Dragged our feet getting up this morning. Both of us have fallen in love with Mumbai and, if accomodation costs were cheaper, we’d have happily stayed a few more days! As it is, our budget has been stretched to the maximum over the past four days but wouldn’t have changed it for anything – it’s been amazing. Definitely changed my previous view of Mumbai after I got stuck here due to the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in 2010. Anyway, we took our time getting up, ready and packing our bags by watching reruns of ‘MasterChef Australia’ and ‘Criminal Minds’. Checked out of the hotel and headed to the metro station to go to Churchgate station (via the film USB guy for a few last minute film additions… Oops!!). Having left our walking tour itinerary back at the hotel with our bags (silly me!), we decided to wander down whichever roads took our fancy heading in the vague direction of the Gate of India with the idea to walk back up to our hotel via the beach. Started by the University and saw the High Court of Bombay buildings.
Both of them were beautiful, gothic buildings with amazing turrets and stained glass windows. It was an ideal building if Hogwarts had a university! It even had eagles flying around and landing on its roof which could be an upgraded version of owl post!!! Walking past the high court was slightly nerve wracking due to the security guards stood in their booths with machine guns pointed out onto the streets, fingers already on the triggers!! Continued walking up and down streets, enjoying the architecture and people watching. Clearly considered a hot day even by local standards by the way everyone was devouring ice-creams and bottles of iced water. After 3 hours of walking, we headed into the air conditioned haven of Starbucks and had another Christmas frappuchino. Used the free wifi to do a bit of Christmas shopping research online before heading back out into the sauna!! Walked down the touristy shopping district towards the beach. The beach front is known as ‘The Queens Necklace’ as, once the sun has set, the street lamps light up the path and are said to resemble a pearl necklace. The walk along the coastline was nice due to the breeze although slightly ruined by the over-powering smell… Tried to watch the sun set over the ocean but, like before, the last few minutes before it reaches the horizon, the sun gets obscured by a thick cloud of smog. It was still nice to sit in silence and watch it for a while.
We then walked to Chowpatty Beach although didn’t dip our feet into the water as we’ve been told that the water is pretty toxic! Headed back towards our hotel where they very kindly let us use a room to shower and change before we jumped into a taxi to get to the CST train station to catch our overnight train to Aurangabad. We had to walk 10minutes on the platform just to reach our carriage – and there was at least half-a-dozen more carriages beyond ours!! Got onto the train and literally climbed straight into bed.