We arrived in Mumbai after our first night bus of the Indian leg of the trip and we were pleasantly surprised! Nice bus, secure luggage store and decent sized beds with air con, not anticipating all of the journeys to be the same unfortunately!
As soon as you hop into a taxi in Mumbai and head to the hotel you sadly notice the poverty all around. It's probably the most notable anywhere since travelling. People literally have made make shift 'houses' everywhere, a few feet from train tracks, in central reservations on the roads and all along the foot paths. Other than these places made of sticks and tarpaulin, families literally sleep on the pavement.
We planned on a whirlwind tour of the city. In the morning we headed straight to the Gate of India (built by the British in the early 20th Century and the gate last walked through upon their departure prior to Indian independence) and some of the sights in the Colaba district. This district was part of the old British Colonial area and you could definitely tell. Many of the buildings had a style seen in London, nice colonial hotels were along the waterfront and some high end shops and businesses were around. It was strange being in some of the streets and parks and feeling like a mini London!
We also went around the Mumbai art gallery for a few hours, nice seeing some local Indian art, in some strong air conditioning! After a morning out and about we went back to the hotel to check in and regroup.
The afternoon was a stark contrast to the morning. With some guys from the hotel we went to a local market near the main train terminal. The terminal is said to be one of the grandest made by the British and it was impressive from the outside (much like some of the London stations) and just as hectic as you would imagine on the inside!
The market was also crazy, sold everything you can imagine, nice just wondering around the small hectic streets, trying some street food and watching the chaos around you. Weirdly enough it felt very similar to some of the markets at home, as many are also run by Asian people and have the same vibe, goods and food in them.
On route back we all stopped in a local 'bar', only men inside and I was accompanying 3 girls! We had a few looks but spent a good few hours in there and polished off more beer than most of the locals! Fun few hours and good to experience a local drinking den rather than some of the plush tourist bars. Another curry to finish off the evening before an early start and a flight north to Udaipur!