we were in Himachal last weekend. H was running the Shimla Ultra Marathon along with his brother and a few other friends. the wives and children tagged along as cheerleaders.
it was my first time in Himachal. i was smitten. and i am told that the queen of the hills (as Shimla is known) is not half as gorgeous as other northern parts of the state. But the sweeping valley landscapes, the super tall deodar trees and the fresh mountain air were enchanting enough for me.
true to our travel resolve to discover more home stays and avoid hotels, we chose the uber charming ballyhock cottage in Shimla for the weekend. built over a hundred years ago, this place oozed with a nineteenth century English charm. the owner, nawaz, had driven up from Chandigarh to take care of us. she was equally charming and a most gracious hostess indeed. from sumptuous breakfasts to tea time to dinner, a delicious meal was always close at hand. thank god for the steep climbs that allowed us to burn off the calories!