New Year in Mumbai, India

We started today’s New Year’s Day with a change of plans. It was incredibly crowded due to the holiday, as it was the last day off for many locals before going back to school, university or work. Accordingly, the Gateway to India, one of the attractions not far from the port and also the departure point of the ferries to Elephanta, was overcrowded. We didn’t want to go there at all, but we wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near the boat dock without waiting in line for two hours.

The change of the day’s plan was to drive out to Sewree Jetty, about 8 km north on the east coast. There is also a train station there, so it was a good reference point for the cab driver. Prices are fixed here. As soon as you stand in front of the harbor exit (to which a “shuttle” takes you a ridiculous 400 meters further), you are already swarmed by drivers who offer their services for sale. You should have a good idea of where you want to go and never accept the first price. The further down the road you go, the cheaper the guys offer their services. Additionally, you should be aware that the person you bargain with is not necessarily the driver. Asking about the driver’s English skills will pay off in any case.

1st tour in Mumbai: $20 for a cab for 2.5h, 2 stops: Sewree Jetty (Flamingo Point) and Chor Bazaar

So the first tour on day 1 was to Flamingo viewpoint also because of the advanced time and late arrival. In our case, a telephoto lens would have helped to capture the beautiful animals even better.

As a next stop was on the holiday only the Chor Bazaar in question, short Google check revealed that other markets were unfortunately closed. Has not carried us away now and it was rather streets in which each alley housed a different trade. Ladder making, mofa repair, kitchen utensils etc. We felt a bit out of place.

A few times we had trouble paying when we tried our hand at Indian street food. Dollars or Euros are, contrary to many reports on the net, probably not so welcome here anymore. The strategy of paying in dollars and getting change in rupees didn’t work out either (not even in the Starbucks at the Taj Mahal Hotel, as an AIDA guide had reported the day before). In the end, however, some of the merchants were lenient, so that we could try things here and there for a (probably still overpriced) dollar, which were very tasty and spicy, but whose name we would either never know or could not read.

The cab driver dropped us off at Marine Drive the first evening after the Bazaar. Unfortunately, the photo motif we had hoped for was not so clear to discover. It is very hazy all day here due to the winter (28 degrees…) and without lighting we probably would not have seen the buildings on the other side of the bay. From the Queen’s chain we walked back to the ship, passing the impressive Mumbai Central Station, where two million people travel and arrive every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *