The temperature in the national capital was making new records when we (me and my wife-to-be) decided to cut ourselves away from the city life and feel the cool, fresh wind of hills of the north. The north was calling and we picked it with open arms. We decided our itinerary in a week and picked a weekend to relax in the hills since none of us get larger leverages from our respective workplaces. Nonetheless, the itinerary was smooth, and our focus was more on relaxation than touring. We picked Manali to be our destination - 1. Having been travelled before, it was much of a hassle free tour; 2. Touring a place you've already been to, allows a different perspective to see things.So, on a sultry and humid Thursday evening, we left toward Majnu-ka-Tila, our pickup spot. Hilly terrains are unpredictable and often rugged, and chances are that the strip that you once zoomed through at a speed of more than 70 kmph, might be broken. So, it is always advisable to book comfortable seats, preferably in a Volvo semi-sleeper bus. It might pinch your pocket a bit, but trust me, it is far better than be at the receiving end of that bumpy ride. Enroute, you can enjoy the flavours of the country at the dhabas, but try not to splurge on the food, as chances are that you'd face average yet overpriced fare. A glass of masala tea and some munchies would do the work. Higher altitudes add to motion sickness, so a larger intake might result in larger output too (see dictionary: vomit). Amazingly, the ride was swift and the exceptional driving skills of an Indian GP reject brought us to the destination an hour before the schedule. It was 6:30 in the morning, the shops were closed (and we didn't expect them to open until 10), so we decided to hike till our hotel. The hotel was on the other side of the Beas river. Since we'd already packed less (both with their own backpacks) it was an easier walk to the hotel. While crossing the Mall, we were lucky to stumble upon a small eating joint serving piping hot chai and paranthas of all kind. After digging into a couple of amazing Himachali flavours and refreshing tea, we decided to hike a little more and then proceeded toward the hotel. After checking in, we took the entire noon to relax and enjoy tea and food from our lovely terrace overlooking the Beas and the range of hills behind. The non-stop gushing sound of the water felt like a camping experience for us. As the Sun went down, we decided to enjoy the night at the Mall, doing bazaar hopping. If you're out in the market, instead of going for a traditional fare, try the local dishes. A plate of freshly caught Trout accompanied by a towering glass of beer will set the right mood. The next day, we started early towards Solang Valley - a place for adventurists and nature-lovers alike. Zorbing, horse-riding, and trekking are the attractions that you can try your hands on, but the paragliding is the main crowd puller here. It takes about 3-4 thousand rupees to enjoy the birds eye view of the green, hilly landscape for few minutes. Enthralling as it is, the absence of ground below your feet is an experience one should definitely try. There's a cable car, which takes you atop the hills in Solang. There are few snacking joints and viewpoints to enjoy the view of the surrounding hills. Far away, behind these green mountains, you can also see snow-clad mountain tops as well. After a fun-filled day at the valley, we came back to our hotel and spent the evening over drinks and long romantic conversation. On Sunday, we decided to explore the older parts of the town. And, instead of taking a cab, hiking seemed like a better idea to gel in with the local culture. The famous Hadimba Temple was our first stop, followed by the Manu Temple. While the first had an amazing natural park touch, the latter was rather a rustic place of worship for the locals. We also checked out some local cafes, which were mostly frequented by foreign nationals, as they are cheap and away from the noisy tourists. We had to catch our bus back home that evening, so we checked out of the hotel and having few hours in hand, picked to explore Van Vihar, a protected patch of forest just at the banks of the river. We had a great time connecting with nature and strolling through the crisscrossing lanes in the forest. The bus started right on time and reached Delhi on Monday morning. It was a working day, but instead of the blues we were filled with a refreshing kick, ready to take on the day. Amazingly, this becomes one of our must-recommended trips.