The Lemon Tree was a lovely hotel with very good facilities including a pool and fitness centre, but unfortunately we didn't have the time to use them during our brief overnight stay.
We flew internally to Mumbai, a two hour flight, using an Indian airline, indigo.com, and this related more to a bus service than a flight, with incoming passengers disembarking as we embarked. The aircraft was a new Airbus Industries A320. We left on time after a turnaround of about 15 minutes and had a great flight. I did however notice that a member of the cabin crew entered and stayed in the cockpit when one of the pilots came out to use the rest room, so it would appear that international safety regulations have already been changed after the recent tragic events in the French Alps. The Captain was stood with the cabin manager to bid us farewell at the end of the flight, which I thought was a nice additional touch.
Indian air travel tip: Be sure to obtain one security label for every single piece of hand luggage, including handbags. If you arrive at the scanning queue without them attached you will be turned away. Once scanned, make sure the labels have a security stamp on them. If you arrive at the departure gate and it hasn't you will be turned away from there too.
Our arrival in Mumbai marks the end of our pre-booked 10 day tour. We arranged this using a trusted Delhi travel agent that Jill had used extensively during her year working and living in Mumbai (at the Taj President), in 2011. I must say that so far the company, http://www.elandholidays.com/ has again done us proud. We arranged our own international flights using opodo.com this time round as they were not only cheapest, but could also cater for our arrival in Amritsar in the North, and our departure from Cochin in the far South. We also arranged our own booking at the Vivanta by Taj President hotel in Mumbai. Everything else of our 10 day tour - hotels with breakfast included, drivers, transfers and internal flights were booked on our behalf as a bespoke private tour by eland holidays. Every aspect of that went like clockwork, and at what cost? Less than £500 pp for the whole 10 day tour. Daily living in India is also relatively cheap for the Western tourist, coming in at an average £20 per day - for all three of us!
Now that is over, we move on to the second stage of our trip, with a seven night stay in Mumbai. We are using this time to meet old friends, see more of Mumbai, and be pampered. Once we leave here, Jill returns to London and work, while we embark on stage 3 as we fly on South to the State of Kerala, and some super luxury at another Taj group hotel there we have enjoyed in the past.
Here are a few initial snaps of our arrival in Mumbai.