As Adele would say, hello from the other side….Sorry about the delay/not sorry we’ve been having fun! Here’s an update on some of our latest escapades…
Getting to Mumbai was a mission in itself. Leaving Goa was a sad time as we were leaving the beautiful beaches behind and heading for the hustle and bustle of the big cities.
We took a daytime train as all the others were sold out and we had insisted on having an A/C carriage (later turned out this wouldn’t bother us in terms of saving money and missing all the available seats in the higher classes).
Arrived in Mumbai pretty late and in true style we dumped our stuff at our hotel and headed straight to Maccy Ds.. A convenient few doors down from us (of course we googled this beforehand and this had always been our intention). I decided to try what I imagined to be the local delicacy, a ‘Paneer Passion’, I can confirm it was interesting and would probably advise against it, but each to their own.
Our hotel was so nice and clean and we even had a separate bed each and our first bathroom with separate shower. It was nice to have some normality back in our lives! Waking up on our first morning in Mumbai we weren’t too sure what to expect as we had arrived so late the night before and had heard mixed reviews of the place. Obviously staying true to our western roots our first stop in the morning was to attend to Jess’ coffee cravings and headed straight to Starbucks.
After getting our fill of all things we know as ‘normal’ we thought we should probably immerse ourselves into some of the more cultural things that Mumbai has to offer. So enough about all the western things we did..(for now)..
We visited the Gateway to India and Taj Hotel which were just round the corner from our hotel. As the Taj Hotel is so renowned we thought it would be rude to not go in and have a little explore. We’ve managed to get ourselves into the habit of finding nice places, heading straight to the elevator and going straight to the top.. Usually worth it just for the view, or to be thrown out because you can’t afford anything they have to offer.
We were however able to enjoy a cup of perhaps the most expensive tea of my life (I don’t even like tea) on the second floor. Not the best view in the place, but all for the experience!
Visited Elephanta Caves which were a ‘short’ boat ride away, a long boat ride when you’re going about 2mph the whole way there… These were pretty cool once you got to them, avoiding the gross monkeys trying to steal your things as you climbed the steps up to the cliff top.
We also did a tour of the Dharavi slums with a guy who showed us where they filmed ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and took us into the slum itself to show us how the women there made the pottery and also the plastic recycling plant. It was an eye opener that’s for sure! Also slightly scary after he told us that they had malaria in the area.. GREAT, not taking any anti-malarias yet! He also took us into a bakery where they let us try their bread as they took it out the oven. I think it was still cooking when they put it in our hands, after tossing it from palm to palm to cool it down and not burn our skin off we were able to try it, and I can confirm their fresh bread was delicious! That doesn’t change wherever you are – city or slum!
On our way back from the slum we went passed Dhobi Ghat which is the worlds largest outdoor laundry..(thanks wiki)! We were able to overlook this from the flyover and see the vast size of it which was pretty incredible!
Went to Marine Drive to check out the Hanging Gardens which overlooked a very smoggy Mumbai and then down to Chowpatty beach. Having walked what felt like miles, which I think it actually may have been as we had taken a wrong turning, we came to the conclusion it was time to head to a mall.. HELLO High Street Phoenix, a huge bubble of delights! It even had a Sephora and MAC store, safe to say we were happy with our location for the afternoon and proceeded to spend the entire rest of our day there staying to have our dinner in one of the restaurants. We would have stayed even longer had there been a film on in the cinema..
On our last day in Mumbai we decided to send some of our purchases home (don’t get too excited mothers, they’re presents for ourselves).. This became an absolute mission and included us trawling the backstreets of Mumbai in search of a stationary shop. Finally we found one and ended up watching 3 men sew our belongings into a sack for the post office! Eventually we had our things packed away and shipped off to the UK, let’s just hope it gets there! We’ll keep you updated on the progress of that one!
Our last visit was to the museum which we managed to blag student entry which was a fraction of the price from what they originally were trying to rob us of! This was pretty cool, as museums go.. But I was quite tired at this point and began to lose interest, until we got to the national history part which had a large selection of stuffed animals, not that taxidermy is my thing, but it is pretty cool seeing all the animals (maybe a zoo next time could be a better choice!).
We managed to spend a solid 5 days in Mumbai and think I can speak for both of us saying that we absolutely fell in love with the place. Staying in the south part of the city was definitely a great choice and would advise anyone headed there to check it out!
LOTS OF LOVE J&J XO