Today I am writing about two places that are on the opposite side of the country: First about the paradisaic Kerala Backwaters, which are on the west coast of India and then about charmingly European Pondicherry, which is on the east coast. What an awesome combination! What both places have in common is that they used to be European colonies.
The most relaxing trip in India so far was this one! Seven of us (Alex, Martin, Adrien, Laure, Lotti, Cyrielle and the Indian himself) rented a house boat in Alleppey to float on the Kerala Backwaters for 24 hours. Don't get me wrong if I say house boat. I am not talking about a stationary house boat or a Seattle-type of house boat. I am talking about THE house boat of all the house boats. We had a three bed room house boat with a huge open living room in the back of the boat, a kitchen in the front of the boat. Each bed room had its own bathroom. On top of that three human beings were included in the price of 220 CHF/USD (same thing). Isn't that what they mean when they talk about great value?
After and before embarking the house boat we spent some time in Fort Kochi, a former Portuguese colony. A very relaxing place with beautiful trees and the fascinating Chinese fishing nets.
Experience it yourself in the Kerala Backwaters photo album.
Pondicherry is east of Bangalore directly on the sea shore. I arrived there by night train and the most fabulous memory of the night train I made at the first stop in the morning. The Indians would go out of the train and break off twigs from a tree, put these twigs in there mouth and use them to brush there teeth. Amazing!
Pondicherry used to be a French colony and the city itself has two parts: the Tamil part (Which is very noisy, dirty and vibrant) and the French part (which is boring, relaxing and asleep). As you must know by now I prefer the noisy and dirty places on my travels; in the Tamil part I walked into a beautiful fish market as you will see in the pictures. The fish market is dominated by women, I could hardly find any men there. They are the ones getting the fish I guess. In Pondicherry I ran as well into two Australian girls, Beate and Mia, that would tell me about my past and future of my life using numerology. My life number is apparently a 7 (Digit sum of my birthday = 3+8+1+9+8+5 ). What is your number? I spare you all the details of my past and future here, but just ask me if you want to know more.
After roaming around in Pondi for a while I took the bus to Mahabalipuram to meet up with Cyrielle, Laure, Lotti and Antoine (French friends). Unfortunately I didn't take any pics of them but only of fishermen doing there morning toilet on the beach. Mahabalipuram was a bit too touristy for my taste but it was wonderful to hang out with the French equip. On Sunday they even took me to an orphanage which was a special experience.Find all the pictures in the Pondicherry photo album.