The tracks to Shimla
The start of our summer vacation in Himachal Pradesh: Plane to Delhi, train to Chandigarh, and it was now time for a train (special one, though) to Shimla.
Off we headed from a hotel in Chandigarh to Kalka station. The auto zoomed (a bit shakily) on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway toward Kalka, often overtaken by flashy cars. We held on tight until our route turned off the highway and onto the narrower road to Kalka.
On a previous vacation, we had fallen in love with the mountains and forests of Uttarakhand. So when summer came calling again, an escape to the Himalayas was the first idea that crossed my mind. This time around, B and I voted for Himachal Pradesh, and Junior readily gave his stamp of approval.
The call of the mountains. Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India.
After much thought (grey cells in action!), research (Google at our command!
View from Fort Tiracol. Tiracol, Goa, India.
From atop a hillock, we gazed at the shimmering waters of the Arabian Sea below. To the left, the Terekhol (Tiracol) river (hidden from our view) proceeded to its rendezvous with the sea. And beyond the river, in the distance, lay a clean sandy stretch of beach. We squinted our eyes and thought we saw a couple of tourists ambling along in the sand.
The long stretch of sand is (almost) as flat as a pancake. Small waves crash in the distance and leisurely withdraw from the shore. Beige-colored crabs scurry along, visible one moment, out of sight the next. A couple of starfish lie still on the shore. Dozens of hungry plovers dig feverishly into the sand to find their meal. High up in the sky, a sea eagle flies home victoriously, with a struggling serpent held firmly in its talons.
“Live free or die,” they said out loud. To the left, to the right, in front, and behind. We had entered New Hampshire. The tall conifers, the winding roads, and the licence plates that made a clear point: “Live free or die.”
Tales of mountains and forests. Kancamagus Highway, New Hampshire, USA.
Our vacation in the New England region had brought us to the granite state, New Hampshire. The land of the White Mountains, green forests, and blue rivers and lakes.
Although the August sun blazed down intensely, we shivered when our toes met the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Ogunquit. It was perfect weather for a trip to the seaside, and we had been forewarned about the “cool” waters of the beaches in Maine.
The lights had turned on. Our camera was ready to capture the action that was beginning to unfold. The much-loved Lord Ganesha had descended into the city to celebrate his birthday.
Saving the Best for Last:
We had explored many beautiful caves at Ajanta on the first day. But Caves 1, 2, 9, and 10 — some of the most popular ones — were on our list for the second day. Yes, we had saved the best for last.