Monday, January 23, 2012

Some thoughts on Bombay (Mumbai)

I left Mumbai on January 11 and flew to Delhi, upon landing I took a cab three hours north to Meerut to spend my last remaining 10 days with relatives.

Mumbai, or Bombay as the locals still call it, was an amazing city the requires a lengthy return visit. While I'm not a fan of big cities there was too much to like there and I feel like I barely had time to scratch the surface. The architecture is absolutely amazing in Old Bombay with it's gothic looking buildings. All the taxis and auto rickshaws were metered so I never felt like I was being ripped off. Actually, unlike Delhi, I never felt like anyone was trying to befriend my wallet. The city was clean, the streets more organized, the vast selection of dining opportunities and the walks along the ocean just made Mumbai feel comfortable. The train system here is the best I've seen with options for first class and second class, it was cheap and I never had to wait more than five minutes for a ride. The people of Mumbai were very friendly, especially those living in the slums.

My highlights were riding the train every day, sitting on a Bollywood set watching a filming take place, eating and drinking at the infamous Leapold's, walking along marine drive, hiking in the mountains and stumbling onto a very remote and small village and of course spending time with my cousin Rajiv and his family.

What would I like to do on my next visit? Spend more time in old Bombay and see more of the architecture and learn more about the history of this amazing city. Explore the outskirts of the city and the smaller villages, return to Mohammad Ali Road for the best kabobs I've ever had. I would also like to see relatives that I didn't have time to visit with on this trip, and I would like to spend time exploring the numerous art galleries and museums.

My flight from Mumbai to Delhi was pretty uneventful. I flew business class as it was only $20 more than coach. I had to leave my cousin's house before 5am and I was surprised when everyone got up to see me to the taxi, it was of course a pleasant surprise.

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