After 7 hours of undisturbed, blissful sleep I woke up at half 6, chilled out and when mum got up we walked the dog around the park for a bit. It was a lovely morning, the breeze took the edge off of the humidity.
Breakfast was fantastic, I decided against the Indian option as I do love my breakfasts.. There was everything from bacon to cereal, fruits and yoghurts, pancakes, pastries to a variety of Indian dishes! I went for a bit of everything! Cereal, fruit, vanilla pancakes and I had orange juice and a coffee as well! Then I went back for 2 mini rösti and a cooked tomato! Deeeeeelicious.
The milk was completely fine, something I always worry about in Asia.. But the papaya was awful! It was so bitter and soggy..
all of the above, as much as we wanted for £1.50! Never in England would you find even a bowl of a cereal for that price.
It took ages to decide what to wear.. Ended up in a baggy vest top and loose shorts.. Big mistake on the shorts as people didn’t stop staring all day!… We left the flat at 10 and made the long journey into the city.. The sights along the way were unbelievable; both good and bad. Little children on their own, the beautiful saris that the ladies were wearing, and a combination of rubbish, poverty and run-down buildings. So many of the buildings are laced with insanely wonderful architecture.. places that should be looked after and appreciated.
So, our first stop wasThe Gateway of India!
What a place! Tens of locals just hassling you to buy their postcards, flowers or let them take pictures of you.. Very, very daunting and anyone going I suggest you take good care of your belongings and be direct and firm when saying “no” to their endless offerings! The architecture is wonderful. The little scrolls and ledges and archways are fascinating and with it being right by the water as well it was lovely! Also, the Taj hotel was stunning with it being a more colourful building!
We made a swift escape in search of sanity.. Starbucks! What a gorgeous little cafe it is! Plaques on the wall with random coffee facts, beautiful local art work, archways, table cloths with traditional patterns .. And lastly, a decent coffee! We crossed paths with a lovely old couple, they lived in England for 50 years!, and they took a picture of mum and I, let me have their Internet card.. They were so sweet!
We drove back to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.. Which used to be named the Victoria Terminus.. The inside was insanely busy and we didn’t stay inside long, although we were fascinated by how much it resembled St. Pancreas station in London! The outside is the most amazing architecture I have ever seen! I managed to get quite a few pictures despite the hundreds of people passing by the building.. A statue of Queen Victoria used to be on the front of the building but it got taken down and put in the museum.. Thankfully rescued as it was meant to be destroyed! Around the area they had loads of little stalls selling juices, shoes, newspapers.. We even came across a bull tied to a tree! The poor thing was not happy!
Our final tourist point was the house in which Mahatma Ghandi lived in when he came to Mumbai. It is a beautiful little house, on 3 floors, and it was full of literature, pictures, newspaper clippings and various timelines of Ghandi’s life and achievements through the use of photographs and model scenarios with little dolls. There is no entrance fee, but a donation box, and a small desk surrounded by books, stamps and other small trinkets related to Ghandi. I bought his autobiography for 50 rupees… Which is about 80 pence!!. That’s just unbelievable.
The house quickly filled up with rude tourists, mainly Germans and Australians which was a shame..! We had met a lovely Australian couple earlier during the day but the next we met were not as nice. It’s a very tiny house and people seemed to forget or ignore that there were many people wanting to read the individual excerpts.. So we read as much as we could and then left. What I really enjoyed was the various quotes from Ghandi which were framed around the house, and his room with the telephone which he used to use.
Dinner tonight was delicious! I had a spicy salad with cucumber yoghurt as a starter.. Followed by Jeera rice, roti and 3 separate bowls of side dishes..
•aloo baingan masala – which was potato and aubergine.. Not anything too great, I thought it was a bit bland
•Paneer kofta palak gravy – a type of Indian cheese, which it didn’t taste like cheese AT ALL! in a sauce which was bright green, but I really enjoyed that
•Chana – although I didn’t get the full name of it.. A spicy chickpea dish which was absolutely delicious. I had seconds!
We had a mini brownie for dessert but I picked at it as I’m not too keen on walnuts.
Overall, it has been a fantastic first full day in Mumbai and although it has been slightly challenging I thoroughly enjoy it here so far!