We were awakened by our early morning call at 6 a.m., a little breakfast, and then out into this great big city, and as I thought it was certainly a city of contrasts. We saw towers of steel and glass next to stately stoned edifices. Our tour took us past the monuments built during the British era, including the Victoria Terminus Station, the High Court and Mumbai University and on to the former residence of Mahatma Gandhi, which is now a museum and memorial to him. The room he slept in has remained unchanged and still contains his bed and many of his personal possessions.
Our next stop was at a Hindu Temple where a monk talked to us about the temple and the practice of Hinduism. This was very interesting especially with the similarities with Christianity and Buddhism. We had a brief stop at the Hanging Gardens for some excellent views of the city and the beautiful gardens, before passing the Parsi Towers of Silence and another brief stop at the Dhobi Ghat, an open-air laundry. Here they have devised their own system to code the laundry to ensure nothing is lost. Anna spent a lot of time here, and I told our guide that she was getting ideas, but she informed me that only men do this work! So we passed on quickly back to our coach and another slow drive (Mumbai Traffic is worse than Naples) to Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, formerly the Victoria and Albert Museum. This building was stupendous, inside and out, the collection is made up of decorative arts, clay models and dioramas that document the different communities which contributed to the culture and lifestyle of Mumbai in the 19th and early 20th century.
Our tour ended at the famous Gateway of India, erected in 1911 to mark the visit of King George V and Queen Mary. Opposite this monument is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and is where I have told Chris that I want to stay if we return to Mumbai.
We returned to the coach, for a half hour drive back to the ship, and just absorbed the local culture around us and listened to the horns blaring out from the huge amount of traffic.
Back on board, for another two days at sea whilst we cross the Arabian Sea, to arrive in Dubai.