests a trade. The Egg... for your life"|
I captured one of these moments on film below, although it doesn't look quite the same without an auto rickshaw flying over some camels.
But in Udaipur, just like when you're watching Octopussy, you've just got to forget logic and go with it.