My wife went for a 10-day vacation recently with a private tour. It was a special custom made trip for just 10 ladies who consisted of many happy Tai-Tais who are always socializing together. My wife is a new recruit in their gang and probably the youngest too.
The trip was organized for them to see the best autumn foliage on the hilly slopes of the Kashmir mountains. This year, the winter came too early and snowed heavily instead when they arrived! All the pretty flowers and coloured trees with fallen leaves were blanketed by thick white snow instead! It was an unexpected change of weather that kept them all freezing indoors instead as many mountain roads were closed. I think the gang of crazy aunties still enjoyed as many had never seen real snow falling heavily from the skies!
My wife sent me many photos everyday and I was blown away by her photography skills as some looked like National Geographic's quality. So I must share just some 36 photos for you to enjoy.
My smart wife was the only one who brought her face mask along. She is already a seasoned traveler for Winter trips and cannot go outdoors without a mask as she has chronic sinus and asthmatic issues that could be easily triggered by cold fog and dusts. Their plane landed in New Delhi and the whole city was covered by very thick polluted air! She sent me a misty photo without any buildings or people but that was New Delhi!!
The next day, they flew from New Delhi to Kashmir after some quick local sight seeing around the capital. The view of Himalayan Mountains were breathtaking and heavenly from the aeroplane.
The wintry snow just started falling around Kashmir's forests.
This lovely photo of the Kashmir University reminds me of the location shoot for "Winter Sonata" at South Korea's Nami Island.
They stayed at the Boat House on the lake in Kashmir besides other 5 star hotels around New Delhi and Agra. These unique Boat Houses are common in India's Kerala, Srinagar and Kashmir regions.
Their boat houses looked so luxurious inside complete with hanging crystal chandeliers, Kashmir carpets and well equipped bedrooms with a Butler in attendance to service them round the clock! The butler service really raised my eyebrows. It sounds like a Maharajah's Harem with many beautiful wives from Malaysia on holiday! Too bad, I cannot share their photos for privacy.
Life is very peaceful and slow moving in Kashmir. Even the boats glide so slowly that you don't see waves!
Many colourful boats are docked together like a close family.
Most ladies do not need to work at all in Kashmir, so this was a rare sight. She was selling some fresh fishes in the cold winter temperature.
My honey went to stroll along the village roads with the Tai-Tais.
Guess what is this place??
This place is a bakery!!! The customer stood there without a smile.
Life must be hard.
The ladies stormed inside the bakery to see a young man sitting on the earthen kiln that baked the Naan-styled breads. He was so stunned to see so many sharp eyed Chinese aunties looking at him. Luckily he didn't fall inside the oven and get roasted! Muahahaha
The tranquil and quiet roads in the village.
Suddenly, the owner returned and pushed her pony inside the room. Just like she "parked her car" in the porch beneath her house.
A random shot of the beautiful faces of the Kashmir folks. Most of them have the nicest facial features with beautiful eyes in the Northern India's Himalayan regions.
Random shots of the snowy slopes and river on the Western Mountains of Himalaya.
Enjoying a hot drink while watching at the flock of sheep passing by.
The shepherd taking all his sheep out for a walk, most probably for a wool trim!
The lake beside the mountain.
This was not planned in their itinerary, so they took the rides since it had snowed. The rental fees were very expensive.
An old man selling his wares.
Street peddlers selling their kebabs.
They had no end of peddlers visiting their Boat Houses to sell their souvenirs. Everything was too expensive yet my wife bought them to support their income.
Most of the time they took cozy naps inside the Boat House's Harem since the thick snow had closed many roads leading to the tourist spots. A lesson learnt, never visit Kashmir in late Autumn as the risks of snow falling is greater.
The apple trees got all the aunties crazy and excited! The apples were so tiny like duku langsat yet they took over 1000 selfie photos! Muahahahaha
The tour guide would not hesitate to keep showing them souvenir shops and local products.
They were shown many famous and finest Kashmir Carpets that were hand woven using ancient weaving machines. The prices are higher than the Himalayan Mountains!!
The jewelry and trinket boxes made from colourful laquered paper mache.
The jewelry boxes for cat lovers.
The morning's floating market on the boats.
A family man on his way home after doing his marketing.
My wife enjoyed this slow vacation which gave her ample time for self reflection.
From Kashmir, they flew back to Delhi and proceeded to see the famous Taj Mahal in Agra.
Where is the Taj Mahal?
It has sadly turned yellowish in the thick polluted air.