Jun 10, 2005
|We eventualy spent 4 nights/5 days in Mumbai and had a wonderful time.
Our hotel was out by the airport, so we had to take an auto rickshaw to the nearest commuter train station, then take that to the last stop in town. On the first day, we didn't get up until 3pm in the afternoon! (sound familiar Lily?!!)
We were still adjusting to the time change for the next couple of days. It was pretty hot here, even for the locals. As soon as we walked out of our A/C room, we started to melt into puddles.
The first night, we headed into town by train, and it was pretty packed. The trains have no doors, and the windows open for fresh air. There are one or two ceiling fans, but otherwise, you just have to get close enough to a window or the door to get air. As a result, folks tend to pack the doorways, making getting on and off a real challenge. People also try to get on at the station before the train has even stopped. So while you are getting ready to get off, you may get shoved back into the train. Otherwise, the commuter trains were completely fine (provided you avoid rush hour).
Mumbai is the financial capital of India and is supposedly also the most populated city in India. However, it wasn't nearly as chaotic, crowded, and busy as we thought it would be. Sure, it looked like Vancouver's rush hour even at 10:30pm in spots, but we expected more people crowding on the streets. We were surprised.
We did eventually see the sights here. We went down to the Gateway of India, a monument that was built after King George V paid a visit in 1911. It faces out to Mumbai Harbour. in 1948, the last British regiment departed India through this archway.
We also stopped in at the Taj Mahal Hotel for drinks. It was very posh.
Our initial impressions of India after a few days in Mumbai are good. As you walk down the street, there are so many things that inundate the senses. The sights, sounds, and particularly the smells, all grab a hold of you. The food thus far is inexpensive and delicious. We sampled a vegetarian thali (a few set dishes, all you can eat), tandoori prawns, crab curry, and chicken tandoori. All were excellent.
Can't wait to see what the rest of the South has in store!!!