Considered to be just another crowded hill-station in India, Nainital has lost its place as a 'must-visit destination'. And yet, we decided to travel to the City of Lakes with full enthusiasm in the first week of March. It was quite cold in Delhi and I assumed Nainital would be freezing (I am not very fond of fogged mirrors) and so I packed a suitcase full of warm, suffocating sweaters, jackets, socks, caps and gloves.
Our bus left Delhi at 9:45 pm and reached Haldwani at 5:30 am sharp. With not a soul around and it being Holi, every cab driver asked us for Rs. 1500 till Nainital (It shouldn't cost more than 500). Being the stubborn bargainer that I am, we waited for the local bus for the next 45 minutes and set off on the road to Nainital for only Rs.250 (yay!). The bus like any state transport bus was rickety, smelly and full of sleepy passengers. Thankfully I was as sleepy and even the glittering glimpses of the mountains couldn't keep me awake.
When we reached Nainital, the sun still hadn't decided to rise and the sky was a beautiful hue of orange and blue. My first question the moment I set foot in Nainital was "But where's the lake?". Bewildered and cold, as we walked towards our hotel I caught sight of the magnificent lake. It's a moment I will never forget and a sense of calmness that I'll always hold on to. As we made our way to the hotel, all I wanted was the warm bed and some sleep. The hotel was great, the bed even better and I was in la la land in 30 seconds.