Ahh the magic of India… It didn’t take long for us to discover the energy of India. The moment we stepped off the plane and into the busy streets of Mumbai we could feel the magic in the air and knew there was so much ahead of us!
There was so much to look at as we wandered the streets and alleyways, but we were instantly comforted by the street Chai tea that had a warming sweetness to it and was handed to us by a smiling local. You could find it at every corner and you knew it was going to be good when you saw locals lining up for it. The Chai was only the start, we visited numerous wonderful restaurants that offered much in culture, atmosphere and delicious menus. Hitchki bar & dining, the famous Leopoldo cafe from the book Shantaram and Indigo Deli for a taste of home. We were spoilt for choice!
There was no shortness of culture in Mumbai and the diversity was immense, it was hard to ignore the beautiful fancy hotels right beside slum villages, and we visited the worlds largest outdoor open laundry, the Dhobi Ghat. We watched as workers were washing clothes and linens from the large hotels and hospitals out in the open, something I can’t imagine ever seeing anywhere but here.
We also visited the famous Gateway of India, perched right on the waters edge, a beautifully constructed arch that was understandably a very popular tourist spot. We visited beautiful temples, the intricate detail in the architecture never ceased to amaze! And escaped the concrete jungle to the peaceful and lush Hanging gardens, with beautiful sunset views over the Arabian sea. Of course with some fantastic shopping in between it all!
A couple of us were lucky enough to visit an IPL cricket match too, something definitely worth doing if you ever get the chance! We watched crowds of passionate cricket fans cheer on their home team, the Mumbai Indians. An experience to say the least!!
After the fast pace of Mumbai, it was time for some zen. We travelled to Kerala in the south of India for some yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic treatments. Known as the Indian tropics, Kerala wasn’t short of palm trees, endless beaches and friendly locals with beautiful bright sari’s and fruit stands. We stayed in a stunning beach resort with beautiful staff and surrounds, where we could walk out onto the beach lined with palms. We were treated to a river cruise on a traditional lotus houseboat in the hidden backwaters, and discovered the peaceful and tranquil side of India. Another beautiful temple visit and a new moon ceremony ritual, we were well and truly experiencing the magic and spirit of India, something you cannot really put into words. It was wonderful to end the trip with some yoga and meditation led by the lovely Rachel with the Arabian Sea at our doorstep.
Thank you, India! See you again soon.