It is nearing the end of our trip and I have to admit I am slacking on my writing and posts. Part of it is the major travel days and part of it is the on and off again access to the internet. So maybe more pictures less detail depending on the issues I face with loading and the limited bandwidth they got over here.
Our itinerary got changed and we all knew this starting this part of the trip. We would only be spending literally 24 hours here. We had to ride a boat back for an hour and then a local not the most comfortable bus for another two hours...I can't remember.
One bonus was that we were now staying at guest house owned by Intrepid and was the place "original" tours (the category of travel above ours as we were on a "basic" trip) would typically stay since the one for the basic trip was being renovated. Later I plan to do an entry with all the quirks we witnessed on our trip in India and accommodations will play a part in that however this room was set and legit all the way around. Electricity, Aircon, comfy bed, HUGE room, hot water, internet from my room and the first shower curtain I have ever seen in the 30 plus days I've been traveling HA!
Kochi has a diverse, multicultural, and secular community consisting of Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Konkanis and Buddhists among other denominations. Today, the population of the city is a mix of people from all parts of Kerala and most of India. The city's pan-Indian nature is highlighted by the substantial presence of various ethnic communities from different parts of the country. Kochi was the scene of the first European settlement in India and therefore has many influences from Portugal and the Dutch.
After a welcome drink and room assignments we went to this very modern European/American style art cafe.
The entrance was a gallery and the cafe had the yummiest brown bread sandwiches coffee (the real deal not Nescafé crap) and chocolate and banana cream pie!!!
After this huge and tasted meal I opted for a shower and rest instead of walking around as all the traveling was wearing me down and we were suppose to go to a cultural dance that evening. Thom on the other hand walk around a bit. Took some pictures of the oldest church in India St. Francis
Went to the docks and tried out the Chinese fishing nets
That night at the cultural center we saw a dramatic Kathakali dance performance, a 17th-century classical dance drama that originated in Kerala and is famous for its elaborate costumes and makeup.
The next morning we had the most crazy day of transportation. We left at 3:30 AM to get to the airport, took 45 min flight, on SPICE JET
then an airport bus for an hour and then a really nice coach bus for 3 hours. This was in place of an overnight train as seats could not be secured. DAAAA!
Finally at Mysore
That night it happened to be Sunday and that is the night they light up the Mysore Palace and temples for one hour.
It was beautiful!
On top of that it was so nice to see so many families dressed up and out together. Many times in India people want to take your picture too.
That night we had a nice dinner with one beer Fosters actually on tap,
and Megan and I got mixed drinks.
The next day Chetan took some of us on a little drive through the county to see a temple. Along the way we saw oxen pulling carts.
Workers in the rice fields
And brightly painted houses.
After the temple, chai (of course) and lunch we hit the vegetable and flower market in Mysore.
This kid was quite the salesmen and we couldn't resist his charm so we took a seat in his stall while he showed us how he made in sense from scratch and let us try out all his different scented oils.
You also see colored powder everywhere which can be used to paint on canvas or the body. Thom got a sample pack.
Some guys gave us roses in our hair and asked to have his picture taken.
Then I went with Paige and Belinda to the sweet shop where we bought different kinds to share and try. They are extremely sweet almost too much for me mostly soft doughy pieces made with lots of sugar and condensed milk.
That night was another nice dinner and I actually had wine, only the second time since we have been here.
The next morning Thom, Megan and I went to the Mysore Temple. Now you can't take photos inside so I am stealing some from the Internet as it was just gorgeous. One of my favorite.
The architectural style of the palace is commonly described as Indo-Saracenic, and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. The palace is surrounded by a large garden.
Elephants out side the Palace
Well it's back on a bus to Bangalore, then overnight train to Hampi.
Things are winding down.