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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Cochin, Kerala, India

Feb 20, 2010 - Fort Cochin

I came back to the coast from the mountains (Western Ghats) yesterday. Fort Cochin has a long history as a port. Beside Indian regimes, the Portuguese were here, followed by the Dutch and the British. This whole area is filled with spices growing and being sold both in retail and wholesale all over the world. It is what Columbus was looking for when he got lost. I went to see the spice industry. Besides spices the large warehouses also have all kinds of ayurvedic medicinal plants. I also went to a great former palace and museum that was...

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India On My Own

Feb 4, 2010 - IN THE HILLS

We are now in the Kattappana Region, having traveled from Downton on Wednesday. This is a rural area in the mountains. With the altitude in the 2,000 – 3,500 foot range, the climate is very pleasant with low humidity (for India) and a slight chill at night. The towns that we have seen in the area are all built on the hills. Our arrival to the Kattappana Region was a typical GSE arrival, 2 hours late. We had three vehicles for the trip from Downton, two with the team and several Rotarians and one with all of our luggage. Our first stop was a...

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Feb 3, 2010 - FOREST GETAWAY

Monday morning, before we left for Periyar, Jon and Patrick made an early morning (7:30) visit to the Choice School. This is a private school grades K-12 and is considered one of the best schools in Cochin. There are about 2000 students. The vice-principle (Sunitha) is a member of the D3201 team to D5190. We attended the Monday morning assembly and as usual were asked to say a few words to the students. The facilities are nice, and the school has classes in both traditional and western music and art. All off the students who graduate attend...

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Jan 31, 2010 - Elephant Ride & Water Falls

On Friday we had another day of vocational visits. They were similar to our first day of visits. Patrick visited the IT Park, and several IT firms at the park. What is unusual for the park is that it is owned by the state government, but they run it like a high tech business. Brenda visited an Ayuveda school (college) and talked to staff members. Jen had the opportunity to meet with a company that places students for overseas studies, and she also met with a private consultant who helps to get Indian students enrolled in overseas colleges...

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Jan 31, 2010 - Beautiful Backwaters of Kerala

FLIGHT DOWN SOUTH We flew Kingfisher Air from Goa to Kochin. This is only of note in that it is owned by the same company and uses the same logo as the only beer brewed and sold widely in India. Is it wise to fly on a beer plane? The security at the airports (yes it was a transfer flight via Bangladesh) was intense. At one flight we had to pass through three screening areas that involved the walk through, the carry on scan, the body pat down, and an opening of handbags for inspection. Ladies have their own pat down area complete with...

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Jan 29, 2010 - COCHIN

We have been in Cochin now for 3 days. Cochin is on the coast and is at or below sea level. There are canals and natural waterways. The contrast with Coimbatore is like night and day. Where as Coimbatore is 90% Hindu and vegetarian, Cochin has a greater mix of religions with Roman Catholic being the major Christian religion. And because of this many of the families are meat eaters. The city of Cochin is also more cosmopolitan, wider streets,tall buildings, and much new construction. (For example four of the team host families live in a high...

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Jan 26, 2010 - The Farm And More

On Sunday we went to the farm of Rotarian Venki. It is about 90 minutes from Coimbatore at the base of the Ghats mountain range. The farm is a demonstration farm. Venki is planting different crops together to maximize the use of the land. Along with the farming, he has rabbits, goats, pidgins and dairy cows. The house is almost a country palace with nice gardens, a swimming pool, and outdoor social areas. After we finished at the farm Venki took us to the village where he was born. On the plot of land where his house was, he has built a 3...

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Dec 22, 2009 - Fort Cochin

A short bus ride took us to Cochin (population 1.4 million), a former Dutch and then Portuguese colony. Today, the city is a modern, sprawling metropolis, popular Indian tourist destination and a shopping mecca. We stayed in Fort Cochin, the older part of the city where many historic buildings and small lanes still stand. This part of India has a very large Christian community so it made for an interesting place to spend Christmas. Many shop owners, touts and taxi drivers would wish us a "Happy Christmas". One day, some cheeky kids riding...

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Dec 2, 2009 - Week 4

Week Four, Captains log.....somwhere in Southern India (Fort Kochi and Allepey actually). So Goa is done and our next port of call was Cochin (Fort Kochi)- Laura is now fully recovered fyi. We took the sleeper train from Palolem (Goa) to Ernakulam which was a 14 hour journey in relative comfort. It was great fun despite the cockroaches! We took a rickshaw from Ernakulam to Fort Kochi and checked in to our amazing homestay (Greenhouse Bethlehem) with the wonderfully doting Sheeba and Ashley. Prior to this our rickshaw driver tried to rip us...

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Travelling Hamstyle

Nov 22, 2009 - Backwater blues

After two rickety bus journeys up and down steep mountains slopes on local buses that shrieked to a stop at the last minute when passersby waved their hand; I realized that the drivers had developed a particular system with their blasting horns: Hi!-honk (once, quite cheerfully); watch-out-honk (twice, rapid succession): mooooooove-honk (drawn out, irritated, especially if repeated): I've-lost-it-now-honk (short, long, two/one short, angrily). If you want to save money and travel simply surrounded by warm and friendly people, I really...

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Elin in India

Jun 23, 2009 - Keral-Ahhh!! (with photos)

Sunday, June 21, 2009 What a beautiful relief to arrive in Kerala! What a sublime jewel of a state, green, lush, fertile and, most wonderfully for me, laidback. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon when I landed at Kochi airport, and the bags came through pretty quickly. Green green green was all I could see from the plane as I landed (well, through the humid air, that is), and I fell for the place immediately. I arranged for a pre-paid taxi from the airport immediately, and bought a Kerala SIM card for my phone - always handy. I wound down...

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V's 2009 wanderings

Jun 23, 2009 - Cochin

COCHIN!!! Today we saw all of Cochin, a much more beautifully sounding city then actually is. The most recognizable difference between the city and others we had visited was the frigid nature of the people in the state. The city was very empty, we are told because most people have no interest in staying in the state, as such the entire city would close at 8 o'clock. The most memorable part of the city was Jew town, and it's famous Jew street. We saw their port filled with chinese fishing nets and a board walk filled with fish merchants....

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I Love India 2009

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