about anything under the Sun!
So, continuing on from here, we got to Shimla after a 4.5 hr drive, right in time for Lunch. We checked in at the Oberoi Cecil…and were told our room wouldn’t be ready for another couple of hours. Granted we were early for a 2pm check-in, but that is so not what you want to hear when you think you are really starting your vacation and just got done with a tiring trip. Yeah, we are spoiled – 4.5 hours in a chauffeur-driven, air-conditioned Toyota Innova is indeed tiring.
Anyways, we decided to make the most of the time we had by hiking up to Mall Road, getting a feel for the town and grabbing lunch. And we quickly realized, as for checking the town out, Mall Road was it – there isn’t much else to Shimla. The weather was still kinda warm considering it was June and despite the obvious attempts by the municipality to keep the town clean (I swear to God, I haven’t seen nearly as many litter bins and Do Not Spit here notices on the walls in any other Indian town), people couldn’t care less. The place is dirty, a little too crowded and kinda boring. And food? Oh, don’t even get me started on that one. Options just don’t exist, and every restaurant in town serves authentic cuisine from every place on earth that you can imagine. You thought you’d never see a Sher-e-Punjab serving authentic South Indian fare? Think again!
Hordes of monkeys (and they are perpetually hungry, of course), lots of school/college kids (apparently Shimla is a favored destination for premier education), tons of tourists – and that was about it. The locals don’t seem a very happy bunch but I don’t blame them. I would be grumpy too if I had to trek up and down steep mountain roads all day, and only to deal with millions of annoying tourists that seem to be taking over. But really, nothing else stood out as far as the town goes – the clouds were really beautiful and seemed to be constantly floating around, and the weather patterns change fairly dramatically. Sun one minute and heavy rain the next, and then bright Sun again shortly thereafter. Heck, we even got to see some Hail and it does come down with a vengeance.
I also think the folks that reside there have a terrific sense of humor – its a pity that they don’t realize they do, or worse, maybe they don’t even intend to be funny. But funny they are! A picture is worth a thousand words, they say – so here, take a look…