Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Birthday Snow Trip - Delhi & Manali

Two months back I was determined that I would touch snow on my birthday in 2016. So determined that I had booked the flight tickets to (and back from) Delhi. It was a proud moment when I booked the tickets, because I wanted to do something and I could do it. More importantly I could afford it. After all that's what I earn for; Me. I do know I sound selfish, yes.

The trip was supposed to be from the 24th of February to the 28th. It was very well spaced because it was my birthday and it was a solo trip. But since I missed the flight on 24th, I went on the 25th.

Day 1 (25th Feb) - Delhi

Landed at around 10am. Broke fast at Vaango and Uber pool-ed ahead to the India Gate. Then I walked to Agrasen ki Baoli.

A(U)grasen ki Baoli
The daulat ki chaat is something I've wanted to eat since a very long time. And Delhi is probably the only place you get it. Somewhere near Chandni Chowk, the internet said. And I headed there.

Took a cycle rickshaw that seemed to surf through those tiny streets. It was an experience but it did feel terrible that a guy who was probably half my weight was pulling my entire weight, plus the rucksack. I asked for the Khemchand's daulat ki chaat stall, ate the sweet chaat delicacy it till my heart was full.

Got a parcel for the rickshaw guy too. Because just sometimes, I become too nice. Too nice for a person from this planet.

Halted at the Red Fort for a bit, spoke to my peeps and updated them about the trip.

I had booked the night's volvo to Himachal. I had a little time and a little appetite. Headed to Connaught Place because I had heard about it before. Grabbed a bite there and then I headed to the Manali volvo busses spot (Majnu ka tilla) from there.

I was told there are only ghat roads after Chandigarh. I don't get sick, but still one tends to be very aware at times like this. I tried to sleep and I did. Got a call at 12 midnight and finally it was my birthday!

Day 2 (26th Feb) - Manali

Got down at the private bus stand in Manali and headed to find a place in a hotel which seemed to be available this time of the year. But still it was pretty decent crowd. Stayed at Hotel Snow Peak. And before I forget to mention... it was goddamn cold!

It was time to touch snow(!), and a cab took me to the snow point from the hotel. It was in Gulaba and I had to wear a full length dungaree and gum boots to be able to be a little comfortable in the snow. You can rent the setup for about 300 rupees before reaching the point. A guide can also be opted for, to find your way to the snow, but that's just a stupid money making tactic.

Here are a few photos that were just too mesmerizing for someone seeing snow for the first time-

And here's where I chilled my ass off. Quite literally. 

It couldn't get any beautiful.

And then the sun said "Hi.!"

I had to take the 4pm bus back to Delhi. I was not keen on doing anything else. It was only to feel snow and I did touch and play with it till my heart said "Enough." and I was done with snow.

Took a few more photos and headed back to the hotel.

Around 4pm I was back at the private bus stand to get back to Delhi. The flight back to Bangalore was at around 1am, on the 28th. So there was no option but to get back to Delhi.

Day 3 (27th Feb) - Delhi

Reached Delhi at around 7am. Then I decided to crash at a hotel after thinking for an hour. Only because the shops open at 10am almost everywhere and it was friggin' cold outside in the morning! Paharganj had a hotel that suited my budget and I headed there. Took an auto because it felt right at that point of time.

Took my time getting warm and ready for the day, almost around 3 hours. Did some research and saved places in the map and charted out a plan for the entire day, till around 10pm.

Headed to start the day's food with some chur chur naan, because it sounded so interesting. Found a good place in Paharganj- Pardeep corner.

Akshardham was next on the list. And this time I wanted to seriously try the metro. Reached there and followed the line to drop all baggage, including the cellphone. I followed the people inside the huge temple and came out feeling so empty. Everywhere it was 'Spreading spirituality.' 'Preaching spirituality, Hinduism and festivals.'

Let me just say places like these are not my thing. I headed to Sarojini Market to change my mood. And it was time for some birthday shopping, I headed to Sarojini Market and did some amazing bargaining/shopping there.

After which I headed to dine at Moolchand parathe. Took a bus from INA/Sarojini area and walked to Moolchand paratha. Ate the famous egg paratha there, burped peacefully and headed to the Select Skywalk mall to kill some time and finally end the day.

Headed to the airport and it was like a lump was stuck in my throat. I was not missing Delhi or anything, I was just having a temperature. My nose started to run and I was very cold when I reached Bangalore.

It's been 5 days now and I feel just fine :)