03 to 10 October 2009
Having spent two very pleasant months back in the UK (plus Switzerland and France) visiting family and friends, eating, drinking and shopping (and in the case of Kirsty working as well!) it was time to head back out to Asia. Our flight back to Bangkok was via Mumbai so it made perfect sense to spend some time in India and allow Kirsty to take a well deserved holiday after the hectic and stressful brochure production period.
So with the summary of where we are at over and done with, back to the present which sees me sitting in bed in the early afternoon in a five-star hotel waiting for my next dash to the can? That’s right, been here a week and the revenge has hit already. As with most cases of ‘Delhi belly’ (or in this case ‘Mumbai belly’), I know exactly how I got it and typical of my luck it was from a dodgy biriyani and where are we heading next, Hyderabad; the home of biriyani and as everyone knows, once you are sick on a certain dish its curtains for that dish for a long time. Hence no world-famous Hyderabadi biriyani for me!
We have been in Mumbai for a week, flitting from one five-star hotel to the next (the Taj Mahal, which was the hotel attacked last year and now the very slick Four Seasons). Our day of arrival was perfect as it hacked down with rain all day allowing us to head out for lunch to Leopolds, a Mumbai institution with very cold beer and excellent chicken tandoori. By 6pm we back in the hotel bar and by 8.30pm back in the room drinking a bottle of red that had been given to us. Thereafter it is a little tricky to recall!
We ended our stay in Mumbai with some sightseeing, taking in the Crawford Market (famous for its fruit and veg) and the interesting Dhobi Ghats where nearly all Mumbai’s laundry is done by hand. Word is that if you have any washing done is this city; this is where it will end up. We also visited Haji-Ali’s tomb which you have to visit at low tide as it’s reached by a narrow peninsula.
Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai
Mahalaxmi railway station, Mumbai
Banganga water tank, Malabar Hill, Mumbai
Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai
With the need for some last-minute changes to our itinerary (due to the flooding that has just hit Karnataka) our next destination is the city of Hyderabad, famous not only for biriyani but also its IT industry which is rapidly catching up with that in Bangalore. Thoughts on Hyderabad to follow.