Sunday, February 26, 2006

From Panchgani ... With Love.

This weekend was great. It was a lazy one to start with on Saturday. But then we just decided to go for a nice weekend getaway.
After late afternoon lunch, Deepti and me, we set out for a weekend to Panchgani. She had been to this hotel before and had loved it. She even wanted to take me along sometime. So there we were! We booked the rooms on the phone and set off.
Infact its quite a few years that I had not travelled by the State Transport buses. But unlike its reputation, it was a nice expirience this time. Obviously, the 5:30 pm bus left the stand at 6:00 o clock ( did I say "as expected"?).
By the time we reached Panchgani, at around 8:45 in the evening, the sun had already set and it was dark except for a few street lights. Fortunately for us, Deepti knew the place and we never had to spend time scouting for it, or worse - finding somebody who can guide us. Just some 10 mins walk and we were there in our hotel. In the first glance and then forth - It is definitely a beautiful place to be.
The hotel (Prospect hotel) sits right besides the famed table land - a large hill top almost as plane as a table top.
The charm of this place lies in the isolation from the crowd and the splendid weather that it boasts of with every season of the year. Due to its proximity to Mahabaleshwar, it shares almost the same climate. The nice cool climate was a decent break from the tempreatures heating up in other parts of the state.
The hotel is all surrounded by pine wood trees growing sky high and the age old oak trees. Its definitely a treat to the eyes. The hotel itself, standing there for more than 90 years since 1912 marks a landmark on the timeline. The age old charm comes from the British styled building still maintained sparkling white. The wrought iron designs in the verandah and those hanging from the roof top gives it just the authentic feel that is needed.
Waking up in the morning was surprisingly a pleasurable expirience. (Yes, 7:00 in the morning was early for me).
We started off our day by reading the newspaper in the garden outside our room. It was all ready with the wooden chair and a center piece right in the middle of the garden where we can enjoy our coffee. The lush green surroundings added to the mood and you couldn't have anyways missed the constant chirping of the birds around. It just beautifies the ambience.
As we sat in the garden and gazed around, the only thing that we could see was lush green trees everywhere and the hotel rooms in front of us.
Not so far off, through the tall pine trees, we could see the cliff bordering the table land and after a lovely breakfast, we were off to it. It was a nice walk to the table land and back. We also visited the "Den Dine" - The restaurant in the caves. Well I dint find it that interesting though.
Coming back to the hotel, we spent our time idling around sitting in the garden, on the hammock and then on the swing. That was definitely a beautiful way to pass time.
A grand lunch followed it and then we dozed off to sleep. Woke up at 4:00 and then it was time to leave. We checked out, had some coffee and started off - back to Pune.


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