After having such a torrid time in Delhi, it was time to leave. Still feeling a little rough so the prospect of actually getting on a train from Delhi to Jammu, about 14 hours, and then a bus from Jammu to Srinagar didn't even remotely appeal to me. Needless to say, a one hour flight was a great choice. Flashpacking now.
Arriving in Srinagar and finding a place to stay was very easy, the place caters to tourists well in this way as you would expect in India. However, this is where it stops. After wanting to always come to Srinagar and relax in the Kashmiri countryside, I immediately found the place wanting and that I was at a loss for anything to do and it was not quite what I expected.
The obvious thing to do is book yourself a houseboat for a couple days but with quite possibly the most unhelpful tourist information centre and no way of seeing boats without feeling pressured to taking the option or getting ripped off, finding one proved to be a right hassle.
Eventually luck prevailed and so a houseboat stay for one night was sorted. Someone just needs to do an inventory of the houseboats here so people can actually look at pictures or find out rates without wasting hours of time looking around aimlessly, wondering who to ask and where to look.
The houseboat experience was alright and being in Srinagar it is something you have to do really. No point flying all the way up here and leaving without doing it. Aside from that, the cities old town offered a few things to see, such as a fort used by the army which you can't go to and a viewpoint where cameras are not allowed. Seriously?
|Shikaras on Lake Dal|
|Lake Dal with fort in the background|
|Walking along the river|
|Day to day life|
|Playing on the lake|
|Lake at night|
|Rowing up to the local shop|
By no means am I trying to dissuade people from going, I'm just saying I hoped for a little more considering everyone I've ever met who visited the area bigged it up so much and made it sound amazing. For me, a reality check, for others, it still may be just what they hoped for.
Next stop, some trekking in the Ladakhi region of Leh.