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Police car outside the Taj Hotel

It’s Dussehra weekend and since it was a public holiday on the Thursday, we decided to take the day off on Friday and travel to Mumbai.  We took the midnight flight from Bangalore and an hour and a half later, we were in India’s film capital.  I know I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again… although I complain about Bangalore a lot, it still has THE BEST weather so far.  Mumbai was muggy to say the least.

We took a prepaid taxi from the airport into South Mumbai and checked in, ready to rest for a day of sightseeing and eating.  Well, mostly eating I guess.

The first time I was in Mumbai, it was 3 years ago and I didn’t remember much from then apart from the fact that I was sick after coming back from Darjeeling.  Plus, at the time because of the terror attacks inside the Taj Hotel, we didn’t get a chance to go inside. Finally, on this trip, considering the place we were at, we got to experience high tea and for just Rs1125, we got to spoil ourselves on the most amazing food and… with AC!  Yes, we were desperate for some much needed AC.

This city is so full of contrasts that the only way to understand it is to see it for yourself. While the one part of society lives in opulence, in apartments where prices rival that of London, New York and Tokyo and easily fetching well over USD1,000,000 the other part of society lives on the streets of Mumbai, sleeping in makeshift beds.  We passed street vendors who were selling meals for just Rs8 while at the Taj, you could easily spend well over Rs1000 on a meal.

One thing for sure is that you’ll come back with great memories of good times with good friends.

Day one - out and about to Elefanta Island on the ferry

Don't be fooled by these ladies... they'll ask for their photos to be taken and then they'll charge you for it! And here I thought they just wanted to pose... I was so duped.

Picture of the Taj Mahal Hotel and India Gate taken from the ferry to Elefanta Island... December 2008.

Happy snappy on the boat on the way back to the main land.

Travel buddies!

And more friends on Chowpatty.

Chowpatty at sunset... December 2008

Feasting at the Taj - I would sooo go back again if I could!

Ferries on the way back from Elefanta

Female train carriages in Mumbai

Tiffin Wallahs of Mumbai. They deliver lunch boxes to offices all around Mumbai - these guys have earned the Six Sigma... impressive stuff.

Bademiya... if you're ever up for some good old street food, this is the place. We had kebabs here and it was a-ma-zing.

The Happy Place...

The French/Madagascan/Gujarati boys… always useful to have someone who speaks the language there.