I boarded a bus in Delhi on a tuesday afternoon and, somehow, found myself in the Swiss Alps on tuesday morning. That is, at least, how it felt. I had arrived in Manali in the northwest corner of India. Snow capped peaks, evergreen trees and cool mountain air have mefeeling as if I have left India and ended up in a ski resort on the other side of the world. Manali is, apparently, a major tourist destination for Israelis. Almost every other tourist there was Israeli and I'm pretty sure everyone just assumed I was Israeli as well.
I did a day trip with a friend I met in Delhi to the nearby town of naggar. Naggar was a neat little town that is famous for being home of the Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. We went to the Roerich museum which was ok but the best part of the trip was the ride through the mountain roads on the back of a motorcycle.
From Manali I took a bus to Mcleod Ganj. I decided to take a day bus instead of the cheaper overnight option so that I could see the mountain scenery. It was nice drive and I'm glad I did it. Mcleod Ganj is home to the exiled tibetan government for which the head is the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately the Dalai Lama is currently on tour somewhere, however there are plenty of tibetan related sights tosee around town and hoards of red-robed monks. It really feels like a different country here, I think there are more tibetan refugees here than Indians. The night that I arrived here there was an outdoor rock concert of one of india biggest bands (or so they claim). It was pretty decent and kinda funny to see tibetan monks rockin out to the music.
I walked a lot around the surrounding area a fair bit to a waterfall, a lake (currently dried up), and nearby villages.
I met some guys from Kashmir in a local pub. They are currently living here selling Kashmiri Handicrafts to tourists. They invited me to their home for dinner last night for Kashmiri food and tea, it was delicious and although I half expected them to propose some sort of scam business proposition to me the proposition never came and it was a great experience.
From McLeod Ganj I took a long and windy overnight bus ride to Uttarakhand's state capital Dehradun...