Ever since one of my friends….and as it so turned out, an endless procession of friends and common acquaintances managed to sneak in and came back raving about the beauty of God’s own country, we had been planning to do a trip as well..we finally managed to land up in Kerala around the Independence day weekend..

all along we were pretty apprehensive as to how the little one will behave onboard the aircraft..shouldn’t have worried though..a timely administration of a bottle of milk was enough to make her sleep through the better part of the flight..

our plan was to do a tour of Cochin city before moving off to Ashtamudi…to that effect, we hired a car from the airport..our driver John, one of the nicest souls we have seen in recent times, helped us to plan out the Cochin itinerary which essentially was more of a drive through all the key sections of the city and then onwards to Ashtamudi. We had done some research on the layout and the road connectivity on wikimapia, mapmyindia and Google maps..the homework helped a lot when John was explaining us how to create a route map for the city trip..

So pretty soon, we were cruising to Cochin city, where we picked up some handicraft articles and sarees from MG Road…made a last minute decision to enter a jewellery shop..guess it was Josco..and were flabbergasted at what we got to see..the shop was quite big but we didn’t expect to see the crowd that was inside…all around whereever we looked we could see people thronging the counters, with additional rows of customers patiently waiting their turn…at any given point of time, i guess there were around 100 people inside..have never seen such a congregation ever anywhere…in a shop that is…and that too a jewellery showroom…anyways, I guess we spent about an hour there selecting a piece for the little one…who after having taken in the surroundings got busy checking out the fishes in an aquarium placed near the exit…a quick lunch later, we moved on to check out Jew town…and it is while travelling in the city that i came to like it a lot…having been brought up in a small town, i have an instinctive affinity for smaller towns and cities…cochin is one such place…irrespective of the scale of commercial activities that may take place here, it has retained the look and feel of a small town…an inclusive environment that makes people feel at ease..

anyways on to Jew town..the lanes started becoming narrower soon after we crossed the Kochi fort area…which incidentally with its open air bars and foreign tourists hanging around reminded me of Goa..

well, as it so happened, we wanted to see the Jewish synagogue..but it being a Friday, the synagogue was closed..BIG disappointment..

soon after, we were out of Cochin and were zipping past the countryside enroute to Ashtamudi..

wonder if those shades are adequate during the monsoons

wonder if those shades are adequate during the monsoons

we did a routine stop to stock up on refreshments on the way (coconuts in Kerala are as costly as the ones you would get in Bombay even though you would be at a stone’s throw from 100 coconut trees at any given point in the state)..I think it took us about three to four hours to reach Ashtamudi, if I am not mistaken..

as we entered the Club Mahindra property, we didn’t know what lay in front of us..and were quite spellbound by it when we alighted from the car…clear tranquil waters for as far as the eye can see..Ashtamudi is one of the second largest wetland system in glance at it and this claim will need no persuasion..

and all along the way while we were walking to our cottage, we gaped open mouthed at the lake…the waters had a very soothing effect on us after the long day and helped us settle in pretty quickly for a refreshing cup of coffee in the balcony outside our room…

a bit about the hotel now…but in the next post..


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