I was determined to explore more of this beautiful hill station today and the only way to do it was to take a hired taxi which cost me Rs 1500 for a day. My first stop was the Viceroy House which was the summer palace of the British viceroy. Now it has been turned into an institute of advanced study, what a shame! I walked through the plush gardens of this old British and colonial style building clicking away and taking my customary pictures. The fee structure is Rs 40 to see the place from outside and double to see it from inside. I gave the inside a miss as they don’t let you take photographs inside the building.
Then it was a short drive away to a bird sanctuary which was a bit of a disappointment as I only got to see some peacocks and partridges there. Anyway, do take a look at the peacock photos as they have turned out pretty well.
My dear friend Yadwinder Khanna had called “Arrey you must see Preity Zinta’s school. It is my favourite spot in Shimla” His words still ringing in my ears, I decided to instruct the driver to take us to the famous St. Bede’s College, Shimla. We drove downhill for a while cutting through the hill traffic which was running amok in the middle of the afternoon. This is peak summer time and Shimla seems chock-a-block today. I arrived at the college gate and had to contend with taking photographs of the entrance gate as the guards did not allow me to go in.
Next stop was the Oberoi Hotel of Shimla which is the original Oberoi, the first hotel of the chain. I was welcomed in by a pretty hostess who happened to recognise me as a TV actor and that did my ego wonders. I walked into the fine dining area to enjoy a meal of Goan fish curry, rice and fresh lime soda. All this set me back by Rs 1900 but was worth it to dine in this property knowing very well that this was the birthplace of the famous Oberoi Hospitality Group.
But it’s a lazy day nonetheless the afternoon heat can get to you. So I decided to take the u-turn towards my lodge to watch the England vs Pakistan match, my other passion apart from travel blogging. Till then, enjoy the photographs!