I spent the morning writing yesterday's journal entry and then got distracted when I was looking up Hassan in the guide book. Hampi has some world heritage listed ruins and it sound nice without being too far out of the way - especially since I've decided not to go to Ooty. A couple hours with the guide book and the railroad planner and I had got a route to Goa via Bangalore and Hampi.
I walked to around the outside of the palace grounds to get to the south gate. Then I walked around the grounds taking photos - you're not allowed into the palace proper with a camera. I checked in my cameras and then my shoes - as usual reveling in being forced to walk barefoot. The City Palace is gorgeous - very impressive - it could definitely hold it's own against any European palace! Most of the palace (at least the parts they let people walk around in seem to have been build without outside walls - so you had large marble coulumned ballroom type spaces that look out over balconies - very cool. Unfortunately they don't let you see much of the building and when I got to the end of the open sections I was just getting interested and found myself disappointed. The highlight was definitely the stained glass domes.
Outside I collected my shoes and cameras and continued walking around the palace grounds the other way. On the far side, not too far from my hotel I found a pizza corner (Indian Pizza Hut rip off) - just what I needed! After a huge meal I took a rickshaw to the train station. I had a bit of a wild goose chase (useless, but interesting) through the bureaucracy of the railway's business office when someone directed me to the regional manager to find out about a tourist desk. Eventually I ended up in the general reservations office with everyone else. It ended up taking me over an hour, but I got my next series of tickets - and all confirmed. Tomorrow morning-ish I head to Bangalore, the next day I get on a night train to Hospet (where I can easily catch a bus to Hampi), and then two days later (the seventh) a train into Goa.
After getting my tickets I went to an internet cafe. I fixed my journal (it's been broken for the last few days), answered some email, and uploaded photos and journal entries for yesterday. Back at the hotel I called my friend Neeta who used to work with me in Seattle and is now living in India again. We've been trying to communicate since I got to India, but a few minutes into the conversation I ran out of credit on my phone card.