Gulmarg on a Rainy Day

It has been difficult to write about Kashmir. I barely manged to get out before the floods. What I saw on the roads left me shaken. And yet Gulmarg on a rainy day was beautiful. The water has receded and the state will now face different set of problems. One of it would be mass cancellation of vacation bookings. I have faced a somewhat similar situation in Uttarakhand, but I was going visiting after the floods. I am of the view that as soon as a place is ready to support tourism, it would be a good deed to visit it rather than canceling the trip! Now that the worst of the floods in Srinagar are behind us, I am going to write about Gulmarg without guilt. Before I do that, let me put another record straight, as a rule I am not a big fan of rains.

Gulamarg, Kashmir

Gulamar on a Rainy Day! #canon550D

I understand the necessity of the rains in the eco-system otherwise I would have tried to banish them. All they lead to is water logging and traffic jams and make my life miserable. For me rains on a normal day mean only traffic jams. I like them somewhat over the weekends though, when I don’t have to commute. I like rains after the scorching summers of Delhi/NCR. But that is it, any other time I don’t like them, on a balance I don’t like them. And in Gulmarg all we got was rains!

A Stream at Gulmarg

A Stream at Gulmarg #canon550D

After being cooped inside for a day at The Khyber, we decided to venture out in the rains. Being cooped inside The Khyber was not such a bad idea because of the spa and the heated swimming pool but none the less, it was still being cooped inside which is never too good a thing. When we got got, I agree the greens were extra green in the rains but then the sky was also extra grey which ruins all the pictures.

The Golf Course at Gulmarg

The Golf Course at Gulmarg #canon550D

It was fun trying to hold an umbrella and  click pictures. After all, neither the cell phone, nor my precious, my SLR, like water! And even though every flower was drenched with water, I am not too good with macro photography! So instead of looking beautiful, it felt if as they were mocking me!

An Empty Gulmarg

Beautiful Gulmarg #canon550D

However, there was one advantage of being out in rains, other than our group there was no one out there, we had almost the whole city to us. Otherwise, I can imagine the same scene full of people with half of them taking a selfie, sitting on that bench!

Wild Flowers at Gulmarg

Wild Flowers at Gulmarg #lumia1020

Given a choice will I take Gulmarg with rains or without rains? I would any day choose it without rains! Without the rains I could see the mountains which were just not visible otherwise. Without them I could easily take a walk. And without the excessive rains there would have been no flood.

Visa on Arrival for Hong Kong Airport

By Mridula on September 23, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020

When I saw the requirements for visa on arrival for Hong Kong, it looked easy. You needed a valid passport with two blank pages and that was pretty much it. Like everywhere else a return ticket and hotel bookings help in getting the visa. My travel agency advised me to carry 2 passport size photographs, so, I carried it. As I was traveling with two kids I was a bit apprehensive about everything. However, the kids managed to sleep in the flight by twisting and turning at impossible angles. I managed to watch my movies as usual!

Airport Train, Hong Kong

Chhavi and Vasu on the Airport Train, Hong Kong

We arrived early in the morning without any adventures! The kids were not too cranky but I was! As I started following the sings for immigration, we reached a point at which we had to board a train. This was a first for the kids. They were quite surprised and excited.

When we managed to find the visa on arrival queue after getting down from the train, it was not too bad. Maybe because of the early morning arrival, we missed long queues. I also liked the fact that the immigration staff was concerned about the speed of the queue and would direct you to the relevant counter.

Hong Kong Airport

Easy Visa on Arrival at the Hong Kong Airport

I asked the kids to behave at the Hong Kong immigration counter or we would be sent back home. At New Delhi they were all over the counter, almost trying to climb on to it. When our turn came they simply asked for the passports, they did not ask for any photographs. Once again, I had all the documents in my hand but I was not asked for anything. The man at the counter simply asked me lift up Chhavi as he could not see her. They put a small white square ticket in our passports and we were off! The best part is that Hong Kong gives free visa on arrival, there is no visa fee for tourists.

Flying out of Hong Kong

Flying out of Hong Kong

It was only while going out of Hong Kong I realized that they do not stamp the passports! Now what a lovely thing to do, that surely saved me at least one fresh page of my passport. As this was the first trip abroad for the kids, they simply have the IGI stamps!

So it was that easy to get a visa on arrival at Hong Kong Airport for me!

Screen Full of Stuff!

Screen full of stuff, that is how I describe these pictures! They are easy to take and a feast for the eyes. Also you will find them easily in our markets. So, without further delay, here is my screen full of stuff!

10. Cats, Dilli Haat

A Screen Full of Cats

A Screen Full of Cats #canon550D

If you live in Delhi/NCR and if you ever wish to go to a colorful place to take pictures, look no further than Dilli Haat. The food is great and the stalls keep changing, so you get new colorful, screen full of things to click.

9. Hydrangeas at Lancaster, UK

Hydrangeas

A Screen Full of Hydrangeas #SamsungST70

Hydrangeas grow quite commonly in the Indian Himalayas too. But there was something about these from the Lancaster University, UK that made me pause. They were growing so tightly that nothing but the flowers could be scene. Such scenarios make for the best screen full pictures!

8. Bangles from Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh

Bangles

A Screen Full of Bangles #lumia1020

Pragpur is a small place in Himachal Pradesh where I stayed at the Judge’s Court. The place has a delightful tiny little market and these bangles were on display in one of the shops.

7. Pink Eggs, Aranyaprathyat Border Market, Thailand

Pink Eggs

A Screen Full of Pink Eggs #canon550D

The pink eggs were such a delight! I spotted them at the Thailand Cambodia border market of Aranyaprathyat. They are black from inside, they taste quite good. The pink color is due to some preservation process. What a delight they were to watch!

6. Colorful Threads, Dilli Haat

Colorful Threads

A Screen Full of Colorful Threads #panasoniclumixdmc

You must have noticed how well the hawkers present their stuff. While my daughter Chhavi was getting a colorful thread weaved through her hairs, I was happy clicking the spread!

5. Floral Arrangement, Fort Kochi

Flowers

A Screen Full of Flowers #canon550D

This beautiful floral arrangement was displayed at the restaurant of the Fort House Hotel. I simply loved it. I saw a girl arranging these flowers one morning. I complimented her and she said she noticed me clicking them the previous day as well, so she knew I liked them!

4. Pretty Umbrellas, Bangkok

Thai Umbrellas

A Screen Full of Thai Umbrellas #lumia1020

Thailand is my most visited country after UK. I have been to UK 5 times and to Thailand 3 times. I enjoy visiting both the countries a lot. I spotted these beautiful umbrellas in an exhibition cum sale at Bangkok. Next time, I am going to buy one for my daughter!

3. Roses at Palio, Khao Yai, Thailand

Roses

A Screen Full of Roses #lumia1020

Alas they were artificial, yet the roses look so pretty. Would you be able to tell if I do not mention that they are artificial? One day I hope I will manage to click a bunch as big as this of natural roses.

2. Mirchi Market, Raipur, Rajasthan

Red Chillies

A Screen Full of Red Chilies #canon550D

When I visited the Chili Market at Raipur near Lakshman Sagar, I was quite impressed. Even now when I look at the photo I can almost smell the chilies. When I visited the place, it was just the start of the season and hence this small patch!

1. Apples and Oranges, Chennai

Apples and Oranges

A Screen Full of Apples and Oranges #NokiaX7

Well, we may not be able to compare apples and oranges but stacked next to each other neatly in a local shop in Chennai, they made for a beautiful picture for sure! Simple things actually make for such delightful pictures!

Lazy Sunday Photo- Red Ibis

By Mridula on September 21, 2014
in Birds, Malaysia

I was playing around with the pictures from my past trips. I stopped and started at this Red Ibis and decided, why not, let this be the Lazy Sunday Photo.

Red Ibis

Red Ibis

I clicked this picture at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. I would love to see the Red Ibis in the wild too! Have a lazy Sunday folks.

Visa on Arrival for Indians in Bhutan

By Mridula on September 20, 2014
in Bhutan, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020

Visa on arrival for Indians in Bhutan is a simple process. My experience of getting was quite smooth. As only Druk Air, the national carrier of Bhutan, flies into the country, it is quite unlike other airports in the world. There are no jet planes landing one after the other, leading to huge queues at visa counters! At Paro International Airport in Bhutan, it doesn’t get crowded as there are not too many flights that are landing at the same time! And it you were wondering, Druk means dragon in the local language.

Druk Air is the only Carrier that Flies into Bhutan!

Druk Air is the only Carrier that Flies into Bhutan!

When you are flying into Bhutan you should ask for a left hand side window seat to get the views of high mountains. While coming back it is the other way round. There is no online check-in available with Druk Air so it pays to go to the airport early if you are keen on that window seat.

The Landing at Paro, Bhutan

The Landing at Paro, Bhutan

Indians need a valid passport or a voter’s ID card to enter into Bhutan by air. I was using my passport but a journalist in our group could easily enter on his voter’s ID card. At the immigration counter they usually ask for the name of the hotel you are going to stay at. They did not ask me for the reservation proof but I had it ready if they wanted to inspect it.

Immigration at Paro Airport, Bhutan

Immigration at Paro Airport, Bhutan

As it was only our flight that had landed and there were many counters, getting the visa on arrival was a breeze. I handed my passport, the immigration officer asked for my hotel name and just as he was about to stamp my passport, I made my request with folded hands, “Please use a used page of my passport, there are very few fresh pages remaining.” I have 5 pages left in my passport which is valid for the next five years! He was kind enough to listen to me and stamp a used page. Since I became aware that my passport pages may run out before its validity, I have been requesting immigration officers at various airports, including Delhi, not to use a fresh page. Surprisingly they are quite accommodating about it!

It was that easy, in the end, to get a visa on arrival for Bhutan on my Indian passport!

PS. I was invited by Makemytrip.com to visit Bhutan

Sky Watch Friday- Pictures from My 2014 Travels

By Mridula on September 19, 2014
in Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020, Photography, Sky Watch

For the sky watch today, I am putting up ten pictures, 8 from my travels in 2014 and 2 from the backyard. You might have seen those pictures in some previous posts but I was tempted to put the eye candies in one place!

10. A Sunset in the Backyard

Sunset

A Sunset in the Backyard #canon550D

I usually reach home after the sunset, except for the peak of summer when the sun sets quite late. This evening I was lucky, the sun was yet to drop over the horizon. I clicked it from my balcony. One day I am going to see more sunsets rather than commuting through them!

9. Mandvi Beach, Kutch Gujarat

Mandvi Beach, Gujarat

Mandvi Beach, Gujarat #canon550D

I went to Kutch in January in 2014. It was a solo, last minute trip. I was so fed up with the hotel prices in Bhuj that I settled for staying at Devpur Home Stay. That was such a blessing as Krutharthsinh Jadeja ji fixed all my subsequent itinerary. It was because of his recommendation that I ended up at Mandavi and enjoyed the sunset at the beach.

8. An Evening in Hong Kong

Evening

Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong #canon550D

This year I took my niece and daughter on a trip to Hong Kong. The kiddos were quite fascinated by the Victoria Harbor. They were so engrossed that they did not notice that I was clicking pictures. I am going to take them out again but next year.

7. A Para-glider in Srinagar

A Para-glider in Srinagar, Kashmir

A Para-glider in Srinagar, Kashmir #canon550D

This was before the devastating September floods in Kashmir. I was there in June. I was getting out of Srinagar on September 7 as well, when Jhelum breached its banks. I hope J&K would recover from the disaster soon.

6. A Beautiful Sunset at Monsoon Palace, Udaipur

Sunset at Monsoon palace, Udaipur

Sunset at Monsoon palace, Udaipur #canon550D

There are some sunsets that get itched in your memory. The sunset at the Monsoon Palace in Udaipur falls in that category. It was such a beautiful evening, the sky had just the right amount of clouds so as to make the evening beautiful without overwhelming the sun!

5. Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan

Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan

Misty Mountains, Paro, Bhutan #canon550D

This was a morning shot. I usually open the curtains before I go to sleep. Around the time of sunrise I opened my eyes to see if there was something worth getting up. The mist had gobbled up the mountain range and re-drawn the shape of the mountain! It looked like someone had repainted the landscape. I went to the balcony to click a few pictures and then I went back to sleep again! That is how I approach sunrise photography!

4. The Beach at Maafushi, Maldives

The Maafushi Beach, Maldives

The Maafushi Beach, Maldives #Lumia1020

The trip to Maafushi, Maldives has been such a joy. I loved this lone coconut tree which was reclining at such an impossible angle towards the sea. I clicked many photographs but I like this one the best.

3. Batal, Spiti

An Evening at Batal, Spiti

An Evening at Batal, Spiti #canon550D

Mountains have been giving me only clouds, mists and rains since June 2013. Batal, Spiti was also going the same way till the clouds parted for a while in the evening. And that was the only time in this whole trip that they showed any mercy to me!

2. Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives

Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives

Sunset at Maafushi, Maldives #canon550D

Sunset at Maafushi was a magical time. It was a pleasure to be out on the beach and enjoy the sea. Sunsets became all the more special. I always thought Maldives would be beautiful but I never thought it would be so beautiful.

1. Construction Work in the Backyard

Construction Work in the Backyard

Construction Work in the Backyard #canon550D

Sometimes pictures happen in the backyard as well. I was trying to click the sun peeping through the construction site but it was not giving me anything worthwhile. Then decided to go for the silhouette.

I hope you enjoyed my collection of Sky Watch Friday. Do check out this fun community.

Dress Code for Women in Bhutan- In Pictures

By Mridula on September 17, 2014
in Bhutan, Canon D550, Lumia 1020, Photography

As Bhutan is our neighbor I was not too worried about the dress code for women before I went! Looking at the temperatures in July I knew I would need to wrap up. So I packed accordingly. Now that it has been some time since my visit I try to construct the dress code for women in Bhutan through pictures.

Girl in a Shop, Thimpu, Bhutan

Girl in a Shop, Thimpu, Bhutan #lumia1020

I saw a lot of women (men as well) in Bhutan wearing their traditional dress. It looked pretty, demure and classy! While walking through the souvenir shops of Thimphu, I asked this lady if I could click her picture. She agreed quite easily. The Bhutanese national dress for women is called Kira. I am not sure if this is Kira or a variation of it, but it looks so pretty.

Traditional and Modern, Women in Paro, Bhutan

Traditional and Modern, Women in Paro, Bhutan #Lumia1020

It is quite common to see women in modern attire as well. Jeans and capris were quite common, some would wear shorts too. But in the same picture, in the left hand corner you can see women in their traditional attire as well!

Girls at National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan

Girls at National Memorial Chorten, Thimphu, Bhutan #Canon550D

The younger generation usually dresses in a trendy way, like anywhere else in the world! I met the girls at the Buddha Point at Thimphu as well. They were shooting for a tourism catalog. The weather is such that it is sensible to have a warp, you never know when you would find it cold.

Mom and Child at the Phunaka Dzong, Bhutan

Mom and Child at the Phunaka Dzong, Bhutan #Lumia1020

The was a dress code at the religious places. At the Phunaka Dzong you are not allowed to wear a sleeveless top. I was wearing one, but as I was carrying a full sleeves jacket, I just wore it over my top. What the lady in the picture is wearing is fine, even a short sleeve will do at the Dzongs. But carrying a warp or a full sleeve jacket is such a wonderful idea, it keeps the cold away and it can come in handy to meet any such dress code requirements!

Thimphu Market, Bhutan

Thimphu Market, Bhutan #Lumia1020

Here is a full picture of the traditional Bhutanese dress, Kira. For a while I was tempted to buy one for myself but I knew I would hardly ever wear it, and shopping in Bhutan is not cheap at all.

A Family in Thimphu, Bhutan

A Family in Thimphu, Bhutan #Lumia1020

In conclusion, to me western dresses looked fine, women commonly wore jeans and shirt. Sleeveless was fine as long as you were not visiting a religious place! I also feel that women do cover up a bit more than what may be the norm in the western world. I did not see too many low necks or short skirts or skimpy shorts.

PS. I was invited to visit Bhutan by Makemytrip.com. 

Hua Hin Railway Station, Thailand

By Mridula on September 16, 2014
in Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Lumia 1020, Photography, Thailand

When we got down at the Hua Hin Railway Station our guide Joey told us, “you have 15 minutes to spend here. I replied, “you give me an hour at a place where I wish to spend 15 minutes and now you are giving me 15 minutes where I would wish to spend an hour!” He said, “OK let us bargain, you can have 25 minutes!” Such is life! Here I was at a quaint and beautiful place and yet I had only 25 minutes to spend there! Hua Hin Railway Station is a major tourist attraction. It has the feel of the small stations we have on Kalka Shimla Railway Line.

 Hua Hin Railway Station, Thailand

The Charming Hua Hin Railway Station, Thailand #canon550D

The railway line to Hua Hin was built in 1920s. Around the same time King Rama VI built his summer palace in Hua Hin. It was named Klai Kang Won which means ‘far from worries’. Hua Hin is a functional railway station, you can easily catch a train to Bangkok. Or if you fancy going the other way, the trains would take you to Sungai Kolok on Thailand-Malaysia border. Unfortunately, I could catch no trains from this beautiful station. The structure on the left hand side is the Royal Waiting Room. I am not sure if the royals visit it anymore but it looks royal indeed.

Train, Hua Hin Railway Station

The Bangkok Bound Train, Hua Hin Railway Station #canon550D

Even tough I could not catch a train, I saw a train arriving on the station which I was told was Bangkok bound. Trains used to hold such a fascination in our childhood. My elder nephew wanted to be an engine driver when he was young, it is another matter that he became an engineer when he grew up! Maybe it was a small part of that childhood fascination that made me run to the front of the train so that I could click the entire train!

Hua Hin Train Station, Thailand

Kids in the Train! #lumia1020

I liked the train all the more because it was not packed, it actually looked inviting with so many empty seats, but then I had 25 minutes in all to spend at the station! I would have loved to hop in and get down at the next station, at least!

The Waiting Area, Hua Hin Railway Station

The Waiting Area, Hua Hin Railway Station #lumia1020

The waiting area was clean and once again quite empty after the train left. It exactly looked like a place where I would love to sit down with a novel and wait for the next train! I remember seeing a cafe at the station as well, but once again that 25 minute deadline was still there and I was already on its last minutes.

The Bell at the Hua Hin Station, Thailand

The Bell at the Hua Hin Station, Thailand #Canon550D

I was quite fascinated with the station bell as there was a picture of it in my hotel room. The picture in my room was quite beautiful. So I had to click it myself. Now of course my picture is no where as beautiful as the one that was there in the hotel room but still I kind of like it.

By the time I was clicking this picture I could see Joey hanging in the far horizon. I thought it to be prudent to make a move so that he would not have to come to the near horizon to drag me away from the scene!

Tranquility has an Address- Paro, Bhutan

By Mridula on September 15, 2014
in Bhutan, Canon D550, Cell phone photography, Photography

There is something about Paro that makes me calm. Maybe it is the size, it didn’t feel big. Maybe it is the number of houses which didn’t seem excessive. Maybe it is the mountains, maybe the small and charming market. But as soon as we started getting out of the airport I said to no one in particular, “now this is exactly what a doctor would order for the frayed city nerves.” After spending 3 nights at Paro, I have still not revised my opinion. It feels as if no one can strike a discordant note in Paro, Bhutan.

The Naksel Resort, Paro, Bhutan

The Naksel Resort, Paro, Bhutan #Lumia1020

We stayed at the Naksel Resort which is away from the city. But then in Paro, even the city does not feel like city. My room at Naksel was huge and it had a balcony. The nights were so silent that I would leave a small light on in my room, even though I don’t get easily scared! The only hitch in the paradise? The rooms were at a sharp incline and it was a task to walk back after dinner! But it was good in a way, that way we could digest some of the awesome dinner we would gobble everyday!

The Tiger's Nest, Paro, Bhutan

The Tiger’s Nest, Paro, Bhutan #Canon550D

The highlight of my trip was the climb to the Tiger’s Nest in Paro. If you are even mildly fit you have to attempt it. The walk is steeply uphill but the location of the monastery is amazing. It is perched on the top of a cliff almost floating up there in the clouds! I will surely like to walk this path again with my daughter one day.

The Traditional Dance at Paro, Bhutan

The Traditional Dance at Paro, Bhutan #Canon550D

The Naksel Resort organized an evening of traditional dances from Bhutan. But let me digress for a moment. At college, a colleague asked me to join the ‘Cultural Club’ as a mentor to which I asked her, “Ma’am do I look cultured to you in any way?” That is the truth about me. I miss out on all the finer aspects of dances and such. And yet it is always a pleasure to watch the traditional dances of a country even if I can understand and appreciate so little.

The Market at Paro, Bhutan

The Market at Paro, Bhutan #Canon550D

They called it a market! For me it was a small place to wander! There is more to the market than I could capture in one frame but it was a small, cozy place. But shopping in Bhutan is expensive. As it has a restriction of USD 250 per person per night on tourists from many countries (but not India), the shopping reflects this. But then who wants to shop when one can roam around and click beautiful pictures! The shops had ornately beautiful windows too!

Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan

Rinpung Dzong, Paro, Bhutan #Canon550D

As we were staying away from the city, I could never walk next to the Paro River. It is on my agenda. I also could see the Rinpung Monastery from a distance. But then I have to simply find a way to go back to Bhutan! I am completely smitten by it. I am sure if tranquility had an address it would be Paro!

PS. I was invited by Makemytrip to visit Bhutan and I so thankful that I could easily take leaves and go!

Ibis Delhi Airport- When I Stayed in a Hotel in my Own City!

By Mridula on September 14, 2014
in Cell phone photography, Delhi, Food, Hotels, Lumia 1020

This was a first, Chhavi and I stayed for a night at Ibis Delhi Airport, a newly opened hotel in my own city! We went on the Saturday and came back on Sunday. Now that I have done it, it actually made for a relaxing weekend!

Ibis Aerocity is a newly open hotel in the close proximity to the international and domestic airports in Delhi. When I presented myself at the hotel, there was a big queue for check-out at the reception. Looks like their Pay What You Want campaign is working for them. The campaign ends on September 21. Ibis is an economy hotel from the Accor Group. They have free shuttle service to both the airports.

The Room at Ibis Aerocity, Delhi

The Room at Ibis Airport, Delhi

The Room: We had a cozy, clean room with a tea and coffee maker. The room also had a large flat screen TV. The bathroom is designed to economize on space. It was clean and functional. I liked the hair and shower gel as it had a pleasing mild fragrance. As my daughter would use the milk sachets to make milk for her, we asked for more from the housekeeping staff and they always gave it to her! All over the hotel they have posted messages asking guests to help them save the environment.  They put two complimentary half liter water bottles in the room. There is a safe in the room.

Good Foos at Ibis, Aerocity, New Delhi

Good Foos at Ibis Airport, New Delhi

The Food: I was pleasantly surprised by the buffet, both for lunch and dinner at Ibis. I have actually stayed in quite a few Accor hotels- Novotel in Pune and Pullman in Putrajaya, Malaysia. I have visited Sofitel in Bangkok. I have always found their food quite good. The food at Ibis, Aerocity  was almost comparable to Novotal in Pune. I found the tomato khus khus and the curd rice quite well done. I liked immensely that they had baklava (among many other things) for dessert both at lunch and dinner. I have tried to cut down on sweet but at dinner I went ahead and had two baklava! For the breakfast I went with upma and idli and both were done well. I asked for milk for Chhavi and they gave it. I saw a mother asking for plain rice and daal for her daughter at dinner and she got it too.

At lunch Chhavi was not eating much and I was worried that she would bother me later for food. The e-commerce manager had joined us for lunch and I mentioned this. He said, “Ma’am there is a whole room service menu at your disposal! Order anything you like!” I wonder why did it never occur to me even in spite of having stayed in many hotels. They have a tea coffee dispenser at the buffet which in my opinion is a really nice touch.

The Swimming Pool at Ibis Aerocity, New Delhi

The Swimming Pool at Ibis Airport, New Delhi

The Gorgeous Swimming Pool: Ibis Aerocity has a gorgeous swimming pool. It was our major playground and it was popular with other guests too. On Saturday we spent close to two hours in the pool. I had to finally drag the kid out as she was shivering by the end. But what a gala time we had. I learnt swimming when I was in 4th standard. All through my school and college I had access to a pool. It is only now that I don’t have it, so whenever I get to use one, I go all out.

The kid is learning to swim, she is so hyper that she won’t keep her head in the water for more than a second! We started swimming together at Hong Kong and we continued at Ibis. Ibis has a separate kid’s pool but she wanted to come to the big pool where she could not even stand as the depth is 4 feet. I would take her around and gradually she got the hang of floating. In a way it was good that she could not stand, that way she was forced to do something. I would always remember Ibis fondly as this is where the kiddo started taking baby steps towards swimming!

All Wrapped Up After Swimming!

All Wrapped Up After Swimming!

After coming to the room after the two hour session, I ordered a pizza. She ate three slices, I put on a cartoon on TV and within 10 minutes she was fast asleep. Ibis makes nice thin crust pizzas. With the kid asleep at 6.00 pm I had a lot of free time at hand. I put songs on Sony Mix and read a PG Wodehouse. Oh the bliss of spending a peaceful evening at a hotel in my own city.  I woke up Chhavi at about 9.00 pm for dinner. She ate a little bit and fell asleep again in less than hour. I had more free time!

We went swimming again in the morning before breakfast. The swimming pool was the biggest highlight of our stay. After breakfast, which ends at 10.00 am, it was almost time to head back home. My daughter told me as we were walking out, “let us come back again!”

PS. I was invited to the hotel by Ibis. My daughter and I truly enjoyed our stay there.