So, my attempts to keep these daily summaries short is failing epically. Bear with me. I just love India so much that I want to share with you every nook and cranny. I do hope that within my ramblings you pick up some good tips for travelling in India and perhaps you fall a little in love with it too. I’ll also try to do some Top 5 articles and summaries which are much easier to digest for travel tips. Ok, so on with Day 3 in India.
I had originally planned that we would go to Elephanta Island on this day. Matt loves water and you get to travel there by Ferry, providing a wonderful view back to the island of Mumbai. I realised that we actually only had a few days in Mumbai and perhaps it was best to see some more of the main things then spend half the day travelling to the island and back. Matt then googled it and said “Looks great, now I’ve seen it, so what’s next?” ha! I explained it wasn’t quite the same as going there but happy he’s adapting to the change.
We ended up going shopping. It’s one of my favourite things to do in Bombay. At home, I don’t shop unless I have to. Food, clothes and otherwise. I enjoy markets and the interactions of shopping, the experience. Mall shopping is not for me. As I was on the lookout for an outfit for a wedding, I knew India was the place to look. Also there are apparently 40-60% off sales at the moment, so yes, I am definitely going to get amongst that.
Our shopping adventures were predominantly in Kala Ghoda, a beautiful area of the city prominent for its art galleries and the wonderful British architecture. My trip was not fruitful but we got Matt some awesome cotton pants and I almost convinced him to get one of the cotton India style shirts. We also did some more market shopping.
From there, we had no plans until lunch with a friend at 1.30. So we just kept walking. Past statues, Government buildings, busy intersections and parks. My friend enquired as to where we were and with the sending of a Google maps screenshot, he was able to guide us to a meeting point. Gotta love technology. So we strolled through Churchgate, another charming part of the city where I once stayed. Good movie theatres and great local restaurants. We walked through to Marine Drive and walked along the water looking towards Malabar Hill. We arrived parched at Pizza by the Bay, the perfect spot to refresh with my favourite drink, cold coffee.
My friends Hetal and Jigna picked us up and took us off for lunch. We met in Sri Lanka at a wedding and have stayed in touch ever since. As their family heritage is from Gujurat, they offered to take us for thali at a popular place. This was a great choice as you get a sample of many dishes. So we went to Status Restaurant. Extremely busy as it’s a popular place for workers in the area. But they said actually it’s always busy. We quickly saw why. Delicious food and efficient service. The service was a little too good with them constantly trying to top up our multiple bowls of food. You can eat til you can no longer move.
After lunch it was time for a drive around Mumbai. It’s lovely learning about the city from locals. I was asking about the city like area we could see across the bay from Marine Drive, so we went there. Passing Chowpatty beach, we climbed up the road to Malabar Hill.
Once we rounded the curve of Marine Drive and reached the hill, I knew exactly where we were and we ended up driving past the Jain temple which I had planned to take Matt to that afternoon. We went to the front but as there was a Pooja going on, we weren’t allowed to enter – Totally understandable and always happy to respect the religions of others.
We then went to the look out at the hanging gardens. I’ve often stayed very near to Malabar Hill in another friends home and so I’m very familiar with the area. It was lovely to share it with Matt and my new friends. They had not been to this park for 20 years so they were happy to be tourists with us.
Matt was falling asleep in the car so it was time to end our tour and take a nap before our next engagement. Indian hospitality truly is the best in the world and we were so fortunate to be welcomed by so many of my friends here.
Our final stop for the day was dinner in the home of my lovely friends on Nepean Sea Road. IT was funny that we ended up sightseeing on Malabar Hill in the afternoon, as this is the home I always stayed in. The family is Parsi and so we got to enjoy some typical home made Parsi cuisine – you just can’t get that in a restaurant. It was lovely to chat about the developments of Mumbai and for Matt to learn more about the growth of Bombay. I won’t go into detail in this blog, but for a wonderful summary of the complex nature of real estate in Mumbai, read “Maximum City” by Suketu Mehta.
With full bellies and warm hearts, we headed back to the hotel to rest before a VERY early morning flight.
If you would like to follow our journey on Instagram, please check out @Lovellyem and search the #tag #EmmaMattyIndiaSing2017.
Written on Day 5 of our 24 Day trip in India with stopover in Singapore.