The best years are those that begin with a vacation! 2015 kicked off to a fantastic start for me, with a 6-day holiday along with my family. 😀 This vacation came at a much-needed time, since my husband and I had not been able to go anywhere last year. So, after months of planning, we finally departed on this dear vacation along with our immediate and extended family, comprising 4 couples and 4 kids. Mid-Jan sees the festival of Pongal/Sankranti celebrated all across South India; so we made use of the long weekend to make this trip happen.
After continuously ending up in beach destinations from 2011-2013, we had a refreshing change of scenery this time, at hill stations. We holidayed at two hill stations in the state of Himachal Pradesh (HP) in India – Dharamshala and Dalhousie. 🙂 For those of you who don’t know, Himachal Pradesh is situated in the Western Himalayas, and is a mountainous state. Hence, there is no dearth of scenic hill stations and snow-clad mountains. This state comprises of multiple tourist destinations such as Shimla, Kullu, Manali, the Spiti valley etc.
Since all three other families (except us) stay at Bangalore, we had booked our flights from Bangalore too; the plan was to fly from Bangalore to Chandigarh, and then take a roadtrip from Chandigarh to Dalhousie. Bangalore, however, chose to be extremely foggy the day we had planned to fly out; so our flight was delayed and we landed at Chandigarh only around 2:30 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Dalhousie chose to be snowy the same day, making it impossible to make that road trip that day. Since it would be past 10:00 PM by the time we reach Dalhousie, and the snow would have turned to ice, the steep roads and hairpin bends would turn treacherous.
So we smartly took a detour to Dharamshala, which is closer from Chandigarh. Dharamshala was part of our itinerary anyway, but we had planned it for after Dalhousie. Until this point, our whole plan was a mere storyboard, torturing us with excitement. I should mention that, this trip almost seemed jinxed, considering the number of times we thought it would get cancelled. We had initially booked our flights with Spicejet; but as you all know, Spicejet was bordering on the verge of going under, and our tickets got cancelled. Re-booking at that point proved to be terribly expensive, and we almost.. almost cancelled the whole plan. However, thankfully, by some Godly miracle, we were able to rebook tickets with different service providers, without too much of an additional cost, and the trip still seemed set to happen!
Even after we had reached the Bangalore airport, our flight kept getting delayed, until we started wondering whether it might be a good idea to just set up a camp somewhere and call it a holiday! 😛 But thankfully, and at long last, our flights did take us to Chandigarh, and it was not until we were on the road from Chandigarh to HP, that we actually believed that the vacation is happening! 🙂
However, once we started the ascent to Dharamshala, we realised that the whole trip was worth every single penny, and every moment of tension and planning. You’ll find out why.. in the next post! 🙂
To be continued..