Mumbai Travel Blog› entry 1 of 12 › view all entries
Despite being winter, the temperature in Mumbai was similar to the early summer weather we had just left in Australia, plus humidity. Thankfully, we stayed with A's parents in Malabar Hill which is on a pennisula and receives a lovely sea breeze. On our first morning, I was lucky enough to have a proper massage by a visiting masseuse, which was almost too relaxing for the day in town to follow! A's mum, E, took us to Indigo Deli, which is a proper deli downtown and serves good western food (burgers etc) and coffee. She wanted to ease us slowly (especially me, being my first time in India) into Indian food.
If only you could be eased slowly into Indian traffic too! There is nothing quite like it, but I later discovered Mumbai is a little different as no auto-rickshaws are allowed in the southern parts of the city.
We explored the markets on foot, and they were laid out in the typical way - with shops selling the same thing all in the same area. The flower market was particularly pretty, with men and women weaving flower garlands and convincing Anton to buy me one. Marigolds and roses were most common. E then took us to the cow shelter, which is a special place and not listed in any guidebooks.
The following day we visited Elephanta Island. This involves a 1.5 hour boat trip across the seriously murky water of the harbour - at one point there was an oil slick on the surface! I had my first veg thali on the island (thali means "plate" in Hindi and is typically a lunch dish involving rice, chapati, dal, curry, pickle, chutney etc.
The caves at Elephanta are full of Hindu sculptures, all quite impressive in size and detail although many of them are damaged or were destroyed by the Portugese when they were discovered.
Back on the mainland, we had a quick snack and lassi at Leopold's (apparently quite an institution), then caught a taxi to a medical centre to meet A's sister, T, where they would both get dental checkups. I ended up also having a checkup and clean, convinced that it was much cheaper than back home and this was a reputable dentist. I hadn't had a checkup in probably close to 2 years so it was a relatively unpleasant experience, involving pain and blood and I was told I might need a root canal and my molars sealed .
The next day we would leave for Amritsar via Delhi, and would only return to Mumbai for a mere day and a half before flying back to Sydney. It definitely warrants more time, to marvel at its old buildings, temples and mosques, the beach and all the modern stores squeezed among the mayhem.