Someone who doesn’t get enchanted by the stupendous yet serene beauty of the mountains has got serious problems in life, I’d say. For me, mountains, and Himalayas no less, stand for the colossal majesty of nature… awe-inspiring and tranquil at the same time. So I decided to welcome 2017 in the mountains as far away from the humdrum of city life and its cool and happening parties. Turns out my year started with a great decision! I hope it sets the tone for the year ahead. ☺
And what could be better than an Unhotel to experience an uncity new year? We chose a quaint property near Nainital, easily accessible and still having its own charming seclusion. We were a mixed group of families – adults, kids, and senior citizens that bonded over cosiness of fireplaces and vivacity of outdoor activities.
What I liked the most was the old world charm of the cottages with the Himalayas all around. As this was a laid back vacation, mornings were usually lazy. Although, some of us went on early morning treks with guides provided by the property, and came back to recount the astounding beauty they had immersed in. The place is definitely a photographer’s delight!
Not so industrious people like me went on leisure walks or treks around midday with the guide. It was relishing to see kids enjoying nature instead of being glued to their gadgets for a change.
We also took a closer look at the rural life around the place. It was interesting, especially for the kids, to see homes with farm animals . They had a lot of questions to ask the caretaker in one such house, who was a bright young woman and was happy to impart knowledge on upbringing and care of animals. When we asked permission for clicking pictures, pat came the reply, “Of course!” with a flash of a smile. She then went on to tell us proudly that she was a post graduate – now that was good to know!
The best part of the trip was the hospitality, I’d say. The staff was cheerful and friendly – happily running around to cater to our big or small requests . The food was good. We played games or chit chatted in common lounge. Some of us watched movies in movie lounge. For a solitary-at-heart person like me, the setting was very conducive to writing Snuggled in comfy bedding by the old-fashioned Indian heaters, I could go on writing. I enjoyed reading and napping in the hammocks while soaking in the mountain sun.
On New Year’s Eve, we all sat by fire, talking, laughing, raising toasts to life till it was midnight.
The very first day of 2017 started by visiting Mukteshwar temple, a 350-year-old Shiva temple . Rich in picturesque beauty, Mukteshwar has magnificent views of the Indian Himalayas including India’s second-highest peak, Nanda Devi.
Needless to say, when we entered back the city we live in the next day, everyone had a sigh on their lips. So long fresh air, so long ravishing landscapes… until we meet again!0