Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Hilton Mumbai International Hotel (Mumbai, India)

I’m sleeping very well in this hotel. Surprisingly quiet considering that the hotel is very close to an international airport and in a very busy part of Mumbai.

Today I had arranged for a driver to take me to a few places in the southern portion of Mumbai. I should have anticipated that the people I spoke with yesterday afternoon wouldn’t convey the plans to the morning staff. So, more confusion and finally was able to develop the plan that was agreed upon the day before.

There was considerable traffic as we made our way across to the southern part of Mumbai. We reached our first stop 90 minutes after leaving the hotel. At that point I reduced my expectations and enjoyed the rest of the tour.

Our first stop was Dhobi Ghat, an open air laundry that has been around since 1890. Originally built to support the laundry needs of the British military, but now provides laundry service to Mumbai hotels and hospitals. Very colorful place to visit.

In another 30 minutes we were at the Gateway of India. This monument was built to commemorate the landing of the first British monarch in India (King George V and Queen Mary) in 1911. The monument is synonymous with Mumbai and is amongst the city’s most popular tourist attractions. There is a large plaza that stretches out before the monument.

Across the street from the Gateway is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This hotel is among the finest in the city and considered a landmark and destination to be visited. I got a chance to view the hotel’s lobby while looking for a restroom.

After this stop it was time to drive back to the hotel. The driver wanted to stop at a few temples on the way back but I was tired of sitting in the back of a car for over three hours on a hot day. On the way back I was able to appreciate crossing the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (bridge), a fairly new bridge that makes travel from one part of Mumbai (where the airport is located) to the central part of the city.

The tour was fine but I had hoped to see a few more sites, but perhaps I had too high of expectations. In any case, I did see a good chunk of Mumbai and it was a good day.

I ate a late lunch of minestrone soup and took a nap. Then visited the executive lounge for snacks and a beer. While enjoying my snack and beer the Guest Experience manager came by to ask about my tour this afternoon, which was nice. Though was a slight challenge to work around her defensiveness and explained that perhaps guests should be aware that traffic may, and probably will, impact how much can be seen in four hours. Also, that if someone the day before scheduled a tour they should put notes in the file what was agreed to so the next person would not have to start from square one the next day. We finally reached common ground and she was satisfied.

I’m enjoying my couple of hours of watching Star Trek each evening. Something familiar to watch after a day of experiencing so many new sites. I also ordered the mushroom soup again. Think this will be a nightly ritual since I enjoy the soup so much.

Tomorrow I’ll find a nearby place to visit and rest, knowing that I’ll be with Kannan most of the day on Thursday.

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