Without any real plan, I decided to see as much of the city as I could on foot. I do not like to wander aimlessly, so I picked a shopping area as my target, and began the hike to Alfa at Irla Market.
For me, the only way I get to know a place is by walking it, or maybe bicycling, but I would not advise bicycling in Mumbai if you are new to the area! The traffic is very dense, and foot traffic, bicycles, cars and motorized rickshaw taxis all blend together in whatever space becomes available.
I spent a good 45 minutes to an hour walking away from my hotel, first going towards the metro station, which I will admit I climbed to the platform for exactly two reasons: First, I wanted to see from higher above street level; and second, if I went up the stairs on one side, and down the stairs on the other side of the metro platform I could avoid crossing the busy intersection with its blended mess of pedestrians and vehicles. Here is a view from the platform:
As I continued walking, I went over a bridge area that let me take a pic of a few angles. The city really sprawls out, and things get built up quickly without much time for planning.
Off the left side, you see the buildings and streets…
Kept on walking…it started to feel like I was in a Lord of the Rings saga with all the walking, but at least there were no fights to report (like in the Tolkien books).
As I continued, I came across another bridge, where I got to see the trains I heard about. People use these to commute. From where I was standing, the trains were in front of me and to the right…
To the left, this was the view…
Continuing my trek, I kept an eye out for interesting shops, and things my kids might enjoy.
My daughter asked me every day if I saw any cows yet, because she read that cows can be found anywhere in India. As I spent most of my my time in the ultra crowded downtown areas, I did not see any cows at all…Until my long hike this morning!
As far as the market, I think I never found it, or it was not clearly marked and I did not know I was there, as silly as that sounds! I was exhausted and took a cab back to the hotel!