Monday, August 8, 2011

More Adventures

And here we are with our guide

Here I am on the Backwaters.

So this past week we went to Kerala and it was amazing! It is so different than Tamil Nadu (the state where I currently am) it's like a whole different world. It was a lot more modern, they speak a different language, even the food was different...that made it difficult to order food sometimes. For example, here a roast is a big crepe with dipping sauce. So one night we ordered roast and it turned out that in Kerala it is a sauce that you use to put on parrotas, chapathi (kind of like a tortilla), etc. etc. So we had to get more food. But it was really good; I actually kinda wish they made it in Tamil Nadu. Anyway, we stayed on the border of the Arabian Sea in Eurnakulum and were able to do a lot of neat things.
We took a ferry to the nearby island and saw the Dutch palace which was made mostly out of dark tea wood. Actually, the best part about the Dutch palace was that it had murals depicting scenes from Hindu stories/legends (mostly involving Rama, Krishna, Siva, etc) and was REALLY cool to see. I am still amazed by how culturally rich India is, and the stories are fascinating. This probably has to do with the fact that I’ve never heard them before so the stories always are new and exciting. The palace was older than the US and the murals were beautiful…unfortunately I couldn’t take picture! We also went to see an old Catholic Cathedral, which was the oldest cathedral in all of Kerala. The Portuguese had a big influence on Cochin so there are many Christians, which generally isn’t the case. We also saw a Jewish Temple. So basically within a radius of about 2-3 Km there is an old Catholic Cathedral, Hindu Palace, and Jewish Mosque. There also is a Jain temple, but we weren't able to go see it because we didn’t have enough time.
We also got to go on a tour through the backwaters of Kerala. That was a calming experience too! It was just us, our tour guide, and boat man on the a rice canoe. The water was cool and the only thing you heard were the sounds of the birds chirping and those who lived nearby working in their homes. It was so tranquil and there were SO MANY plants and spices that grew there. Cochin basically has any spice you could imagine. It smelled terrific! And on the tour we saw the plant form of everything. Now I know why the spice trade was so popular. And the interesting thing is that it's still thriving today. India used to trade with Rome. Not only has it survived Rome but has survived so many other world events. Anyway, the backwaters are a must for anyone traveling to south India.
So there are some of my recent happenings. I LOVE traveling!

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