Guest Post: When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left!

 

About Shalzmojo

An interior designer by profession, writing is a passion which coupled with travel love blossomed into this blog where I love to just “do my thing”! Be it recipes, food events, travel jaunts, fiction dreaming or even meditative musings; all of it’s taken up quite passionately on

This post is part of the December bloghop #mymojo with Shalzmojo. Here’s my cross post on her blog, about some of the interesting things to do in Bhutan.

 

Hello readers. I am happy to be here on Seema’s blog and bring to you one of my unexpected travel adventures. I hope you enjoy reading it.

I am an avid traveler and my trips are evil-eyed by many of my friends and family. This is because I travel with the sole purpose of enjoyment, without considering itineraries. I seldom get bogged down by unexpected changes in travel plans and forge ahead where few would give up.

A Quest to See Snowfall in Kashmir

I had traveled to Kashmir in 2017 January as I desperately wanted to see snowfall. This is something that has eluded me on my past travels and this time I made sure Google weather updates were tracked diligently.

On the day of my flight, the weather in Delhi, as well as Srinagar, was bad and after a 6-hour wait at the airport, we were turned away. Undeterred, I took the option of flying the next day. Over the next two weeks, as I enjoyed the snowy landscapes, the weather continues to play truant for the flights. I usually stay with my school bestie Y and she took me all over town to enjoy the snow.

As I left the airport for my return, the airlines called to say that the flight has been canceled and next flight out would be at least two days ahead. I came back home and asked Y if she wanted to visit Gulmarg with me. She looked at me like I had lost it. You see this was the year that after 40 years; it had snowed so massively at Gulmarg. It was a skier’s paradise at the moment and the crowds there were insane. Not to mention the rates for taxis and hotels.

Well, I wanted to see snowfall and off I went as I now had 3 days more to kill on this trip. And was I glad that I did do that.

Gulmarg is 56 kms from Srinagar and the entire route was a snowy white landscape. I was gazing out at the snow with undisguised elation, much to the amusement of my cab driver who is obviously a local.

An Adventurous Ride To Gulmarg

We had to embark at Tungmarg which is the entry point of Gulmarg and from there I had to ride in a vehicle which has chains on the tyres to avoid the car from slipping in the heavy snow and ice.

I can’t tell you what an adventure this to and fro ride for me was.

We had to traverse the steep narrow road up to Gulmarg. Both sides of this road have banks of pine trees which were now buried under a lot of snow. The snow had glazed the branches into picture postcard prettiness. Moreover the falling snow was being routinely cleared by a snow plough. This resulted in high piles of snow on either end of the road, making it look like we were going through a snow tunnel.

Gulmarg: A Dream World

Gulmarg was a dream world in a parallel universe. The amount of snow drifting down the skies was just unremarkable and within minutes of standing under it, I could feel my shawl getting wet. That’s when I realized I should have carried an umbrella 😉 The cottages looked like cupcakes with snow piled high up on their roof  – don’t believe me then have a look at the pic. The snow was falling so thick and fast that I have fogged out pictures.

Everywhere I looked, I saw crowds of people with skis strapped to their feet or slung on their shoulders, making their way up to the slopes.

Gulmarg was like a winter wonderland – incredibly stunning in its white beauty. Oh, I was glad that my plans were ruined and I ended up visiting. Otherwise, I would have truly missed out and possibly later rued over it.

So there you have it peeps, when one door closes, another one surely opens to the wonderland! What do you think about this? Do you like snowfall or think I am plain crazy? While you mull that over, I will leave you with this post about a cozy tea café in Srinagar – Chai Zai cafe

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the bespectacled mother
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The photographs with lots and lots of snow are quite breathtaking. You had a blessing in disguise there with the flight being cancelled and no ways to return for 3 days. You waited for 6 hours at the airport? You must have had great patience. I would have tanked in such a situation. I have seen Gulmarg in the movies of 60s. The first time I saw snow capped hills was in 1996 in Solang Valley near Manali.