Let me start the post on an honest note. All the trips you plan do not necessarily go well or as you expect it to be. Gulmarg was one such experience for us. Honestly, we were quiet disappointed as we reached Gulmarg from Pahalgam as we were expecting Gulmarg to be filled with snow by the time we reach there. We planned the trip accordingly so that we could see snow and spend time playing in it. Last year, by this time Gulmarg already saw its first snowfall of the season and this year by the time we reached there, snow was nowhere in the picture. Disappointed as we couldn’t do much about nature and even the locals were worried as it was a sign of a late snowfall for them. But little did we know that we would have our best day in our entire Kashmir trip here 🙂
To read the Pahalgam travel blog post, click HERE
We stayed at The vintage, Gulmarg, again one of the best places to stay in Gulmarg. If you can afford, plan your stay in The Khyber or else The vintage is highly recommended by us(More on the review of the hotel, later). On day one we reached around 3.30PM to the hotel. After check in we took a stroll to the nearby market area. We visited the Shiv temple and what a spectacular sight of the meadows from there. I only could imagine how gorgeous it would have been with the snow or in the summers! We walked a bit sipping Khawa and enjoying the cold climate we were in. As the sun started setting, the temperatures rapidly fell down(Was nearly 3 degree Celsius in the night) We headed back to the hotel for dinner at the in-house restaurant which served delicious and spicy food. Loved the food to bits!
To read the Srinagar travel post, click HERE
The next day we headed to the Gondola ride. If you are fit enough you can walk or else hire a pony till the ticket gate(But again Bargain!). We initially didnot want to take a tourist guide as I read in a lot of reviews that it is not needed until the queues are long at the Gondola ticket counter. As the tourists were very less that day, we didnot want to opt for one. But Mr.Husband wanted to hire one so that we could see a bit more of the place and I gave in(Oh! It was the best decision we took!). I am super scared of heights and I was freaking out the moment we got in the Gondola and as it started. But our guide Sharukh Ali made sure I was all good and then we reached the phase 1 and from there we went ahead to phase 2 immediately as Sharukh wanted to take us to a trek to “Frozen Lake“. We were excited and followed him along. We took the permission of Indian Army(As we were very near to the LOC) and dressing appropriately is something to be taken care of! Unfortunately I couldnot complete the trek(I was unwell and lack of oxygen at that height didnot help either!) but Mr.Husband completed it and it was one of the most memorable experiences for him. We later came down to Phase 1 and hired a pony to the Khilanmarg and did a mini-hike to the waterfalls and witnessed some gorgeous locations on the way(All thanks to special efforts of our guide 😀 ). As the sun was about to set, we had to vacate the place(temperature issues!) and reach the base station although we didnot want one bit to leave that stunning place and views.
Walking back to our hotel sipping hot Khawa we couldnot be grateful enough for having such a beautiful day and experience all that we could which we wouldn’t have, if it was snowing 😀 So at the end we learnt that all that happens, happens for good and you just have to go with the flow. That is the beauty of unplanned or unprepared things in life, Isn’t it?! 🙂