Cochin Continued (Again and Again!!)

Trip Start Feb 16, 2008
Trip End May 21, 2008

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, March 24, 2008

Sorry this one is in two but you lot wouldn't believe how difficult this is and it's really testing our powers of perseverence.Wev'e done this entry twice already and lost it.There's always some problem with the pc's.Thanks for your comments we LOVE getting them!!!
Anyway here we go again!!!!
In the evening Francis came to take us to a performance of Kathakali, a dramatised presentation of a play,based on the Hindu epics the Ramayana,the Mahabharataand the Puranes,"drummers and singers accompany the actors.The script is vocalised by the singers but its the performers who actually tell the storythrough precise movements, hand gestures and facial expressions" First you watch the make which takes about two hours.We did watch this for a while but hey we're only human and went unsucessfully in search of a beer but had to make do with a bottle of water!!!
The play we saw was about a prince being persued by a demon disguised as a beautiful woman(!!!-see photos!!!) When the prince rejects her advances and she won't take no for an answer he cuts off her nose, an ear and a breast!!! It was weird but really good and it really is a serious art form in Kerala.
The next day Francis took us to Fort Cochin.We both loved this place.Its very historical and tranquil,with beautiful decaying old buildings(mostly built by the British during the time of the Raj. We saw the chinese fishing netswhich have been used here sincebeing introduced by traders from the court of Kublai Khan.We also saw St Francis church said to be the oldest european church in India and built by portugese franciscan friars.Vasco Da Garma was buried here until they dug him up and sent him back to Lisbon!!!
 Jew Town and Mantancherry were also very interesting with all the old spice warehouses and the original jewish names above the doors.We didn't go into the synagoguebecause to do so you had to rent wet and sweaty long sleeved tops(yuk)
Beer from a bottle is quite difficult to find in Fort Cochin as most places don't have liquer licences and you have to ask for "special tea".The beer then comes in china tea pots and cups or mugs, its great fun esoecially as the waiters serve it looking shiftily from side to side as if waiting to be raided at any moment.Apparently these raids are quite common and the offending restuarant then get's fined and has all its teapots confiscated!!!
In the evening we took a ferry to mainland Ernaukalem which is a complete contrast to Fort Cochin.It is a busy neon lighted city but really goo to walk around and here you can actually drink your beer from a glass!!(not half as much fun though!!!)It was here that we really started to notice all the banners and bunting with hammers and sickles on and huge poters of Che Guervara (Kerala is Indias only communist state)
The following day after another huge buffet breakfast and a last dip in the world's warmest pool we said a sad farewell to Bolgatty Palace and set off in our Ambassador with the lovely Francis to the hill station and tea estates of Munnar.
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