To all of you out there – have a pleasant weekend.
Wonderful – the Monsoon rains bring much needed relief from the heat, but of course, amongst other things, creates havoc on the roads!
But look here, those youngsters in Fort Cochin were not put off by the heavy downpours (I was – I stayed in the car, :)) and played their football games with vigour.
It was great fun just to sit in the car and watch them.
We all at times have the need and urge to get away for just a few days in order to escape the pressures of everyday life with its problems and subsequent frustrations.
And living here in Cochin we have quite a wide choice within Kerala itself to escape to.
This is exactly what Jo and I did last week – as usual on the spur of a moment; Sunday night this was discussed, Monday morning we were off.
So now get your own cup of coffee/tea/milk or cold drink and come with me “down South” here in Kerala.
Only a few hours of leisurely drive took us past Trivandrum (the actual State Capital) and another 12 kms further South to the little town of Kovalam, right at the edge of the Arabian Sea with its warm water and gentle breeze and against the dense backdrop of those tall Coconut trees, swaying gently in the breeze.
After all, Kerala is known as ‘the land of Coconuts and Spices” and coming in to land at the Airport in nearby Trivandrum, the site of the lushness of the land and those trees always makes our hearts do a couple of extra beats and our blood flow a bit faster.
And despite our extensive travels abroad, we always enjoy coming back home!
Kovalam is also popularly known as the “Paradise of South India” and there is no doubt, that Kovalam Beach is the most famous beach in the whole of India.
And the sunset…. – oh my friends, I must not forget to mention THE SUNSETS! Painters and Photographers alike have such a big variety of those, since it is never ever the same the next evening.
This is also a place which has over the years turned into a more than popular honeymoon location, and many foreigners come here to get married on the Beach.
Since ca. 1930 this town has developed into quite a popular tourist destination for domestic as well as foreign tourists alike. What attracts them to come down here is the simple beauty, the warm waters of the Sea, the friendliness of the people who live here and of course the many Ayurvedic places providing excellent treatment for the tourists.
For further details please click here on the link for the Kerala Tourism. http://www.keralatourism.org
I hope you enjoyed a glimpse at our Kovalam – do come back in a couple of days for Part II. See you then.
(All Photos: CS/JS – Manningtree Archive)
Here just some more ad random pictures which I took when visiting our Backwaters. Away from the hussle and bussle of City life, pollution and noise it only takes a relative short car ride to bring me to the start of the Backwaters and here I can breath and enjoy the “simple way of life” of those lovely people, always friendly and ready to share a piece of fruit or water or chai (tea) with them. The language barrier does not exist for us, we chat and chat – they in Malayalam and I in English and we understand each other and have a few happy joyous moments together. I love going back to those places, over and over again. So come and join me and enjoy the view. I am happy and proud to show you around.
To all of you who may be sick, or housebound because of blizzards, torrential rain, or snowed in or whatever, here is just a little bit of sunshine.
HIBISCUS – a flower which surrounds us here and somehow always makes me smile when I see them.
This is from me to you – to you! – yes, and to you! – and I hope it will cheer you up just a little bit, in order to face the world head on again tomorrow.
I have never belonged to the group of people who hated Monday – rather the opposite.
Like Spring following Winter – Monday to me was mostly the start of a new week with all its ups and downs, its surprises jumping at me from unsuspected quarters; but then because I have a “job” I enjoy doing.
So far so good – until this past Monday! So many things were written down on my “what-to-do” list over the week-end, and a couple of them were quite urgent, that I was ready to ‘rock-and-roll’ my way through Ernakulam (what we call our City centre). Anticipating therefore being back home early afternoon ready to cook a nice delicious Kerala curry, take the photographs and write my Blog-entry to be posted that evening.
So far so good – but then the powers-to-be came and ruined my entire well laid out plans.
You must have had days like this when everything and anything went wrong for you. Hm, yes – just like my Monday!
Traffic that day was absolutely atrocious, people I had to see had either not yet turned up at their office or had to rush off to some more important meeting, items I really needed for my kitchen were not available that day, other people, who normally were always friendly, were wearing their “I-hate-Monday’s-therefore-I-am-grumpy” face, etc. etc. – I knew you understand.
Then when I finally reached home and had my second cup of coffee of the day, I found out that the Internet connection had gone due to ‘line complaint’! And before I even had the chance of starting in my kitchen the electricity went off, too and did not come back for a long long time, by then I had decided to call it a day!
Dreading just a little bit Tuesday (fearing what could possibly go wrong?) I again faced traffic, heat, people not being available etc.
But then I had an idea! And a brilliant one, as it turned out in the end. Since, once again I was in Ernakulam, I decided to re-visit a place not too far away. A place I had last been to appr. 4 years ago – Vypeen!
Vypeen (or Vipin, as it is also known) belongs to a group of islands, forming part of the City of Cochin/Ernakulam only just 5 km away and is now a fast developing suburb of Cochin.
Heavy floods in 1341 shaped this Island – but now once again it is re-connected to the Mainland by various bridges, known as the Goshree Bridges.
After parking the car by the Bus Depot I went right down to the edge of the sea – a spot which I like very much.
Not much really has changed; in a way I felt time has stood still.
Right along the seafront, a paved path has now been laid out for locals and visitors to walk on and sit and enjoy the fresh sea breeze and watch life on the water go by before their very own eyes. There are the big ships, many many fishing canoes whizzing through the water like colourful butterflys, the public ferry taking people across to the other side. Birds looking for small fish near the waters edge. And the occasional boys trying to catch a bigger fish just with a line (but I have never seen a catch here).
I love just sitting there and watch the breakers out at the mouth of the Arabian Sea. And I even found a few reminders of the once well maintained ‘Chinese Fishing nets’, now completely dilapidated and still, to my utter amazement, fishermen dare walk those few remaining planks, like acrobats in a circus, lowering a net in the hope to be lucky and not only catch their lunch but also enough to sell.
But, as you can see from one of my photographs here, luck was not much on their side that morning. Look at the little ‘Tiger Fish’ – not even a child’s mouthful! But their spirits were high and they go on looking forward to their next catch, which might after all be the lucky one for them.
It is quite a peaceful place – not (yet) overrun by tourists and the few locals out are a friendly and courteous lot. I will have to go back there, and soon for more fresh sea air and photographs and to write my ‘Vypeen – the Island (Part II)’
Until then, Ciao Carina
Officially around 21st September Autumn makes his entrance into England. Although not welcomed by everybody, there are still plenty of us, who quite like the change in the seasons with all their plus- and minus points.
Despite what is always being said about the “good old British weather…” it is a fact, that often Summer will not allow Autumn just to enter and push her aside, ‘…just like that…’ – oh no. More often than not the country is blessed with some really wonderful warm sunny days before the onslaught of darkness and rain arrives for real.
Take London for example; blessed with a great number of wonderful parks and plenty of tree-lined streets, she will show off a wonderful display of autumn colours before the leaves fall down and bring tremendous enjoyment to children, young and older!! Who has not felt like a child again walking through a park or wood and playing the old game of kicking up the leaves (especially if somebody had just swept them up into small ‘mountains’ to be taken away at a later stage for composting). Come on; admit it, its tremendous fun.
It is said, that some people start getting depressed around this time of year, but why? For us, who live in a country which is hot all year round, this seasonal change is a blessed relief and full of enjoyment.
Unfortunately we have nearly always just missed this change, returning home to India only a few days before Lady Sunshine burst onto the scene once more with full force. But I can leave you with a picture of one of the trees near our apartment in London. Every day that tree looked different – I only wish I would have taken a picture every day to record this. Hm, there is always another time, right?
And also I like to introduce you to yet 2 more paintings which we like so very much. Both depicting “autumn” (Herbst/Fall).
The first one by Frederic Edwin Church we saw in June this year for the first time in a Museum during our visit to Madrid – I wish you too could see the real thing! The colours are incredible.
The second one is by John Everett Millais and can be found in the City Art Gallery in Manchester, England.
(The pictures of the two paintings courtesy of Wikipedia)