It seems like a lifetime since I posted last on the blog. Work kept me dancing to its tunes. Still is!
It took a trip to Mussoorie to get that tune of my head and bring me back to the world of blogging. I am a decent weekend traveler but Mussoorie for a particular never excited me. I always pictured places like Shimla , Mussoorie ,Nanital (in my head) clamoured with Honeymoon couples on ponies. Which by every yard of imagination would be a scary site to witness on a vacation . That is why I never got enthusiastic about travelling to these highly-accessible hill stations.
But the corporate life left me so desperate for a break that I even considered going to Mussoorie! Sad life you must be thinking. No. It turned out to be one of the best weekend short trips ever taken. Thanks to all the travel bloggers who shared just the right information, for me to be able to make something extraordinary out the ordinary.
I am the offbeat traveler kinds. Definitely, Mall road alone was not going to be the reason to visit Mussoorie, no matter how desperate I was for a vacation.
So I planned on seeing places around Mussoorie . Landour is the place I decided to discover and explore. I like to see the places I visit, at my own pace. My itinerary for 2 days to Mussoorie would never have looked like-Delhi-Dehradun-Mussoorie- Kempty Falls, Gun Hill, Lal Tibba, Char Dukaan, Tibetan market Temples , Mall Road, Dhanulti ,Landour , adventure sports and back home. Marathon Won!
I like to move at a snail’s pace. My itinerary looked like this-Delhi-Mussoorie (8 hours -without much traffic and stop over of half an hour at Cheetal Grand. 8 hours not because of the snail pace (come-on) but because the road was super bumpy from Roorkee for about 3 kms and it rained).
Landour, a former British cantonment is not very far off from Mussoorie. It is about 15 mins drive. At about 7000 feet driving through narrow lanes of Landour bazaar, smaller the car, more the time one saves. Landour is a quaint little place with a lot of history & interesting places to eat. You can drive to a place called Char Dukaan, which means 4 shops (literally). Here you first get to see St. Paul’s church , where Jim Corbett’s parents got married (ain’t that interesting).
If you want grab a quick bite like Maggie, sandwiches, pan cakes, momos or parathas then you have the option of eating at one of the Chaar Dukaans. I had heard a lot about Anil’s cafe & Tip-Top cafe. Tip-Top was full so I opted for Anil’s Cafe, and it was a absolute delight. Had tea, Maggie and parathas everything made to perfection. Bill Rs.150!
Now if you want to enjoy you coffee with a spectacular & stunning view of the valley, head to Cafe Ivy. Sit by the window or outside and just soak yourself in the beauty of the places. Sitting outside has a one problem, monkeys :). Now that becomes a little too close to the nature, so I chose to sit inside by the window
Because not many tourists come here, the walk from Chaar Dukaan to Sister’s Bazaar is an ideal one. It is picturesque through a thick forest ridge and a view of hillsides covered in green. On the way, you come across private cottages, beautiful wild flowers and a Church called St. Kellog’s Church ,built in 1903. The walk instantly reminds one of Ruskin Bond’s stories , who also happens to stay in Landour.
Sister’s Bazaar has just about two places to go to. Landour Bakehouse and A.Prakash & Co-a hundred year old grocery store that sells some of the best jams, peanut butter and pickles . Landour Bakehouse is a cafe with interiors done the old fashion British way. The menu comprises of cakes, brownies, toasties, coffee, croissants , crepes, muffins, fancy breads, sweet buns and more. They say the menu has been designed based on the book -Landour Cookbook curated by Ruskin Bond , which is a treasure trove of century old secret recipes from the families who came from different parts of the world and lived in Landour.
Sister’s Bazaar- Landour Bakehouse & A.Prakash&Co
Mall Road-Thanks to off-season ( I mean the Indian wedding season) , there were no Honeymoon couples on ponies . Phew! Nevertheless, it was still crowded, roads saturated with taxis and people walking aimlessly. The place has a lot of shops selling woollen clothes , Tibetan jewellery, bags ( nothing that excited me) cafes, restaurants & a few pubs . I had only one place on my mind to visit -Lovely Omelette Centre. Apparently which serves the best omelette in the country, some say in the world.That got me really curious.
It is a very small shop where the owner has a single stove on which he makes his famous omelettes. Though the menu had many variants. He is known for making some really sumptuous cheese and at times chocolate omelettes. At the time I visited he was only serving three types-Oil, butter & Veg.I opted for the butter one.Now what he made was an Indian version of omelette , eggs cooked with bread in lots of butter. The serving was big, enough for three people as a snack. The place definitely lived upto its expectation.
Cafe By The Way , is a urban cafe with bright interiors and relaxed ambiance. Had saffron tea and baked cheese omelette, both of which were excellent. It is place where one can spend time chatting with friends, playing board games savoring coffee, brownies, cakes, shakes & sandwiches. What stayed with me was the candlestick phone from the 1920’s-30s , which was functional!
A candlestick phone 🙂
If you are into cookies, cakes & brownies, on your way back to Delhi, do make it a point to stop by Ellora’s bakery in Dehradun. One of the finest bakeries that serves cakes, tarts, cookies, stickjaws toffees, freshly made jujubies and many more sweet treats. My favorites, the red velvet cake and walnut tart, none of them were overpoweringly sweet. I ended up buying chocolate butter cookies, walnut honey cookie sticks and red velvet cake for home.