Thursday, October 16, 2008

Day # 3 : 15th Dec 2003

This day began with a hot tub bath, ate snacks in the room. At 8.45 am Aslam our driver for the next 10 days impeccable manners, gloved hands and caring nature impressed us instantly and he was just a 20 something guy. Came to pick us up. The Indica provided to us looked in perfect condition. Aslam's Indica was perfect for Dad and me even though it is a small car compared to Toyota Qualis they gave us yesterday.

We tasted our first appam with veg stew at Hotel sapphire a coffee shop on S.A. Rd in Cochin. The place was warm and friendly. The bright crisp air of Cochin put us in great anticipation as we sipped our cups of tea/coffee. This cost us just 11 Rs. Everything was so inexpensive in Kerala.

Our sightseeing in Cochin began with a visit to the Dutch Palace Museum. This palace belonged to the Verma dynasty. We saw the royal robes, weapons, Ivory palanquins and a Meena made in teak wood. The canopy of the Ivory palanquin was a cloth handwoven with silver zari to form floral designs. The entire ceiling was carved. The palace had Portuguese type of a seat at the windows. The royal robes had zardosi designs. The walls had murals painted from Ramayana and Krishna Leela. My Father slipped out quick on seeing the very explicit murals on the walls of the bed chamber. Cameras were not allowed in this palace.

The second place we saw was the Cochin Synagogue. Here there is a room which has pictures that document the history of the entry of the Jews in Kerala and the establishment of the Jewish kingdom. It also narrates the destruction of the kingdom.

We then drove to the harbor to see the Chinese finishing nets and the two churches, Vasco - da- Gama's and the Indo-Portugese one.

Returning to MG Rd. we had an authentic Kerala Thali at the Arya Bhavan for Rs.22 + Rs. 3 for the a/c :)

With our tummy full at 1.30pm we left the city of Cochin for Munnar. I was a bit drowsy after the sapid. On the way we stopped at 2 small water falls.

At around 4.30pm we reached the suicide point. Behind the tea shop we saw an amazing view of the hills. This tea shop has an antique looking cart installed outside as an attraction for tourists.

At 5.00pm we reached Munnar, a tiny town nestled in the valley of the surrounding hill range. There are three streams which confluence in Munnar. On reaching the hotel we had a hot water bath and then stepped out for a walk and as early as 7.00pm the town already looked sleepy.

At Shree Narayan Annexe we were given a small room with a master bed, table, chair, a luggage and a shoe rack. I like the red carpet and the war and bright red blankets which added color and character to the otherwise small room.

The funny thing was that at the reception I told the attendant that we did not want a/c. I asked him if it was central a/c in the hotel. He gave me a mocking look for my ignorance and informed me that it was natural and the temp falls to -2 to -4 deg celcius. I was wonder struck and muttered "in Kerala!!! "

That night we warmed up on tomato soup and gobi manchurian followed by Kerala Paratha and mutter paneer and retired to our room for a good night's sleep.


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Anonymous said...

Good job .. I specially liked the Kerala and North East tour blog. Thanks for the effort in making us want to visit both these places. Hope to take a similar package. We've tralloped half of the world, but have yet to travel inside India. Thanks again. Dias