Darjeeling by the Cup

For Halloween, I scoured Delhi to find carve-able pumpkins for me and my roommate. Our first stop in Darjeeling was a visit to the Happy Valley tea estate. This was the unbelievable view from our rooftop. After a long first day of wandering, we sat and ate Tibetan bread and watched the sun set. The next morning we were brought to Tiger Hill where we watched the sun rise! Maybe more beautiful than the actual sun was the light reflecting off the mountains. On our lengthy walk back to Darjeeling from Tiger Hill, we stopped by this circle of Tibetan flags. It was also so cold that there was still frost on the ground! The views from the hike were even more impressive than the sunrise. Length of actual hike: 9 km. Felt like: 45 km. On our last night, we took the Toy Train ride from Darjeeling to Ghoom Station and back.

Our trip to Darjeeling before finals week consisted of a lot of wandering, a lot of shopping, a lot of street food, and a LOT of tea. I didn’t expect to get cold (I am a hearty Minnesotan after all!) but up in those hills, at night, it can get surprisingly frosty. At least the mountain air was a relief from Delhi’s smog, which has been even worse in the past few weeks from all the Diwali fireworks.

Now that my work is officially over, it feels strange to be in India without everyone at IES. I have another month in this country, and I’m trying to soak it in as much as I can. But in many ways I know I won’t even be aware of my feelings about it until I get home.