Sunday, December 16, 2012

Exotic India

As we sailed into Cochin India, it looked like a modern high rise city.......We never saw that part of Cochin! We had a private tour to cruise the Backwaters of Alappuzha, which entailed a 90 minute hair raising ride to the river. In all of our drives on these cruises this one takes the cake! Imagine a 2 lane highway with a white line down the imagine 5 lanes of traffic on that road, going as fast as possible.The 2 outside lanes have motorcycles ( each with 3 or more people on them), tuk-tuks,( see below) bicycles, cows( yes people, COWS) and the occasional goat. the next two lanes are cars, buses( with people hanging on to the outside) and trucks, going in opposite directions. The white line is the passing lane...also known as the Chicken lane! Everyone is weaving in and out of traffic, and trying to pass each other in the chicken lane...It was amazing to see the near misses....We finally stopped looking and just prayed! When we arrived at the dock, we made the sign of the cross, thanked God for watching over us, and changed our underwear!


The rest of the day we had a wonderful relaxing cruise thru rural India. The boat was modeled after the old boats that carried the Kings. It had a thatched roof, 2 modern bedrooms and baths, a kitchen and a front area with couches and chairs, and a dining room table ...all with wonderful views of the river.
Our Boat

Stopping to pick up supplies for lunch
 We had a lovely lunch, cooked onboard. Michael did not eat, ( surprise!) but I had some curried chicken and rice, and it was soooooo good! the area that we cruised thru was very tropical with coconut palms and rice paddies
we saw many women washing their clothes in the river, right next to people bathing, and or washing their dishes.....They were all so friendly, waving as we went by.....
Children on the way home from school
transporting bags of rice!

The India I hoped we would see....and I loved it!

The next day, we had a free tour offered to the Elite members, We took a bus thru the old part of Cochin, and it was amazing! Cochin is 35% christian, and we saw many Catholic churches, all filled with worshipers, as it was Sun morning,
The Cathedral

 We also visited a Jewish Synagogue, and we visited the royal palace. We walked the very crowded streets, and visited the spice shops, and the fish markets ( why are fish markets so interesting?)

Crowded streets
( note the tuk-tuk upper right)

Spice shop
The smell was amazing!

Women shopping
Fish Market
Fresh catch of the day!
It was a very hot day, and we were ready for our last stop at a very fancy hotel. We had snacks, and ICE COLD BEER, prior to watching a performance of traditional Indian dancing. All the men voted that the best stop of the day!

After 3 very cold beers

We saw a SNAKE CHARMER with 2 cobras! He played a flute, and made the snakes dance....It made my day!

All in all, India was very exotic and full of surprises!

Walk like an Egyptian....

I felt like I needed to do a second Blog on Egypt! After all.....I waited all my life for these pictures!

Our first view as we rounded a corner

see the camels in the distance?
Guess who!!
There was even one Egyptian family that spread a blanket, and had a picnic in the shade of the great pyramid!
I wonder what they are eating?
Michael and his friends!
                                                         Just the right size for me!
The Sphinx
( try to ignore my finger in the upper left!)
We finished our wonderful day with a sunset cruise on the Nile river. It was so peaceful on our little sailboat for nine. The capt put up the sail, and sang Egyptian songs as we watched the sunset. It was an awesome and magical moment.
Our Captain
So relaxing

What a sunset!!
I loved Cairo and the pyramids!