We could write lots about history but hope you enjoy hearing about our adventures!
A very early start to catch the Shatabdi Express to Chandigarh. Two wake up calls (6 am & 6.10 am!) followed by knock on door to be told we were late! Misinformation!! Mad rush, collected packed breakfast. Frantic journey to Delhi railway station. Traffic horrendous - everything we had been told! All of Delhi seemed to be at the station.
Put on a train which seemed very basic. Minutes later our panic stricken rep reappeared, hustled us on to our train. We almost visited the Punjab instead of Shimla. A huge sigh of relief as the train was more as hoped for! Offered various snacks en-route. The chai was delicious. Passed through desperate looking slums into the rural and agricultural plains.
Arrived Chandigragh, again organised chaos in car park - minor collision with a Tuk- Tuk. On the road passed a political rally to end all political rallys. Drive to Shimla incredible, along steeply climbing and winding road. Driving style - horn blowing is mandatory & overtaking on narrow unsighted bends is the norm! Stopped is Solan, The Mushroom City of India, for a light lunch (2 omelettes & coffees for £3!!).
Hit Shimla as school turned out. Clarke's Heritage Hotel very old and historic. Given suite of rooms including a huge double bed. Had taken only small cases but managed to mix up our padlocks so had to get staff member to force one open! First retail therapy expedition, just window shopping this time! After a brief rest and a much needed G&T had a delicious dinner with a weird salty lime water drink!
Cultural bit - Shimla (capital of Himachal Pradesh), the hill station and summer capital of the British Raj. Shimla is situated at an altitude of 7000 feet, so they moved here in May & June to escape the sweltering weather on the plains.
Mock Tudor houses, churches, the Gaiety Theatre, parks with bandstands and clubs were built, and the main street is called The Mall! Not to be confused with the shopping variety - as if we would!!