My friend Kristen and I woke up with no plan in mind of how we would explore Mumbai or how we would spend my last day in India. I had a couple of places that I wanted to see, but other than that I was more than happy to let the Arabian Sea winds take me where they wanted to.
Mumbai is my kind of city and I knew it before I even stepped out of my hotel. The city’s appeal to me, which I am quite certain is a turn-off for most, is the chaos. It is hot, crowded, noisy and I love it! Now, I am not saying that I could necessarily live in a place longterm that was so chaotic (besides NYC), but from time to time I thoroughly enjoy being in the midst of a place with such intense energy. Plus, it has a tropical feel to it, which only adds to its allure.
Kristen and I hailed a taxi and asked him to take us to the Gateway of India located on the waterfront. I was definitely interested in seeing the famed monument, but more importantly I wanted to see the Arabian Sea, since I have a fascination with all things water.
The Arabian Sea used to conjure up such an exotic imagine in my mind when I would hear it being talked about, however in person it sadly did not live up to that image. Nonetheless, I still got goosebumps staring out at it. While I have been traveling around the world for years now, I have never, and will never, become jaded.
Near to the Gateway of India is the infamous Hotel Taj Mahal. This prestigious and luxurious hotel is over a century old, but what it is most known for is the terrorist attack it suffered in 2008. Many people died in the bombing, yet the hotel reopened soon after to honor their lives and India’s resilience.
After some more wandering around, we decided to have lunch at Leopold’s Cafe. Normally, I stay away from tourist traps, but this place at least has a historical significance and is quite an institution in Mumbai. Across the street from the restaurant, and I am terribly sorry ladies that I have now forgotten the name, exists the most amazing boutique. I stopped in on a whim and my friend had to tear me away an hour later. When I return to Mumbai one day in the future, this will be the first place I visit.
It was then time to explore one of the most congested and colorful parts of Mumbai: the markets. This is where you get a real taste of what a city with seventeen million people is really like.
We had no set plans and were just intent to observe as much as we could.
I asked someone if they knew where I could find some similar earrings to the ones I was wearing (I had purchased them in Jaipur) and instead I was brought to the fruit market. I think of all the countries I have traveled to, I had the most “lost in translation” moments in India!
Once we had our fill of the market madness, I decided that I needed to have one last beautiful adventure before we left India. . .