I've been wanting to visit Kashmir almost my whole life and the past 2 weeks were everything I could have asked for and more.
Kashmir was perfect.
But our journey was epic-er.
1. It was a 40 hours train ride from Kolkata to Jammu. Our train got delayed by 5 hours.
2. Next day, our 9AM flight from Jammu to Srinagar got cancelled. Did I tell you they delayed the flight for 5 hours and then cancelled it? Yep. Apparently, bad runway.
3. We had to re-book our flight from Chandigarh to Srinagar. Reason: Jammu runway was closed for maintenance.
4. We took an overnight bus back to Chandigarh later that evening. Ever tried sleeping in a bumpy, jerky, overnight Indian bus that keeps getting stopped by the police? It's horrible. Do NOT be fooled by the words "Deluxe AC Sleeper Bus".
5. Our auto-driver didn't turn up the next morning. He promised he would take us to the airport and then he didn't UGH.
6. We got grilled by security at Chandigarh airport. Oh don't mind us, Sir. We're just a bunch of over-enthusiastic first-time flyers and we know shit about airport rules.
7. We scored a window seat. HELLS YEAH. So in honour of me flying for the first time in my life (101 Things in 1001 Days Goal accomplished) I made you guys a little GIF. You're welcome!
And that people is how we finally landed in Srinagar.
FUN FACT: We almost drove away with the wrong car-driver because Baba misread the name placard (even though I repeatedly protested that he read it wrong). Parents! *sigh*
It had started raining by the time we got in the car.
Yet still, the city welcomed us with its colourful houses and streets lined with autumn-hued trees. And soon enough, we were crossing a bridge over river Jhelum.
We were dropped off at Dal Lake because for the next 5 days we would be living in a shikara aka a houseboat! *internally screaming*
FUN FACT #2: I tripped and face-planted at the shikara ghat because it had totally become slippery from the rain. #ForeverEmbrassingMyself
So our boatman rowed us to our shikara, Pintail, and ohmygosh it was the most beautiful cosiest abode EVER!
Here's the thing about me though: I LOVE mountains and winter, but I hate cold (if that makes sense). So obviously, I caught a ugly cold, thanks to the super freezing Srinagar weather and the constant rain.
We spent rest of the day indoors, lounging. Me under the covers (thanks you, bed heater) and my parents socialising.
I suppose it's safe to say that our first day in Srinagar was rather uneventful.
And thus began our Kashmiri adventure...