>Travel Pictures



October 2007

We headed downtown on Gandhi's birthday (a no-school day) to do a little shopping and see a few of the sights. We spent more than a little time at the store we visited, so by the time we got out the heat was really on! We did have a chance to wander around just a little bit before the kids collapsed and we went into an air conditioned restaurant for an early dinner.
Gateway of India
One of the most famous landmarks of Mumbai is "Gateway of India"  - which looks all old-school British raj, but really dates from the early 1920s. It was built to welcome King Edward, but not finished in time for his arrival (so a fake front was stuck on it to make it look all majestic). It was sort of similar to the Statue of Liberty, in that it was the 'first thing' people arriving at the busy port saw.
Prince of Wales Museum
Boats to Elefanta Island

Today it is crowded with boats heading out to islands off the coast (which we will travel to at some point) and lots of beggars and people selling things. The square out in front was all torn up and under construction, so that wasn't too much fun. So, we walked around the arch, looked at all people and boats, sweated, and left.
Because it was Gandhi's birthday, most of the museums and large governmental buildings were closed. We'd heard good things about the Prince of Wales museum, but the best we could do on this trip was look at it from outside the fence and plan on returning.

Double decker bus by Victoria Terminus
Even though Alea's class was scheduled to come here the very next day for a field trip, we decided to visit the main train station in town. It doesn't sound like a very grand adventure, except that the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (or Victoria Terminus to our Western tongues) is a gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage site because of its beauty and intricate detailing.
The old Post Office adjacent to Victoria Terminus
Inside is exactly the sort of hustle and bustle that you would expect in a train station, with people heading all over the country. What gets lost in the shuffle are the stained glass windows and animal carvings all over the place.
Inside the train station
Victoria Terminus
Alea, Mom, and Breck in Mumbai
British architecture and India manpower
The beautiful facade and gothic spires seemed both out of place and at home in the downtown area of the most populous city in the world - especially when you take into account the 'man carrying a load of cotton candy colored fabric down the street' factor.

Waiting for the next load
But the really fun stuff to watch took place outside the station, where a huge number of open air stalls were selling everything from clothes to suitcases - all at one place!! It was a crazy corner full of action - exactly what we'd expected to see in India.
Buying sunglasses
Yummy watermelon
Whenever we hit a place like that, the first thing that Susan does is look for the cheap sunglasses, since she is always losing, breaking, or sitting on hers!! I liked the fruit stand, with 'peeled' watermelon and fruit salads ready to go. By the way, that thing in the very middle that looks like a cigar is an incense stick burning to keep the flies away. 

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