Mumbai Day 2

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Well Mumbai is just as vibrant and alive as I remember from our last visit two years ago. Its chaos, noise, mad traffic, all adds to the charm of the place. Not forgetting the people, they are so friendly and helpful and nothing is to much trouble, perhaps we could take a leaf out of there book in the UK. Our first full day back in the city was visiting some favourite old places, Gateway to India, Leopold’s cafe which has been around since 1871 and is a very popular tourist haunt, it’s also one of the places that was involved in the infamous terrorist attack in the city, and still bears the scars to this day, where the bullet holes in the walls have been left as a reminder of that terrible day back in 20080. Next it was a walk along street near Leopold’s cafe which is lined with shops and stalls selling their wares. “Top tip” if you need to change your currency for rupees this is the place, just ask any of the shopkeepers, they offer a rate far better than the banks, and with no commission, don’t accept the first rate offered, yes you can even barter on currency rates, “only in India”. Next we decided to take a look at an attraction which we had not visited on our last visit the “Hanging Gardens”, this was also mentioned by our taxi driver on our journey from the airport, and by the many taxi drivers who we used throughout the day, so we thought we should give it a look. On arrival at the gardens we immediately knew it wasn’t going to be how the mind had conjured it up to be, it was pretty run down and ill kept, and what the hanging part meant I have not a clue, apart from maybe a few dead branches hanging from the trees. There were various animals created out of the hedges by the age old art of topiary, but they seemed to be a bit disheveled due to lack of maintenance, there was even a giraffe that looked like it had a Afro wig on where it had not been trimmed for a while, oh well at least we gave it a look. So as the day was getting on and as it was vastly approaching “Beer ‘O’clock” which is the name we, as travellers use for time for a nice cold beer after a hard days sight seeing, only to discover that it was a religious festival day for some thing or another and it seemed because of this nowhere served alcohol, unperturbed we sought out a very nice hotel “The Marine Plaza” which did not go along with this and was still serving alcohol, so we settled down in the first floor bar in comfy seats, and with cold beer in hand watched the sun go down over the “Arabian Sea” perfect.
Next stop was suppose to be the Britannia restaurant, which I first heard about after watching Rick Stein’s series on Indian cooking, he visited the restaurant and throughly recommended it, and as it was near to our hotel we decided to give it a try. So we grabbed a taxi and off we set. Now the traffic in Mumbai is chaos the best of times but this evening it was gridlocked, the journey took around an hour as opposed to probably 15 minutes, to make matters worse when we arrived it was closed. So we asked our driver if he could recommend a good restaurant, so he took us to one called “Makesh” which specialises in fish cuisine, which as luck would have it was very close to our hotel, and our driver was not wrong on his recommendation, we were treated to a mouth watering meal, I had a delicious fish curry and the ladies had a dish comprising of large tiger prawns which the name escapes me, we had rice and some side dishes and drinks,”soft ones, holy day remember” all got £37 excellent value and I would thoroughly recommend a visit, it has great service, excellent food and very friendly staff top marks.
Tomorrow it’s up early for our flight to Jaipur
So as always stay safe keep well and keep following.

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