Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Trip to India - part 1

Hubby and I had been to India during New Year holidays. On the evening of 28th December 2013, we took a domestic flight from Akita and reached Haneda Airport at about 6 pm. Haneda Airport is formally known as Tokyo International Airport. It is one of the two primary airports in Tokyo area. We had a lot of free time, so we moved around inside the airport terminal building. Since it was Christmas-New Year period, there was a lot of lighting and illumination inside the terminal building. We enjoyed viewing the illumination and felt that the inside of the building looked marvelous. Afterwards, we went to the fourth floor where there is a market place named Edo Koji Zone, which is modeled after a typical street from the Edo period. The market place has many gift shops and is lined with restaurants selling traditional Japanese dishes and cuisines. From there we bought a few gifts to take to India, and afterwards had dinner at a restaurant. After dinner, we went outside the building complex and got a nice view of the international terminal building and many airplanes of various countries. After enjoying the views for some time, we returned back inside the building complex. Later we went to a nearby hotel where we stayed for the night.
Illuminated Haneda Airport terminal building
 
More lighting and illumination inside the building
 
I am standing in front of an illuminated stage
 
I am having dinner at a restaurant in the fourth floor of the terminal building
 
Outside the international terminal building at Haneda
 
View from the international terminal building
 
An airplane
 
 
The next day, on 29th December, we left the hotel early in the morning and went to Haneda Airport at about 8 am. We reached the departure terminal located on the third floor of the building and went to the Cathay Pacific check-in counters. We got our boarding passes and checked in our baggage. Then after security check, we went to the boarding gate of our flight and waited for some time. The flight left the airport at about 10.45 am and reached Hong Kong International Airport at 15.00 pm (local time). It was a five hours very comfortable flight.
Hubby waiting at the boarding gate area in Haneda Airport for Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong
 
Outside view from our boarding gate area at Haneda Airport
 
 
After reaching Hong Kong International Airport, we went through the security check and reached the departure hall of Terminal 1. From the departure hall, we got beautiful views of the outside. We had five hour transit stopover in Hong Kong, so we just walked around inside the departure hall. While walking, we saw many exhibits giving glimpses of the history and culture of Hong Kong. We enjoyed seeing various shops, and bought a bottle of duty-free whiskey for my older brother from one of the liquor shops. Afterwards we had lunch at a restaurant located inside the terminal. After having food, we realized that we still had about half an hour to wait, so we just sat and relaxed near the boarding gate of our Cathay Pacific flight. Our flight left Hong Kong at about 20.10 pm and reached Mumbai at 00.20 am (30th December local time).
Outside view from the departure hall of Hong Kong International Airport
 
Another outside view from the departure hall
 
I am standing in front of some exhibits giving glimpses of Hong Kong
 
Hubby standing in front of a shop
 
I am relaxing after having lunch at a restaurant
 
 
We finished the arrival and customs procedures by 1.45 am at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. After that we took a taxi and reached Hilton Mumbai International Airport Hotel within ten minutes. We stayed at this hotel for 3 nights. The lobby of the hotel is gorgeous and we loved our room. I wished to look around our room a bit to see what all amenities were available to us, but we were very tired and so we slept immediately.
Lobby of Hilton Mumbai International Airport Hotel
 
Another view of the lobby
 
Yet another view of the lobby
 
I am standing in our room
 
Toilet and bathing area in the room
 
Waiting to sleep
 
 
On the morning of 30th December, we got up at about 8 am and had breakfast at one of the restaurants located inside the hotel. Both western as well as Indian food was available and almost everything tasted so good, or may be we were just hungry. We spent almost an hour having a relaxed breakfast.
Outside view as seen from our room
 
We crossed the lobby area to reach the restaurant
 
The restaurant where we had breakfast
 
Another view of the restaurant
 
Hubby’s breakfast
 
Hubby having breakfast
 
Hubby having soup
 
I am having breakfast
 
 
Later, we hired a taxi for the entire day and did sightseeing in Mumbai. It was very nice to see various interesting sightseeing spots about which I will write a post later on. In the evening our taxi driver left us in front of ISKCON Temple in Juhu area of Mumbai, where we met my friend and her family. I studied with my friend during undergraduate as well as postgraduate studies, and I was really excited to meet her. We all walked up to the nearby Juhu Beach and chatted a lot while walking along the beach. Later we returned to ISKCON Temple and had dinner at a restaurant located inside the temple premises. It was really nice to talk with my friend and her family. Hopefully we can meet more often in future. By the time hubby and I returned back to our hotel, it was almost 11 pm. We were extremely tired of all the walking we did during sightseeing, and so we slept immediately on reaching our room.
Hubby, I, my friend and her husband (left to right) standing at Juhu Beach
 
We all are having dinner at a restaurant inside ISKCON premises
 
My friend’s son is also there in this photo
 
Hubby and my friend’s son
 
My friend and I
 
Hubby slept immediately after reaching the hotel room
 
 
On 31st December, we had breakfast at the restaurant located inside the hotel and then went to see a beautiful place named Elephanta Caves located on Elephanta Island (also called Gharapuri Island), which is one of a number of islands in Mumbai Harbor. I will write a post about our visit to Elephanta Caves sometime later. We returned back to our hotel at about 6.30 pm and took rest for about an hour. Later we had dinner at a Chinese restaurant named Imperial China located near the lobby inside the hotel. Since it was the last day of the year, we ordered a special five-course set menu for dinner. Although wine was served free that day, we were not in the mood to drink wine. Hubby ordered a glass of bear for himself and I had cold drink. The food was absolutely delicious, and tasted authentic and flavorful. We really enjoyed the food and the ambience, and the service was great. A professional person played piano at the lobby of the hotel and we enjoyed the music while having dinner. Later we sat in the lobby area and enjoyed the music some more.
I am waiting for dinner at Imperial China restaurant located near the lobby of the hotel
 
Two types of pickles
 
Fried dumplings
 
Soup
 
Hubby’s main course
 
Hubby having the main course
 
My main course
 
Dessert
 
A professional person playing piano at the lobby of the hotel
 
I am sitting in the lobby area and enjoying the music
 
 
On 1st January, we checked out of the hotel at about 10 am and hired a taxi to go up to Pune City where my parents live. My parent’s home in Pune is located about 160 kilometers southeast of the hotel we stayed in Mumbai, and it took us about 4 hours to reach home due to heavy traffic that day. It was about 2.30 pm when we entered the home. It had been a long and tiring travel, but the tiredness was all gone on meeting my parents. Hubby and I were so happy to meet my parents. We talked a lot and took a few photos for the sake of memory. We had some snacks at about 4 pm. Later hubby helped in washing all our dirty clothes that had accumulated over the past several days. My mother cooked a simple meal of fried fish, a vegetable curry dish, Dal curry, rice, and salad for dinner. My father helped her out while cooking in the kitchen. It felt so good to eat my mother’s cooked food after such a long time. Hubby also loves her food preparation style very much, and he ate nine pieces of fish-fry during dinner. We were so busy to eat food that we completely forgot to take photos of various dishes. After dinner, we all relaxed and chatted for a few hours. While chatting, hubby helped in removing peas from peapods that were used for preparing a dish for breakfast the next day. But he ate almost half of the peas as they were very fresh and tasty. At about 11.30 pm we went to our room and retired for the night.
My father, mother, and I
 
Hubby along with my parents
 
Hubby having some snack
 
Hubby helping in washing our dirty clothes
 
Hubby is spreading the clothes
 
He is hanging the clothes from a clothesline to dry
 
My mother preparing dinner
 
Father helping her while cooking dinner
 
Mother making fish-fry
 
My father and hubby chatting after dinner
 
Hubby helping in removing peas from peapods
 
My mother relaxing and enjoying watching some television program
 
 
Hubby and I felt really nice to meet my parents after three years. We stayed in Pune and relaxed for another four days. In the next post, I will write about the remaining five days of our trip to India.
 

5 comments:

Mekkan said...

Dear Manisha san
I am so happy for you to know you visited your parents this past January.I enjoyed reading what you had done during the trip.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thanks Mekkan-san for your comment. And thank you very much for reading this post. Hubby and I visited my parents only for 3.5 days but it was really nice.

Pankaj said...

amazing! thanks for sharing your experience.

Manisha Kundu-Nagata said...

Thank you very much Pankaj for your nice comment.

komal verma said...

Nice and interesting information and informative too.
Can you please let me know the good attraction places we can visit: Mumbai To Hong Kong Flight