The Mehrangarh Fort, one of the lagest forts in India, sits over 120meters above the city, surrounded by huge thick walls. Inside are a number of palaces and courtyards, the foundations of which date back to 1459, although most of what we see today dates from the period of Jaswant Singh – 1638 to 1678. Entry to the fort is through a series of seven gates, again built and installed over different periods. These have been offset so as to avoid being charged at by armoured elephants.
Liz and I have always romanticised with the idea of sailing into a city. Sydney and Vancouver are two such examples but we never thought we’d get a thrill from sailing into Mumbai, the state capital of the Maharashtra region of central India. This truly is a cosmopolitan city and if you have never been then don’t even begin to conjure up preconceptions of this place, they’ll come nowhere near to the real thing! Mumbai is an assault on the senses; it very quickly became one of my fave cities ever visited, proof of which are the many photographs featured in this extravaganza of a blog post. We have photographs galore! In a departure to the usual ‘inline’ photographs that illustrate my narrative, I have instead put together some slide-shows: the images are bigger and there are more of them! Prepare to be dazzled…
We spent some time in Massawa and we took in a trip to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, which is based above the clouds in the cool mountains. We didn’t take the podcast recorder with us as we were concentrating on photographs, but in this podcast we recount both the trip up the mountains and the city itself, and laugh at Ian of Rhumb Do, who froze in his seat when a curious primate decided to stick his head through the bus window.
In our last podcast we visited a place called Khor Nawarat, which was our last stop in Sudan. Having finally learned how to use our wind pilot we make the next 180 miles under sail alone and find ourselves in Massawa, the port town of Eritrea. Despite being the second poorest country in the world Eritrea is clean, friendly and relaxing, and Massawa a welcome return to some kind of civilisation, including bars that serve local cheap beer! We spent some time in Massawa and managed to wrangle not just a trip to the mountainous capital, Asmara, but get invited to the Fenkle party, which was a celebration of the country’s independence twenty years ago.
Colaba is downtown Mumbai. It’s the gentrified part of the city where university buildings sit next to the law courts, art deco apartment blocks and 60s prefabs. It is also the first part of Mumbai that we, as yotties having arrived by boat, get to see. My brother, having seen the photographs, described it as a tropical London. That’s not far off the mark.
Part Two of the Asmara pictures, these ones of the city itself. Hopefully you saw Part One this morning of the road trip. The pics of the city itself are better than the ones of the bus journey to Asmara because we passed through the cloud cover and were back in the sun, giving me better light to take some snaps. Enjoy!
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