|Christ Church and Library, Shimla.|
Today we were up early for our taxi to the airport.
We boarded the scheduled Qatar flight to Doha en-route to Amritsar, India, our first trip of the year.
Once in India we have a private 10 day tour booked using our trusted agent elandholidays.com which includes the Golden Temple at Amritsar, Dharamshala, then a stay in Shimla, currently featured on Channel 4's Sunday evening period drama "Indian Summers" which incidentally was not filmed there, although Shimla itself does retain much of it's ambiance from the time of the British Raj. From there we take the Shimla to Kalka Railway, or "toy train" as the locals call it, to Kalka. This is a narrow gauge railway built by the British, and was again featured in a recent Channel 4 two part series featuring Guy Martin. The train journey is 4 hours in duration through some pretty magnificent country.
From Kalka, we are picked up by our driver to be taken to for a few days at Chandigarh, where we will eventually fly south to Mumbai and a full week's stay to entertain ourselves. Our flight to Mumbai marks the end of our pre-arranged tour, which includes guides, drivers, airport transfers, hotels and selected attractions.
Leaving Mumbai, we again fly south to Cochin in the State of Kerala, God's Own Country, as the locals refer to it, and having visited on three previous occasions we can only agree. The whole state is simply stunning! See for yourself at https://www.keralatourism.org/.
We are using our stay here at a luxury hotel that we know and love to regain some energy spent from what will have been a hectic time of the previous two and a half weeks, and Kerala is the best place to accomplish this with its mountain scenery, lush tea plantations, backwater canal systems and historic places of interest. We will fly back to Manchester via Doha and Heathrow from Cochin
I hope to post full details as we move along our trip, together with images and hotel details that may be of use if you happen to be planning your own visit to India, a country which we believe to be totally fascinating but sometimes maligned by our own countrymen. We just love the place and have returned annually since 2011 to meet old and new friends who are so welcoming.
Follow us on our first trip of the year over the next few weeks.