Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A bit of culture ...

.... was the plan for yesterday.  If Kathryn had her way, we'd stay at the hotel all the time.  She's struggling with the heat and humidity - it was 39°C - and any walking does make one feel very uncomfortable.  But I had the casting vote and decided to go out for the morning.

We took a taxi - tiny little cars that weave in and out of the traffic - to the Gateway of India.  I took a few more photos and even managed to get one or two holiday snaps of Kathryn!  While there, one of the local stray dogs decided to walk with us - much to Kathryn's disgust!  She's  not a great fan of dogs at the best of times - and it was a very scruffy, flea ridden dog.  But he just walked along side of us - don't know why.  We were  a bit early to get into the museum, so I decided that we'd take a walk - along with our new found friend!!

There are some amazing buildings in the area - many of them built at the time of British rule.  They are still some of the most interesting buildings.  Sadly many of them are in serious need or repair.



The pale blue building is the Kennesth Eliyahoo Synagogue.  I'm taking the following information from a travel guide - "it is the oldest Sephardic synagoue in the city, donated by the Sassoon family.  It is used for prayer by Mumbai's Baghadadi and Bene Israeli Jewish community".  It's tucked down one of the side streets just near the museum, and I was delighted to find it.  I would also like to have been able to go inside.


This magnificent building is the David Sassoon Library - I found a gap in the traffic and got this super photo.  The building is part of  the University of Mumbai; and is used as a reading room.



This clock tower is absolutely stunning.  It's called the Rajabai Clock Tower.  It's 85 m (280 ft) tall and forms part of the Fort Campus which is part of the University of Mumbai.  It's built in a mixture of styles and is adorned with figures representing different Indian communities.






As we walked around the streets taking photos of the buildings, it became apparent that we were of great interest to the local Mumbai people.  Indeed, we were stopped several times and asked if they could take photos of us!!  Why anyone would want a photo of me is anyone's guess!  But I guess that a white face is still quite unusual in the city.  And we meet a lovely family who wanted a picture of me and Kathryn, and were happy for me to take a photo of them too!




At 10.15am the doors to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalya (Prince of Wales Museum of Western India) open.  It seems to be very popular with everyone, not just the tourists.  I bought a pass which allowed me to take photos inside the museum - so glad I did, I got some brilliant pictures.  Sadly, the rules of the permit mean I can't post the pictures here!! The museum houses the most amazing collection of sculptures, paintings, weapons, ivory carvings and glass.  It was a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.  We were able to get an audio guide which gave us lots of information.




When we got back to the hotel, we changed and spent the remainder of the afternoon at the pool.  Walking around in this heat and humidity really takes it out of you - especially if you're not used to it!  I was able to read a few more chapters of my book - and lie in the sun, but not for long!!

That's all for now.  Today is a "lazy" day - Kathryn and I are going to spend some time at the pool.  She's going to swim and I'm going to sunbath and try to get a half-way decent suntan!

8 comments:

Jenny said...

Great pics and info. I think I'd melt at 39 degrees and high humidity.
Jenny x

Jackie said...

More fantastic photographs :o) I am with Kathryn, anything above 21C and I am totally washed out!
Jackie xx

Debgem said...

We've had a lovely time in the pool - there's a strong breeze that blows across the swimming pool balcony - it makes it much better! And now it's time for a siesta!! Or more reading :)

Craftilicious said...

amazing architecture - looks like you're having a great time, despite the opressive heat - hope the pool is nice and cool ;-)

Jen W. said...

Thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos and stories, Deb!

Paula said...

It's quite enlightening to actually see your photos & the cultural differences must be enormous in reality.
Paula (PEP)

mustavcoffee said...

Hi there, I feel as if I'm there with you! great reporting! The temperature sounds quite challenging especially if it's humid, taking it easy sounds a good idea, aren't the Mumbians friendly!:0) xxx

Stella said...

Gorgeous pictures and stories!!!!

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