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September 17th 2018
Published: September 17th 2018
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Spending a day on trains was fascinating. The first regular train had a breakfast service of excellent logistics. The team of boys gave us chai,water, omelette, more chai, cleared up and all so efficiently. Then into the Toy Train to Shimla which the Brits had built to escape the heat of Delhi. Quite different experience. Small, plastic seats, all the luggage around you. I nearly got left behind when I got off to buy chai and had to run along to jump on!

Shimla is a great place (at 2200ft) to slow down and be more attentive. The gentle walk along The Mall where everyone walks is great for people watching. The cost to the Viceregals Lodge was interesting. It looks like Scottish being built of grey granite. The viceregal was from Scotland so obviously wanted a piece of home. It’s famous because the negotiations for Partition were held here. A young man with perfect diction and such an authoritative manner kept even the Indians quiet! I then went off to the Gaety Theatre for a quick look as it’s built to the same design as the Gaiety theatres in Leeds, Dublin and Belfast oh and the Albert Hall! Cute. The scariest moment was when I breezed into the Indian Coffee House for what I hoped would be a decent cup of coffee to be confronted by a sea of men! Luckily spotted a couple and sat with for the weakest , wateriest coffee I’d had so far. The couple were really interesting , plied me with sweets and tried to persuade me that Delhi was a wonderfulplace.

Then on to Mandi for a brief visit. It looks an interesting place but our guided walk took in a few temples and the crematorium! Some of us had arranged an Ayurveda massage so off to that. I was so shattered after I went straight to bed having had a disturbed night. The group were supposed to meet the Rajah who owned the “Palace” we were staying in but he also had an early night! He’s in a wheelchair and 94. Next day to Dharamsala a long held dream.

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