The Maharaja of Mysore and I agree that Mysore is too hot in the summer. He owns another palace in Ooty, a hill station 100 km south at 2200m, where it is dry and cool. I like Ooty’s palace much better than the one in Mysore – it’s older, but a lot more cozy; everything is wood-paneled, lots of antiques, and a 45-acre garden around it. I like it so much that I got a suite there; the Maharaja owns the place but has turned it into a luxury hotel two years ago. It’s hugely expensive in rupees and a steal in euros. The Maharaja can’t join me today but a minister is here.

It’s so good to walk around Ooty’s lake in the cool dry air, smelling the pine forests and the flowers. There are absolutely no sights here besides the palace and the hill scenery, which suits me just fine.

The photo shows the palace’s modest little salon.