Once in Shimla, we checked into Clarke's Heritage Hotel, established 1898. This gave us the best of both worlds - tradition combined with a luxurious suite of rooms.
We had arranged 3 nights here, so that gave us two full days to explore this historic town on our own, taking in sights such a the Viceregal Lodge, once the Summer home of the Viceroys of India. Shimla remained the Summer Capital of the British Indian Empire right up until 1947, but it's hey day must have been during the nineteenth century, but at the same time, not a period of British history that I am particularly proud of, with much evidence of mistreatment of people on our part. The town remains very British in feel, if a little decaying in places now.
Today, as arranged, we were collected from our hotel after checking out, and put on the Shimla to Kalka narrow gauge railway. We were instructed by the guide to disembark the train at Dharampur, a 4 hour journey, where another driver would be waiting to deliver us to our latest hotel, the Lemon Tree at Chandigarh. On arrival at the station, sure enough he was waiting on the platform and showed us to his car, another Toyota Innova, for the 1 hour drive.
The Kalka to Shimla Railway was featured recently on Channel 4's excellent documentary series "Indian Hill Railways" and is well worth a watch if you get chance.
My special thanks go to Hemant who was sat next to me throughout our train journey today and provided interesting company as well as much useful local knowledge.
We have just an overnight stay here before flying to Mumbai tomorrow.
So far so good.