Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A day in Shimla

We’ve been going to Chandigarh since 7 years now. Every year we made plans to visit the Queen of the hills but it was never to be. This year, however, we found a perfect opportunity and we grabbed onto it!

We booked our stay just a day in advance – which is rare considering the big planner that I am. I had no idea about the region and so I thought we will chill, walk the famous Mall Road and relax at some trendy restaurants. Well, we did exactly that during our short stay.

The trip from Panchkula (a town close to Chandigarh) took us 4 hours with breaks. The roads were quite neat and we didn’t feel any nausea or discomfort. It had been a few years since I had been to a hill station in India, so I was quite wary of the drive. Himachal roads did not disappoint.

We booked ourselves in Hotel Marina. It was at one end of the Mall road making it accessible by car which is not the case with all hotels in such a central location. It was also perfect for me for I could see tall pine trees from my balcony. On the other side, the hotel had easy access to the Mall road where, apparently, all the action was. The location was spot on and the hotel was brand new - we just loved our stay there.

I am a nature lover. I can sit between trees for hours and not feel bored. My favorite moments from the trip were actually sitting in my balcony and hearing the trees hustle. We did not hike anywhere because the trip was extremely short, so this was my only chance. I slept late, I woke up early, and I had all my cuppas in the cutest balcony of this hotel.

Clicks of an idle mind!

Sunset from the balcony.
We walked to the mall in the evening. There were quite a few uphill stretches which I managed well with breaks. We walked to what is called the Ridge (flat elevated area with a church and a market) and saw Shimla all lit up at night.

Shimla is indeed densely populated.

The weather was beautiful and we had Momos at Krishna Bakery and piping hot Gulab Jamuns at the famous Baljee. On our way back, we sat at a highly rated trendy open-air restaurant called Cafe Shimla Times. It lived upto its name for being a space with a great ambiance but lacked in gourmet food.

The next morning we checked-out from the hotel and walked across the Mall road to the Ridge again. Now it was sunny and I didn’t understand the point of this tough hike! I sulked and frowned but at last the sun pitied on us and hid itself in the clouds. We felt better and had those best-I've-ever-had Gulab Jamuns again!

The Ridge

I find all trees beautiful!

We had food at Giani dhaba on our way back and it was quite yummy. This was followed by famous and delicious malai kulfi at Ishar Sweets in Kalka. The whole trip was 'foodful' and a great escape from the unusual April heat. I am sure we will be visiting the hills again and discovering more than the Mall the next time!

Balancing Act on a Wednesday

I am lucky to be friends with women who have now become big corporate honchos and have earned a name for themselves. They are my besties from school and we keep in touch on a regular basis. Our chat this morning was as follows:

P: The first GOT episode was disappointing
R: *blah blah blah* reviewing the episode.
Y: I don’t follow GOT. *runs off to be the awesome wife, mother and daughter-in-law that she is.*
Me: I’ll watch it over the weekend. 
R: I want to sleep but have to file a story. *she’s a Senior Correspondent for Economic Times. And single.*
P: I want to chill too but have to file a plan. *she’s a Senior PR Manager for a big tech company and a new mum.*
Me: I can sleep.
Me: I can chill.
R: Do that on our behalf.
Me: I slept for 2 hours in the morning. Will nap if need be.
P: I am up since 5 a.m.
R: Me too!
P:  I can't chill and can absolutely not sleep!
Me: Aww.
Me: You’ll be successful with meaningful lives.
P: Yeah right. I can't wait to get fired.
Me: I’ll sleep and create that balance this world needs!
R: Lol
P: Hahaha

*And we sign off with our daily dose of inspiration!*