Here we are safely arrived at or first hotel in Cochin , Kerala in South West India. It seems to have been a long time waiting for this trip to come around and I have not written my blog for ages so I am a bit out of practice. Trips to a nice hotel in Crete are all very lovely but there’s only so much you can write about when you don’t leave the hotel compound for days on end! Not sure what happened when we went to Iceland as that really was worth a blog post or two but somehow I was distracted by all my lovely travel companions and the snow!
Still never fear, India’s here and this is where my blogging all began. No adventurous train journeys planned this time though.
It would already seem that we are also a little out of practice in the travelling department. We flew out from Birmingham on Emirates to Dubai and then after a relaxed two hour changeover there we caught our connecting flight into Cochin. The first flight was amazing, really smooth and I’m pleased to the say the extra legroom I’d paid for was fab. Jane and I watched films all the way and the 7 hour flight was over in no time. However, the next flight to Cochin wasn’t so good. There was quite a lot of bad turbulence and I am not a fan of this these days. Especially when they tell the cabin crew to take their seats. Anyway, we arrived!
We met our guide and driver Vaiju and made our way in a nice Rav 4 to the Malabar House Hotel, which is in the centre of Fort Cochin, the old town. The drive took about an hour and we noticed how different this already seemed to our trip to Northern India. It all seems a lot more modern, westernised and there was a distinct lack of animals roaming the streets. However, the colours along the way are amazing, especially the ladies clothes which are really bright.
So at our hotel we checked in any by now we’re desperate for some sleep. It was about 11am local time and weird this – their time difference includes a half our! We just wanted to get a few toiletries out of our suitcase – only the locks on the new Samsonites would not open with the code we’d put in. We knew this was going to be trouble back home as we couldn’t really understand the picture instructions. Excellent. Anyway it was all too much so we decided to ignore this pickle and go to sleep for a few hours. Of course we couldn’t really sleep so a bit later we woke up and tried again. We searched the Internet and found several informative videos telling us to use a zoom camera and a flashlight to look for differences down the side of the dials. Only trouble was there was a non existent gap and we couldn’t see nuffin. So by now stress levels were rising. Jane wanted to contact Samsonite in via Joyce back in England and I wanted to rip the suitcases apart with my bare hands. However, in the end we decided to take the suitcases to the nice young man in reception . He smiled promisingly and told us to leave it with him, it would take some time. We skulked off back to our room and waited in tense silence. After about an hour there was a quiet knock at the door and the boy with the smiley face beamed proudly and waved what looked like a hairpin at us. He had done it. What a blooming star. Thank goodness …now our holiday could begin.
We decided to celebrate by using our toiletries, putting on our anti mosi stuff and going up to our lovely hotel’s Wine and Beer lounge! Oh the air conditioned luxury. Actually we sat outside and decided to acclimatise as it is incredibly hot and humid here. We ordered a bottle of Indian (yes I know…) Chenin Blanc and despite the label on it that said ‘Drinking alcohol is injurious to health’ it turned out that wasn’t true at all and in fact it was particularly marvellous! We then took our wine down to the hotels restaurant and whilst an Indian trio played lovely soothing music we ate a fine feast. I say feast because it turned out the Biriani starter I ordered was a main meal so we had quite a bit of food. After my ‘starter’ I then had a Paneer (cheese) dish and Jane had a thali (three small dishes with rice). It was all absolutely delicious and we had a lovely time!