We just “landed in Vegas for the biggest wedding photography convention (WPPI) and ready for some great new inspirations and meeting old and new friends! But before that, we gotta get this blog post finally up in the air.
WOW, it really took us so long but believe it or not, traveling sounds like a lot of free time but you end up doing something all the time. And between India and now there happened so many things we hardly can process everything. AND: we got married too…but more about this very soon, it was more than wonderful!
But here we are now with a little story about our three weeks stay in one of our most beloved countries in the world: INDIA.
You never know what’s coming up in the next years so we desperately wanted to visit the south of India during our trip and it was a great decision.
We landed in Bangalore from Frankfurt (btw, got a last second upgrade to Business Class, which was a perfect Christmas present from Lufthansa, thank you for this) and first thing we did was of course strolling around in the city.
Bangalore is a different India than the one we have experienced until now. It’s also called the IT-City or “The Indian Silicon Valley” and it’s the third largest city after Mumbai and Delhi. But it is totally different to these two other cities.
Well of course we have not had the chance to see every place in Bangalore but the first impression (and second, and third) is that people, generally speaking, are wealthier than in other parts we have traveled.
We will learn further south in Kerala, that this seems to be true all over South India. We have hardly seen anyone begging or directly living on the streets. If you leave Delhi or Mumbai with the train, you will experience a lot of poverty just next to the rail tracks. Not so in Bangalore or at least we have not come across it. Which would not be possible in the other two cities.
We didn’t know how badly we missed the horns, the constantly changing smells everywhere and the people of this country. Trains are always over booked, so we tried to get our hands on a ticket to Kochi (Kerala) the very first day to spend New Years eve somewhere at the beach.
A lot of people had this idea actually, but as always, we got our spot in the train and could not wait to get to, what people say, one of the most beautiful parts of India. Kerala.
Last minute booking is a little habit we suffer from and that makes it sometimes a little difficult to find a nice and reasonable place to stay. What were we thinking? It’s New Years Eve, so of course tons of Indian people would be there on vacation too. However, we found a nice homestay last minute, maybe a bit overpriced but clean.
There isn’t too much to do in Kochi, so once we transferred into 2014 we headed further down to a nicer beach area, to Marari beach before we start to explore the back waters of this area.
We loved that beach, it was beautiful but still very calm and quite. Not much people, and if, they were Indian tourists.
After a couple of nights at the beach, with reading and enjoying the sun, we headed near of Alleppey to enjoy the beautiful back waters.
Staying at a lovely homestay and doing day trips from there was a really new experience for us. It’s different in so many ways. People are different, it’s not so over crowded and populated. Very laid-back as you hardly feel anyone trying to sell you something anywhere.
So touring on a canoe through the small channels watching people do their laundry, brushing teeth and morning shower all in the same water was super peaceful. You would imaging that if someone floats with a boat through your bathroom in the morning at 8am, you probably would freak out. We did feel a bit awkward to be honest, BUT instead, these people were super excited to see us! Everyone gave us a smile or the well known “Hello, which country?” as well as waving towards us.
It’s been wonderful! The second day of that boat trip, we had Anton with his sweet motor boat show as a larger part of the area and explained how the people grow the rice and how everything works in theses waters.
Our last planed stop was Varkala, thanks we did not had too much time to hang out there as this place is not our type of traveling at all. We went to the cliff shore and it was really too touristy and over crowded with western people. But still, we found a couple of nice spots to go to and experience the southern Indian life. It’s been very hot and humid but we did enjoy the time there specially one really great, traditional performance we had the pleasure to attend: It’s called Kathakali. We learned it takes 10-15 years to really be able to have your face muscles under control to express every feeling with your body without words at all. Complete story telling without any words. Really impressive!
Food, photo walks, cultural time and the few days in Kerala came quickly to an end. We had to head back to Bangalore for the next flight to Sydney. As usually, we could get catch last minute booked train :-)
India, once again you welcomed us with open arms and we enjoyed traveling. We love you and will be back, for sure. Hopefully soon!
Carmen and Ingo