Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vacation time - Shimla (part 1)

Our first holiday for a year - and what a year it has been!! I think we are all tired and needing to refuel, regenerate and recharge.

School is out and we are off. Everyone from Indus is off - most back "home " for the summer - even those who no longer really know where it is!! The boys packed their own backpacks - Wills seemed to feel it necessary to bring his U6 AVYSL soccer trophy and a hot wheels car starting platform which had to be investigated thoroughly by security in both Bangalore and Delhi.
We catch the late flight into Delhi, luggage checked through to Shimla but we spend the night in a hotel close to the airport, fall on our beds, and then back to the airport for the 9.45, no 11.30, no 12.00, no 12.30, one and only daily flight into Shimla.

I knew Shimla airport was going to be small but......I was watching the terrain change out of the plane window, more mountainous, buildings more Chinese looking, thinking we were getting close to the ground but yet no sign of an airport when bumpity bump we landed.  Talk about infinity swimming pools, this was an infinity runway!!! Our car, specifically ordered from the hotel, failed to appear, and after numerous phone calls to the hotel, we decided to get a local taxi, so us and our 4 cases squeezed into smallest of vehicles . The luggage filled the boot and the front passenger seat so the four of us were poured into the back seat, Wills on my knee - no seat belts or a/c as we twisted and turned along the hilly road to Shimla.

Turned out the experience was worth it as the taxi was paid for by the hotel and we were upgraded to the best room on the floor, stunning views from the balcony, a bottle of wine (not to be underrated as there is no such thing as 2 buck chuck in India - more like 10 buck chuck!!) And a chocolate cake for the kids!!

To describe Shimla where do I start - well by looking out of the hotel window!
We were In the middle of the endless green mountains. In fact the sheer scale of the beauty of the place was overwhelming.

Any tiny plot of flat land is a premium and the only way to build is up. Most of the buildings are either flat against the rocky hill sides or on the edge of a precipice!

Apparently the buildings are all on strong foundations and don't tumble off the mountainside, but looking at how close these shops are to a sheer drop down made me a little nervous!
This ironing guy found himself a bit of prime real estate, a flatish piece of rock on a retaining wall at the side of the road. 
The buildings went up and up in a sort of ad hoc fashion - when someone needed somewhere to live it looked as if they just build upwards on someone else's property!

We were here for a week, with plenty of time to explore........read on!!

Oh and by the way - if when we get back to the US I invite you to see my India pics, unless you are extremely, desperately bored or have horrific insomnia say NO, NO, NO, don't be swayed, turn and run! - there are far too many of them already. I have been through my Shimla pics twice, deleting with abandon, and still have over four hundred!

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