I awoke in Shimla to a crisp and beautiful day, with views of the sun rising from behind the mountains. The temperature here is in stark contrast to my last week in India and I’m not sure the one fleece I’ve been dragging around with me all year will be enough.
Shimla is not only hilly but much of the town is pedestrianised too, so sights of porters carrying huge objects like the one above become quite frequent here but never cease to amaze me.
Our morning walk was up a very steep and challenging hill to a hindu temple at the top with a statue of the God Hanuman. Monkeys are everywhere in northern India and here beneath the monkey God were a gaggle of them. A lovely old man in our group had his glasses swiped off his face by one and no amount of coaxing could get them back!
The town itself, a former British hill station, has a laid back vibe and is noticeably more wealthy than other places I’ve been so far. A visit to the Viceregal Lodge showed us its history and grandeur, and a magnificent sitar concert was put on for free at the Gaiety Theatre by the ministry of culture.
The main hotspot of town is the Indian Coffee House where the waiters wear grand uniforms and serve up delicious dosas for next-to-nothing. The old men of Shimla come here day after day and it’s a fascinating place to people-watch, with friendly and eccentric characters all around.