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Onto Bombay, the city of urine smells. It smelt like this all over! Not so much rain as the other cities to wash it away! We landed at night, and had a quick trip to the Hotel, then next day, not quite realizing where we were, took a taxi into town to the Tourist Bureau, -1 1/2 hours later through congested, hot, smelly, noisy, polluting traffic we finally made it there. I must admit that after that we quickly learnt to use the local trains, which had women carriages, were very crowded, but cheap, quicker and kept your blood pressure lower! A quick trip in a motorized rickshaw at this end and we were back at the hotel at the end of each day. Not a good hotel, even though it was Holiday Inn, and we ended up eating next door each night, for the same price, but a lot better quality and service.
Our second day there, Marg and I went in by train, and she went to jump into the womens carriage, I was meant to jump into another part of the train,and then meet at a certain station. Needless to say I couldn't get on due to the crowd, we missed each other at the station, so we ended up spending the day apart in Bombay, finally meeting back at the hotel. We were better organized the next time!! Saw the Gateway of India there where the last British troops left from on Independence, did some shopping and had a pretty good look around the city, which we did mostly on foot. Quite hot and dry here with temps. around 36 degree Celsius, so walking around looking at their parks and monuments was very tiring in the heat. There was a lion park on the outskirts that we went to,bought a ticket for their safari bus, but wouldn't leave until 8 more people arrived, so we ended up by paying for all 10 tickets (total $5.00) ourselves and having an empty bus. As it was the first trip of the day, we did actually see the 5 lions that they had in the park!
Sometimes you just get caught out, as was the case in Mumbai, where we expected to spend a good couple of years, so the photos are very limited from here. It is also because we had already been in Mumbai numerous times, on holiday and pleasure and most of the photos we took of places like the Gateway of India and so on are now in storage in new Zealand. Never mind, a small selection is given here, which may show a little of what Mumbai is all about! We arrived in Mumbai after finishing in Goa and having a trip back to New Zealand.Luckily we had just spent time on our departure from India with the General Manager here, so we were fresh in his memory and picked up the position soon after! Philippe harraudeau was an excellent General Manager, as was Hans Henk, his successor, but the owners really left something to be desired! I must admit, that we were never happier leaving a property as we were in leaving the Leela! Nevertheless,Mumbai is quite an enjoyable city to live in, and we were located out at the airport. From there it used to take us over an hour to get into the city center, due to heavy construction works on fly-overs etc., but thankfully, most of that if finished now. Also opening up close by us was the ITC Sheraton, the Hyatt Regency and then later on the Intercontinental was going to be opening its doors. So the place was starting to buzz and the create activity of its own away from the city center. Mumbai itself is not actually a very pretty city, with large slums spread around, quite high pollution and plenty of traffic woes,but they do have some good history there being built up quite a bit by the British. (Shown above is Mumbais Juhu Beach) So, look out for the Post Office, University, Court houses and the numerous other buildings of note and, of course, the Gateway of India, which was built to celebrate the arrival of the Prince of Wales on a state visit to India in the early 1900s.
Not much footpath - cars are King in India