Thursday, 18 December 2014

Shimla or something similar

Here is our second blog which comprises an assortment of photos from around Shimla.  It is fair to say that we've fallen for Shimla, which is 2,500 metres above sea level and clings precariously to the Himalayan mountains.  The City is clean and charming and has taken radical steps including banning all smoking, plastic bags and cars from the centre.  Everyday you look there are fabulous views - the price you pay is the amount of climbing steep stairs and slopes - we think that it was worth it!

Not surprisingly, parking in Shimla is at a premium and local drivers are inclined to treat any no parking sign as merely 'guidance'.  There were few cars parked in this vicinity

The train to Shimla takes more than 5 hours to travel the 92 km from Kolka.  We visited the station and there are some quaint signs - Lucy knows her place!

Unfortunately, the days of steam have long gone and the service is now delivered by ugly diesel locomotives

You might need to blow up the next picture - the yellow panel has us flummoxed - Is 'Ball and Sausages Packing' some form of euphemism?

There may be snow on the ground but that doesn't stop washing and drying day....

The narrow lanes are steep and crowded - the colours and smells are amazing and pretty much anything you want is available from the bazaar - Can you spot Lucy?

We love a colourful veg shot

The porters in Shimla are a hardy bunch - we agonised over asking one man to carry both our rucksacks to the hotel for 100 rupees.  He hardly broke sweat as he toted our 35 kilos on his back barging passers by out of the way - we had to sprint to keep up with him.  Now we know why - the stuff these guys carry is phenomenal - we've seen washing machines, fridges, tvs, you name it they cart it up steep slopes and down perilous stairs dodging the slippy ice as they go

None of this stopping in all day for the delivery van - the porter loads up the order and races on ahead

Did I mention the views?

By the time we arrive in Shimla most of the snow has gone, the sun is shining and its pleasantly warm.  This ice couch is just the thing for pile sufferers!  Can you see the steam rising?

More spectacular views

There are few European tourists here although many Indian families also visit here and are fascinated by the snow.  The colourful clothes that the women wear are lovely

Hanuman the monkey god towers over Shimla

John has previous with monkey gods and given the size of this one he is on his best behaviour.  The same cannot be said of the actual monkeys who inhabit the temple - they will take anything that isn't nailed down and they are brazen - everybody borrows sticks to ward off the little beggars 

Can you see me?
More Himalayan views

The Viceregal was the home of 13 viceroys of India, the last being Lord Mountbatten who handed over ownership to the Indian government in 1947.  We're not allowed to take photographs inside but the place is steeped in history and is very much as it must have been when it was built in 1866

Two happy holiday makers

I don't know how long you're going to wait for these postcards but we've sent one to everybody!

And as usual, Lucy can't resist a man in a smart uniform

Another shot of the gravity defying city of Shimla

Finally, if we've whetted your appetite and you fancy visiting Shimla for yourself...A word of warning.  The train is the best mode of transport, the car journey is a little hairy but if you choose to fly from Delhi just take a look at Shimla Airport - it's that flat bit on top of the mountain!

That's all for now - our next blog will be from Lucknow, the scene of the famous siege in 1857.  Bye for now

John & Lucy


  1. These blogs are so interesting,and pics are great.I did spot Lucy,she is hard to miss,a good one of you on the ice couch, your bum would be all wet.Lovely
    seeing you both on Skype and having a chat.Incredible.see you soon love mum xx

  2. I love reading about your travels and seeing your pics :-) wishing you a very merry Xmas and I look forward to the next instalment!!!
    Lisa xxx

  3. Another interesting blog. Shimla looks and sounds like a great place to visit.
    Awaiting your next one!
    Merry Christmas x

  4. Shimla is beautiful place to visit during the tour. This place is easily visited from Kalka that also provide you a beautiful time spending with the toy train. You can reach on this place easily during a shortest time.