We've only been back in the UK for two weeks but we've already got three Judy's Affordable Vintage fairs under our belts. This weekend was a back-to-back extravaganza with Bristol on Saturday and Cardiff on Sunday and I got to hang out with three fantastic female bloggers (and a lovely Mum). Freya's entrance caused a sensation, fellow traders told me I was going to love the incredible girl with the mermaid hair's style and I was thrilled to tell them that she was already one of my (virtual) friends. I've been following Amie for years and although we've only met each other once I feel like we've been mates forever. I've lost count of the number of times I've met Em (& her Mum) but I still squeal with excitement when we meet.
Despite being back for a fortnight I haven't finished with the travelogue yet (sorry!). While I've still got a decent sun tan and unseen photos, I'm going to milk our trip for all it's worth.
|Spicy potato cakes served with sambar (a soupy, spicy sauce) and coconut chutney|
On day four, after batata wadas and masala chai, we hailed a taxi and went and ogled Mumbai's dirty laundry.
The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is the world's largest outdoor laundry with around 8,000 - 10,000 dhobis (laundrymen) dealing with Mumbai's dirty washing every single day.
After a mesmerising half-an-hour, listening to the thwack-thwack of clothes being bashed against the Victorian laundry stalls whilst fending off gangs of hopeful hawkers we jumped back in the taxi and headed to the Dr Bhav Daji Lad Museum.
During British Rule it was known as the Victoria & Albert Museum (sister to the London one). It was established in 1855 and moved to these premises in 1872 and since been spectacularly restored.
Even if you've no interest in the artefacts on display you'd have to be one of those weird minimalist types not to be impressed by the wonderful Victorian interior.
I was thrilled to discover an exhibition called Golden Age of Hindi Cinema. Judging by the comments in the visitors book, the photos of screen goddess Nargis (bottom right) were worth the admission price alone.
In the gardens we found the remnants of British rule, removed from their city centre plinths following Independence and left to slowly fade away.
There was a zoo but we (and the Lonely Planet) thought it was best avoided so, on Raj's (our taxi wallah) recommendation, we visited Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi's Mumbai headquarters from 1917 until 1934.
It was very moving to see the bedroom where he was arrested in 1932 perfectly preserved.
Our five hour tour cost us £13 - Raj & his taxi were £7, admission to the V&A was £2 each and the Gandhi museum was free (but we left a donation of £2 to charity).
After a siesta and showers we had dinner (and beers) in legendary Mumbai vegetarian eaterie, Chetana. We ordered Undhiya, a Gujarati dish containing 17 vegetables including green bananas. It was so good that we bought their cookbook.
(Yet more photos HERE)
(Yet more photos HERE)
We don't do Valentine's Day which is just as well as we spent it in a Days Inn on the M4. Dinner (a surprisingly tasty spicy Thai veg curry) was eaten under the strip lights of a motorway service station alongside a coach load of rugby fans and the entertainment was provided by a bottle of Lidl white rum & value cola I'd packed in our overnight bag and BBC's The Voice. Oh, the glamour!
See you soon!
Linking with Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.