After an amazing two weeks in India, I’m officially in love with the country. I have caught the India bug and Im not afraid to say it. My boyfriend and I kept a day to day journal of our adventures – something I would encourage most of you to do if you are embarking upon a life changing trip abroad. We documented absolutely everything, and left pages to add ticket stubs, restaurant receipts and pictures. I wont bore you with what we did from day to day, but I will delve into some of the memorable moments and some of the bargains I picked up on the way.
On the 1st leg of our journey: London > Dubai
Arriving in Delhi was exactly how I had imagined it, Rickshaws beeping and playing what seemed like bumper cars with each other, the smells (something you have to get used to) and the beautiful colours were completelty enticing. The airport alone was bursting with character. Upon arriving at the hotel, our first stop was to the local bazaars and markets that lined the dusty streets. I was eager to have a look at what this vibrant city had to offer and I wasn’t disappointed. I managed to find a number of beautiful accessories made from Indian textiles, very rich with elaborate embroidery work, along with some gorgeous rings and earnings which really reminded me of the D&G spring summer 2013 earrings.
My next purchase, (which I was most impressed with from the whole holiday and epitomized my view on Indias footwear) were these beautiful hand crafted leather Indian slippers, again embroided with colourful threads with accents of gold embroidery and pattern work. Now the footwear and fashion in India, I have to say has come a long way since the last time I was there. A project I had planned from the outset before arriving in India, was to document the various styles of footwear that stood out to me through out the whole trip. This turned out to be an increasingly difficult challenge as I had discovered that footwear in India was less about fashion, style and character but more about comfort (understandably) and affordability. Flip-Flops (a.k.a Chapal) and Kitten heels were all the rage. Flip-flops, were everywhere, and reminded me a lot of my trip to Rio where they are also the 'it' choice of footwear for whatever the occasion. The pair I bought however were made from lush soft leather and cost around £10.
Surat was shopping central, we spent a whole day in Bombay Market, and spent most of our time in one shop (my Uncle and boyfriend were not best pleased - theres only so much saree looking men can do) We all 'ooo'd' and 'ahhh'd' at the sarees that were plucked out from mounds and mounds of neatly folded pieces. The next bit (my favourite bit) was scouring the various Bazaars and Markets, (which in some respects reminded me of Brick Lane and Petticoat Lane market) for bangles, earrings and bindis to match our chosen sarees. I still to this day can't fathom how so many styles and types of bangles existed.
Mumbai - we spent a couple days in the North of Mumbai on Juhu Beach - shear bliss and amongst lots of markets where there were still lots of bargains to be had. After a relaxing few days we headed to South Mumbai - the place I related to most, it had all the quirks and characteristics of a buzzing city, high rise buildings, fashion, great restaurants and bars and a bustling harbour. We stayed at the Taj which was opposite India Gate and constantly busy whatever time of the day you looked out from the hotel windows. Crawford and Manish Market were fantastic, very narrow but packed and had lots to offer. Hair pins, jewellery, accessories you name it they had it, a little more expensive (even with haggling) than the rest of India, but that was to be expected considering we were in Mumbai.