Today we ventured out to downtown Mumbai. We were guided by Ajit, a wonderful tour guide and driver. We were also joined by a man named Dave, whom we met this morning at breakfast. He is also from the US and here on business. We left this morning at 11:30 and just returned a little after 5.
Stephen, Daria, and Ajit
We started out at the Gateway of India. What a beautiful monument to celebrate the British exiting India after giving up their control in the 1940s. Right behind the gateway of India is the famous Taj Mahal Hotel. This hotel is breath taking. We explored inside the hotel and a little outside. They had a beautiful garden and pool area where I saw a butterfly!! My guardian angel made it to India!!
Gateway of India
Taj Mahal Hotel
Beautiful gardens and pool at Taj Mahal Hotel, this is where I saw the butterfly
Gorgeous lobby in Taj Mahal hotel, the marble used was unbelievable!
We then traveled to Ghandi's house and saw where he lived while in Mumbai. There was a very interesting exhibit of clay made statues that displayed all the important dates and events in his life. On the upper floors, they showed some of his writings on display and they had a love letter on display. It was the sweetest thing I ever read. We really enjoyed this museum and learning more about Ghandi and his mission.
Ghandi's home in Mumbai
Afterward, we had lunch, which was at a pizzeria. Surprise!! Are you catching on to our pattern? Pizza is a safe food for us here. Our new friend, Dave, had some Indian toppings on his, but Stephen and I stayed safe with the plain cheese.
We also stopped at a market and silk shop on the way back to the hotel. The market had lots of produce and such things. It was not what we were thinking of when we told Ajit that we wanted to go to a market. We were thinking more of local vendors that were selling local art and things like that. I did purchase a "Star of India" pendant from the silk shop. It is a beautiful blue stone that shows a white star as you move it around in the light. My description does not give it justice, but it is beautiful.
We were talking to Dave about the India people, as this was his first day out and about. He only landed last night. It is amazing how happy they are and how little they are able to get by on. Most of the cars are older here and many use public transport. Water is being rationed in many areas due to the lack of rains from the monsoons. Electricity is only allowed for 8 hours a day in some areas around the city. It is just amazing that the people are still vibrant even though they face these daily struggles. Many people here have referenced Slum Dog Millionaire but we have not seen it yet. We have been told that it is very true to form as to what goes on here. It is so sad to see the children beg for food and money. Most of them are barefoot and poorly clothed. They come right up to you on the street or in the car. It doesn't matter to them and they do not take "no" as an answer. They continue to beg until you enter a building or move in the car. It breaks my heart to see these children have to live like this. It makes me so thankful for my family and for what we have. Compared to the people who live here, our problems are minuscule.
So, here we are, ready for dinner. I am not sure what we are going to eat, because we have already had our pizza for the day. haha. Stephen is taking a nap and I am going to join him. Hope everyone has a great day. Tomorrow is another scan and some other things with the doctors. On Wednesday, we get to meet our surrogate!! :):):)
*pictures will be posted later, blogspot is not letting me upload them right now*