Once we began exploring the city in earnest, it didn’t take long for Mumbai to win me over, and deliver a knockout punch to nightmares of Delhi. It really is a scenic destination with its mix of British colonial details and both Modern and traditional Indian-style sensibilities. We ate amazingly well, in a variety of different cuisines from French to Thai to central Asian, and ogled fine home goods, accessories and clothing in posh stores like Fabindia. We also satiated our yen for movies by watching Star Wars in a multiplex (in English!).
Above all, what I enjoyed most was just walking ALL OVER, crossing through different neighborhoods and sucking up all the new and entertaining sights supplied by the locals themselves – street art, public parks full of men in white playing cricket, little stands of pan and a varied assortment of flavor accoutrements, beautiful Indian women in fashionable western dress or in golden, sparkling, and jeweled saris, beaches with strolling couples and vendors selling acid pink cotton candy, street hawkers using every square inch of the sidewalk to display their wares from sunglasses and bags to antiques and touristy Hindu tchotchkes, memorable food carts serving up Kati rolls, and the late drinking crowd that swarms them, even the homeless seeking shelter on the curbs, greeting us with smiles. Here, we said our goodbyes to Gavin (but not for long!) and spent our solo day in art museums, and planning our return to Goa, where we planned to convalesce for 10 days before our final return to Mumbai and sad departure from India.
One last day in Mumbai, before leaving India for good, allowed us to sample craft beer, visit a new neighborhood, Bandra West, where we stopped by a Catholic Church and rambled along the boulder-lined beachfront for a sentimental sunset stroll.