Yesterday was Day 4 of my Mumbai trip.
After staying in the hotel and going to the office and back for 3 days and not much else, I decided that I need to get out and see the city – downtown or South Mumbai. The hotel I am staying at provides car service where you can book a car and driver for the day and you can go anywhere for 8 hours for a set fee, extra if exceed the time allow.
I started the day at 9:30 in the morning to avoid rush hour traffic going into city central. I have driver’s license and can drive in NY, but I wouldn’t dream of ever want to or consider driving in Mumbai. It’s crazy here. Except major streets, the road condition is terrible and bumps and holes everywhere. None of the side streets has traffic lights. The ones that do people don’t always follow them. There is no pedestrian street crossing signals and you cross at your own risk.
It took an hour to get to downtown Mumbai. The relatively new project that created the Bandra-Worli Sea Link provided a shortcut that made the trip quicker. Along the way, I took many pictures (from inside the car) and will post them soon. We passed the Haji Ali Mosque and Mausoleum, Mani Bhavan (Mahatma Gandhi Museum), the Flora Fountain, and many other places. We stopped at the Dhobi Ghat where hundreds of men scrub laundry.
I was planning to go the Elephanta Cave but found out that it takes an hour boat ride each way to reach from the Gateway of India. Since my work day starts in the afternoon, I would have enough time to go so I will try it on a different day.
I visited the Gateway of India and the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The Taj is a really grand hotel and it was recommended by the shopkeeper that I should use their washroom if I have the need. So I walked in with great confidence as if I belonged and a guest at the hotel, then used the washroom and left.
I did some shopping on this day trip and came back to the hotel just in time to start my work day.