We finally managed to plan and go for a trip to Manali after pondering and some more pondering to utilize a three day long weekend. Betu's demands of wanting to see snow actually made it easier for us to decide what place to go. Manali was the closest destination where we could see some snow. So off we went there along with another family. Their son and Anirudh have been daycare buddies since the past 3 years and now thanks to the kids we parents are quite pally too.
Jan 23, 2009
We took a train to Chandigarh and stayed over at my sister-in-laws's place overnight. She had called up a day before to ask what we would liek to eat. First she asked Anirudh and he said "Chhole-Bhature". Then he asked hubby and he said "Pav-Bhaji". So when we reached there she had made both!! :D And she had also prepared yummy gajar halwa. It was so delicious that I had to literally hold myself for not taking more after gorging on 2 huge helpings. We finally forced ourselves to go to bed at 12:30 am since we had to get up at 4:30 am.
Jan 24, 2009:
We managed to wake up by 4:30 and and Started from Chandigarh at 6:00 AM in a hired Innova for Manali. We stopped over a few times for nature calls and chai-calls and snacked on the the stuff that we were carrying with us. We were dilly-dallying whether to go to Manikaran as we were not sure how much time will it take for us to reach Manali. Once we figured we could comfortably reach Manali by 6:30 PM after stopping by at Manikaran we decided to go there.
Manikaran is famous for hot water springs and cold water flowing together. I've already written about the Manikaran visit, thanks to mobile blogging, in an earlier post so you can read the details there.
We reached our place of stay at Manali, Sterling Resorts, by 6:15 PM. The resort was quite nice and peaceful. After we checked into our rooms, the other family came over to our place for chit chatting along with rounds of chai and snacks while Anirudh and Prithvi, his daycare friend, played on. We had a kitchen in our room so hubby got some Maggi, tea laves, sugar and milk and we prepared the tea in the room itself.
Around 9 PM we went for our dinner at the restaurant and thoroughly enjoyed the food. The 'garma garam' tandoori roti's seemed so heavenly. Finally around 10:30 PM we retired to our respective rooms.
Jan 25, 2009:
We woke up at 8:00 AM. When I opened the curtains beautiful sight of snow clad mountains greeted us. We all went 'WOW' at the sight in front of us. After enjoying the beautiful view I made some 'adrak ki chai' and had it snuggled in rajai. And then we got ready for sight seeing. We started at 10:00 AM to go to Solang Valley. We rented some snow gear (body suits, gloves and gum boots for Rs 100/set) for all of us. On reaching solang, we did some snow sports such as snow-slide and zorbing. In snow slide, we would climb up till some part of the mountain and then those fellows would make us sit in the inflated tyre tube and push us down. Me and Anirudh did that and it was really thrilling. I actually closed my eyes the moment we were sliding down. Anirudh insisted on doing it again and I didn't say no to him. And the second time I managed to keep my eyes open and it was all the more thrilling. Anirudh wanted to go again and again but the each ride costed Rs. 100 and so we had to say no. Then me and Anirudh went for Zorbing (thanks to Mampi for telling me the correct term). Its a big inflated ball with two layers of walls. We slipped inside it, they strapped us inside and then rolled the ball down on the mountain slope. Me and Betu were continuously shouting 'yippee'. Betu wanted to go for it once more after we were done but I was not sure I could manage another round of it :D.
Then we went for a horse ride up the mountain while Prabha, Prithvi's mother, stayed back as she wasn't comfortable riding horses. We saw so much snow there and Betu -Prithvi had a gala time walking on the snow. But soon with their feet getting cold, they both started to cry. We saw a group of guys with a fire lit inside a tin canister. Those guys held both the kids in their laps and stretched the feet of the kids over the canister to make them warm. And I hung the socks at the rim of the canister. After 10-15 mins their feet and the socks both were warm and both of them were smiling again. And at this point Betu did a complete 360 degree turn and said "main aapko bol raha tha mujhe snow nahi dekhni. Snow bahut thandi hoti hai!" And I just rolled my eyes thinking that because of him we made this trip and now he is blaming us. Aajkal ke bachhe..baba re baba.
On the way back it started to rain a bit and was getting really cold. Thanks to the rented gear we were feeling warm. So off we carried on with our ride down the mountain and from there to our resort. But we got stuck in the jam close to 2.5 hours. Luckily we had snacks in the car because with just breakfast and no lunch, our tummies were growling. We finally reached our rooms around 5 PM.
After freshening up, we made maggi in our room and after than some tea. It was the yummiest Maggi I had ever eaten :D
After than we went to the activity center where all the people were gathered. A localite was acting as the host and we played some really interesting games there. In the end he sang some songs and he had such a beautiful voice. He could easily put all these Himesh reshamiya types and the younger breed of singers to shame. And after that proceeded to have dinner and then to bed. All of us promptly dozed off thanks to the tiring journey.
Jan 26, 2009:
We had planned to start by 7:00 AM. But we didn't wake up until 6:30 AM and were scrambling to pack things and get ready. Betu didn't want to get out of the bed at all. He said "Mujhe yahan achha lagta hai. Mujhe is new ghar mein hi rahna hai. Mujhe dilli nahi jana." :D But somehow managed to drag him out and we were on the road by 7:20 AM. Stopped by at a "Raja" hotel for breakfast at 11:30 AM and had yummy gobhi and aloo tandoori paranthas with fresh curd. We reached Chandigarh by 3:30 PM. Had yummy daal-rice at sister-in-laws place and were off again by 5:30 PM to catch our train back to Delhi.
And thus came the end to our short and quick holiday trip.