One of the best things about being on holidays is you can do what you want. You’re on free time! However, I have a tendency to cram as much in as possible. So today, awaking in the comfort of a friend’s home, we took the liberty to relax and start the day slow.
Home-made breakfast and chats with our host Priyo was a great way to ease into the day. Also enjoying the incredible views out from New Bombay over the marshes at low tide. Such a different side to Mumbai and a shame that some of the dense masses of people don’t move out here and enjoy more space.
We really did just chill for half the day. It’s half of what I do when I’m in Mumbai. Chill with friends and enjoy the Indian lifestyle. The other half is playing tourist or partying. IT was great that Matt got to experience the real side. We also got to eat more home cooking when Priyo’s mum sent over lunch. Food in the home is always best.
We eventually left and took the long Uber ride back to the island. I had booked for us to stay in Colaba. Originally we wanted to stay with Priyo the whole time but the traffic makes travel so lengthy. It would take us 1.5 hours each way and it was going to take away from our sightseeing time.
We arrived to a quaint little hotel, Treebo Garden Hotel, Colaba. Nothing to write home about but it was clean, nice service and the room was as it looked in the pictures. Always a risk when booking online through aggregating websites, but I find Expedia to be pretty reliable.
It was then time for Matt to see some of the places I love most in Mumbai. I’d made sure out hotel was a short walk from the Gateway of India and Taj Mahal hotel, two of the most iconic landmarks in Mumbai. The weather was pleasant and we could see reasonably well out over the harbour. This area is always busy with an eclectic crowd of both local and international tourists.
We took a little tour of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This is ne of the most unique and finest hotels in Mumbai. Each room is different and the décor is oexquisite. High end shops, fine dining and an ambience of luxury. We tried to go to the Sea Lounge for tea., it’s a beautiful room with a view over the harbour and gateway to India. Unfortunately, all that was on offer was a rather decadent buffet for 1950 rupees/ $40AUD per head. We weren’t hungry enough to make the most of it so we just had a look.
Before we could leave, the piano man in the Sea Lounge took a liking to Matt and his t-shirt. It’s a bear with a moustache just like his (I bought it so of course it’s excellent.) The man enquired where we were from and when we said “Australia” he insisted on playing us a song, the one Australian song he knew. Waltzing Matilda. He even got Matt to sing along! I was mighty impressed!
Off next to stroll the streets of Colaba, enjoying the British architecture that is synonyms with this part of Bombay. Rich in Heritage, it’s like stepping back in time when you look up. At street level, you will find modern stores, busy traffic and a bustling market along Colaba Causeway. I step right into my haggling ole and start to bargain with the shopkeepers- it’s a game really. I’ve got an upper hand as I’ve been here many times and know the prices I can get – I quickly settle on a pair of sunglasses and area. Agreeing on a price that I want.
Of course we had to go to Leopold Café, one of the most famous cafes in the area. A popular hangout for tourists and locals as it serves a wide range of cuisines and is open long into the night. Unfortunately, some of its fame stems from the 2010 terrorist attack in Mumbai. The bullet holes have been left without repair as a reminder of that tragic event. We enjoyed a cake and coffee and took in some of the nostalgia of the café.
After a quick rest at the hotel, we were off to dinner with some more of my lovely Bombayite friends. A business colleague of my fathers, his wife and their daughter. He was originally a colleague but after meeting in Mumbai many times over the years and even attending their son’s wedding, I now just call them friends. We went to the Willingdon Club, members only sports and recreation club. It was lovely to sit on tables in the grassed area on a very mild night. We enjoyed a light meal of excellent Indian snacks and reminisced about times before. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with my local friends and so wonderful to see places that only they can take you as residents.
A quick stop on the way home to the Koyla Rooftop Hookah lounge was a must. My friend recommended it and it was literally around the corner from our hotel. A relaxing setting and a relaxing past time.
It’s safe to say, we were pretty wrecked after our big day in the city.
If you would like to follow our journey on Instagram, please check out @Lovellyem and search the #tag #EmmaMattyIndiaSing2017.
Written on Day 4 of our 24 Day trip in India with stopover in Singapore.