Although we landed in Mumbai our trip really started when we landed at Chennai, after spending two nights in Mumbai just in case our luggage never arrived with us. The ‘short hop’ was a 100 minute flight, across a bit and down a bit, showing just how big India is.
Currently we’re in Mamallapuram, or Mahabalipuram as it used to be known, or Mahabs as it’s called for short, or, as I call it, Hampi-by-the-sea.
Whoâ€™d have thought that weâ€™d visit Dunkirk in India. Confused? I mean the new box office movie which was sensational!
We visited the nearby Sun City cinema and booked our tickets two hours early for a princely sum of Rs450, which is around Â£6, yes thatâ€™s right, for all of us. We got three tickets for less than the price of one in England. After buying our bargain bucket of popcorn and drinks (Rs190, about Â£2.50), we settled into our comfy seats and awaited the adverts and trailers. The screen lit up. Yeah, itâ€™s starting!
Suddenly, the audience all stood up as the national anthem played, whilst a huge Indian flag fluttered on the screen. Slight awkward moment. Do we sit or stand? We decided to join in with everyone else. Perhaps this might catch on in UK? Or not!
Immediately afterwards, Dunkirk started and within seconds – there were no trailers – we were totally engrossed, especially me, who might have jumped a few times (not a great idea when holding popcorn!).
I was really enjoying the movie when abruptly (about half way through) the screen went black. Damn a powercut, Amy thought, but no, the lights came up and people went out for refreshments. We werenâ€™t expecting that!
It was great to experience the cinema in Mumbai, which is of course the centre of Bollywood. Weâ€™ll do this again but Bollywood style.
In Mumbai our accommodation for two nights is the Hotel Airport International, a fairly standard budget hotel very close to Mumbai’s domestic airport, not too far from the international airport. We stayed here at the end of our 2011 trip, arriving late by a 13 hour train from Goa and departing early for a flight home. We never really saw much of the hotel but it did us very well and I had no hesitation to stay here again.