So we have left the lovely and peaceful Leh and arrived in the not so peaceful city of Srinagar. Our jeep journey over was when the blessing of iPods came into full demonstration and despite our driver thinking he was Collin McCrae we arrived in one piece, albeit at 4am as opposed to the 9am we were expecting. We’ll be looking forward to taking trains soon!
With no where booked to stay, we battled away the touts and luckily got into the guest house we wanted just before 5am, due to the owner’s neighbour getting up for morning prayer, which was bellowing out across the city.
Srinagar is the complete opposite of Leh and when we went exploring in the afternoon we fekt slightly overwhelmed and a bit lost. We were asking directions off of a tuk tuk driver for the way to a houseboat when a guy (Rafik) on a moped pulled over and said he knew the owner of the boat we wanted. We were skeptical at first but went back to the guys house and had tea with him as we waited for the owner to come round.
It turned out to be completely legit and we got taken out to the houseboat and agreed on it for £2 a night each, much less than we were expecting! The houseboats in the lake are the opposite of the city, with it being completely serene and peaceful, and an abundance of nature too.
Last night we went back to Rafik’s house as he was having a party to celebrate a wedding a week earlier. It was a very different experience to large meals in England with genders divided and tea and cake as a starter!! We felt spoilt though as we were treated to a full course Kashmiri meal, which is very different to the rest of India as it is not vegetarian and is very rich.
Today we have walked near 20km around the lake seeing mosques and shrines as well as the pleasure gardens – These were British styled 12 tier garden which were very tranquil if not feeling at all Indian!
We saw authentic India on our walk back though when we took a path across the lake. Around this path small villages had been built that appeared to rely on subsistence farming and I doubt have changed much in the past few decades. We attracted so many hellos and conversations as we went along, I didn’t realise our blog would shoot us to such fame so quickly!
We are about to head out for our first night on the houseboat then tomorrow we’re up at 5am to go experience the floating market! Hoping to pick up fresh pineapple for breakfast.