Here we are in beautiful Fort Cochin, an old Portuguese/Dutch/British colonial town on an island off the mainland of Kerala. A lovely town with plenty of old buildings and churches. In fact the oldest Catholic church in India is here (St Francis) which the Dutch changed over to a protestant church when they landed in the late 1600s. Vasco de Gama first came here in the early 1500s and eventually died here in 1524. We are staying at the old Portuguese governors house where de Gama actually died (apparently!).
Yesterday we went to the Synagogue in Jew Town, which is the only synagogue in the world where you have to take your shoes off before entering (apparently) as the floow is tiled with blue & white Chinese porcelain tiles - no two tiles are the same (apparently). It too has been here since the 1500s but was never changed into a protestant church for obvious reasons.
The day before yesterday we took a trip on the backwaters in a 'typical' Keralan rice barge before stopping for a traditional Kerala lunch served on a banana leaf. In the afternoon we went in a small canoe around the smaller backwaters and saw kingfishers, cormorants and people doing their washing. But all in all a very relaxing day and not too hot. In fact its only about 34 degrees C here but the humidity is up to 93 per cent, plenty of showers and prickly heat powder required :-)
The rest of the time we have spent eating sea food and reading books as its too flipping hot to do anything else.
Books we are reading:
Wendy: A book about the migration of curry across the world
Paul: Shame by Salman Rushdie
Tomorrow we are flying to Goa to see what that is like and if all goes to plan then we hope to head off to the north of India above Delhi and maybe go to Dharamsala to say hello to the Dalai Lama and maybe Shimla, Amristar and Chandigarh - but who knows
Will be in touch again in a few days time..........