Apart from spending time at LCH working in the hospital, we had ample time to explore the town of Mussoorie. First, let me start by saying that when they call the town a “hill station” they weren’t kidding. Every single road is a steep hill either up or down. The concept of level ground is practically non-existent. We spent two afternoons heading down to Mall Road which is a kilometer strip of shops, restaurants, and arcades. It was a really neat experience walking down the road and seeing Nike shops right next to scooter repair shops and handmade wool garment shops. Because Mussoorie is a tourist town during the summer (for both foreigners and Indian natives) there are a ton of multi-cuisine restaurants. On mall road alone we saw a restaurant serving traditional Indian cuisine Punjabi fair, British style pubs, and even a Chinese restaurant. Naturally, we stopped at the Scottish pub and had a beer and American food.
On other days, we got to walk up the hill from the hospital and visit char dukan (Hindi for 4 way intersection). Just off the intersection is Café Ivy which is one of the coolest coffee shops I’ve ever been in in my life. With stone walls, a floor made out of wooden discs laid into cement, and a deck that overlooks Doon valley, the ambience is spectacular. And, to top it all off, they serve a pretty good cup of coffee (which is hard to come by in India)! Despite my love of tea, I’ve had my fair share of and have been craving some good coffee. After spending some of our evening time relaxing at the café, we went further up the hill to a resort named Rokeby Manor for dinner. The resort is an amazing mountainside retreat tucked into the hillside. Picture a lodge-style ski resort that you’d find in the Rocky Mountains and mix it with a traditional Southern plantation home. The inside walls were covered in books, eclectic signs, and simply had an overall feeling of warmth and welcome (except for the “monkey stick” hung on the wall). We went upstairs to the restaurant and had ourselves an amazing dinner of American style cuisine which was a welcomed treat (not that Indian food is bad, but a man can only eat so many curried vegetables). For the first time in five weeks we had chicken fingers, baked potatoes, barbecue chicken, and hamburgers (made with buffalo, not beef). Of course, no feast is complete without dessert and so we had ourselves some apple pie, chocolate lava cake, and sticky toffee pudding! After dinner one night we made our way up the road to the Spotted Dog tavern. Typically, it is a members only bar but we made friends with the service staff at Rokeby (i.e. tipped them well) and with our new inside connection we were granted access to the tavern for a wonderful evening of drinking cocktails beside the fireplace, using real Wi-Fi, and playing darts.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. After a week in Mussoorie it was time to head on to our next destination, Patti. Reluctantly, we packed our bags and hopped into the jeep for a winding ride back to Dehradun. But, before heading to Patti we were going to spend a second weekend in Rishikesh and hit up all the sights we missed the first time around.