Simla a summer retreat hill station
Up in the mountains city
Rudy complexioned people
Crisp fresh cherry apples
Smoky breath because of the cold
Heaters and fire places
I had all these romantic visions of Simla - and my learning started immediately on entering Simla –Impressive! The road starts to hug the mountain side and houses appear nestled far above and below the road. The traffic was terrible - it seems like there's only one main road for vehicles in and out. I soon discovered people call it ‘Shimla’ – they indeed are all rosy pinked cheeked people here- the children look delightful with their chubby red cheeks and one is very tempted to go up close and feel those rudy cheeks of the lil children on the street
Mall road in Shimla is "maal" road and is the so-called fashion street of Shimla. Everybody hangs out here- and I mean everybody. It’s a crowded street for shoppers, sellers, tourists, locals, lovers, grandparents and all. A happy buzzing place this main street of this colonial town. Mind you all this I am witnessing from afar. I have yet to venture into the crowds and am not sure am in Simla for that. The novelty of Simla's layout still excites me - the main area, a pedestrian-only road full of shops and eateries, is about 10 floors higher than the vehicle access to the city, connected by many lifts, stairways and steep lane-ways
The place we stayed in was an Oberoi property – Cecil, looked humble from the outside but is a haven inside. All wood and classy. The interiors echo of the Raj with modern day refinement – I instantly fell in love with this gorgeous place which was to be home for the next week.
This property dates back to 1884, so there is much history and stories to soak here which I did partake in most delightfully. The other great attraction for me was the delightful indoor heated swimming pool, steam and sauna facilities, fitness center and the spa. The stay got very promising indeed.
One late evening we went for a drive around Simla and landed at the Wildflower Hotel, one of the other grand Oberoi hotels. The hotel is perched on a hill with a lovely view, the hotel itself looked a bit like a Swiss chalet. We had a brief tour of the ground floor, including the massive child-size gingerbread house, and had hot chocolate and muffins in the warm lobby.
Besides soaking in the gorgeous Himalayas from the room, we went horse riding, played in the snow and got all mucky, walked in the ‘maal’ and shopped for curios. Also went to the ‘lakaddi market’ to see some beautiful hand crafted precious things. Overall preferred to stay in and around the hotel during the day and stepped out late at night when the world was sleeping to walk the streets in quiet; absorbing the peace surrounding us. My only ‘want’ was I wish we had come to Shimla in off peak season – summer sees plane loads of tourists thronging here for the cooler climes - it's easy to see why it's a popular place for everyone - the cool, refreshing air. And for us it was the clean, car-less streets that were good for a change. But perhaps the next trip will be better planned.
Posted by Mee at 00:00