This place so reminded me of my childhood when my father used to send us to a wooden cabin in the Troodos range of Cyprus for some of the summer months. We would while away the hours picking pine cones, going for walks in the woods, riding tame horses and putting on our finest for a walk and an ice-cream in the main square.
That is what Shimla town is like. A big plateau perched on pointy hillsides with stunning views in either direction with a grand central pedestrianized walk called the Mall full of eateries and tourist shops, hotels and restaurants. Christ Church is perched on the highest plateau together with statues of Indira and the Mahatma.
Indian tourists in their finery stroll with their children, they sit on benches and eat their chaat, they slurp at their ice-creams they gaze at others, so many others around them. Children take pony rides and eat candy floss and here is a joviality that is hugely missing from the daily Delhi density.
There is a mixture of old and new. The established hotels, the Cecil and Clarkes in the centre of town, the old bakeries, the men carrying everything from gas cylinders, to sacks, to furniture strapped onto their backs. The Levis and Hilfiger stores and the modern sneakers and trainers hanging ready to go from shop fronts. My favourite of the town was the sweet shop with such enticing colours you just had to walk in and beg to be sweetened.
Clarkes Hotel in the Mall
The shops in the Mall
This bakery was established in 1876 in the Raj Heyday.
A picture of the main square in fading light
The sunset from the plateau
The enticing sweet counter