Plus Central Asia Onward travel blog







Up to bus by 9, lv at 9:30 - another typical mtn bus ride up down around ave. 25 km/ two hours out and ran into a jam up - counted over 250 vehicles(mostly freight haulers) pass us by going the other way while we waited 45 min. Finally at1 pm our side began moving again. The difference this day was the road itself...mostly new asphalt surface & at least 1 1/2 lanes (vs usually only 1 paved). Arrived at this largest 'hill station' as they called them - actually a city/retreat area of now 160,000 -about 3:30 and proceeded on a hike up up up to the YMCA where a simple room w/ shared bath cost 410 r. dbl which did incl brkfst. View 360 degrees of treed mtns or city bldgs(mostly hotels). Along the way here the mtns were again either terraced agric.(w/ deforestation evident & incr.) or forested w/ pines & deodar cedar.

Shimla is 2100-2300 m. elev so it is cool, even in the daytime in the shade at least. When the plains & Dehli(375 km away) were hot the Raj moved his entire govt here from June thru Aug (1864 to 1939). Actually, prior to 1822 it was just a quiet mtn glade but a Scottish fellow found it and built a summer home, well, the area has never been the same since!


We walked around the town (the Mall as it is called is a long pedestrian only walkway kind of along the ridge of the mtn.) and took in the sights/sites...Mari headed out to a bird sanctuary 5 km away. I ended up spending 5 hrs at internet getting photos labelled - a tedious exercise in futility given that I have to dredge up memories of 2+ months back...I have difficulty w/ what happened yesterday, ha!

We stood in line for 45 min dealing w/ Indian men who insist that it is their right to butt in front of anyone, especially foreign women I think...needless to say Bon & Mari had a few choice words to say in THAT line. I, the wimp, just stood there and kept my mouth shut...maybe that is male bonding of a sort, I hope not! Just a lack of aggressive instincts or something, okay, I am a wimp! Anyway, we got rail tickets from Kalka to Kurukshetra but the ticket sales guy said we had to take the early, 8 am train to make our 4:40 connection from the narrow gauge to the main line train - those tickets are not reserved, you just show up at 7:30 and buy them.

Went to Mama Mia in the tiny video theater...what a fine film, really enjoyed it!

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