Monday, March 18, 2013

Even more pictures from India

The end of our trip was in Kerala, which is a state in the south of India.  Our friend Jayson is from Kerala, so he had a lot of great suggestions for us.  Our other friends Sarah and Matt had also been there and gave us some more suggestions.  Here they are, in case you ever go:
  • In the south for food try dosas and idlis. Also try porotta which is the local bread (like naan but a little sweeter). Appam and pathiri are other breads usually eaten for breakfast. Appam is a little like injera of Ethiopia.
  • Get the Kati roll from Dal Roti in Fort Cochin.
  • See a Kathakali performance.
  • Go to Mattancherry Palace, which is from the 16th century in Kerala.  It was built by the Portugese right after they got there.  (No photos allowed inside, unfortunately.)
  • Walk around Fort Kochi and Mattancherry in the old part of the town (palace, synagogue, couple of old churches, wander around narrow streets).
  • Go to Munnar to see the tea plantations.  (This will be a separate post.)
  • Spend a night in Alleppey, which is the area with the backwaters and houseboats.  (Another separate post.)
We did all of those things, but not in that order.  Here are some pictures from each of them, or at least the ones I have.  Also, here are some of the goats that were wandering around all over the place in Fort Cochin:

Here I am standing in front of the synagogue, which is very old and not like any other synagogue I'd ever been in. 

They don't let you take pictures inside, so here is one I found on the internet:

All of the tiles on the floor are unique but very similar.  The area is (unintentionally) humorously called Jew Town:

Nearby is this cute arch:

It has writing in the local language, which is called Malayalam.  We didn't spend enough time in Kerala to pick out any letters like we did in Delhi with Hindi.

Also when we were wandering around Fort Cochin we found a cool little canal:

We saw some street art, which reminded us of Valparaiso in Chile:

I know I already posted this picture of the Chinese fishing nets, but I am so pleased with how it turned out that I am posting it again:

Behind the fishing nets there was this street art going on (but this time it is actually on the street :) ).

Right before we left we ate the idlis that Jayson had recommended.  They're the white balls in the bowl in this picture.  Also we were served our food on banana leaves, which was really fun:

We also got a giant dosa, which made Sam make this face:

Here are a couple more pictures of how Indian truck drivers decorate their trucks:

Here is the Kati roll from Dal Roti, and Sam with his food:

That was really tasty.  We also saw the Santa Cruz Basilica:

And here are some pictures from the Kathakali dance performance:

As you can see, Kathakali is very strange.  It was definitely a cultural experience, but I felt like we didn't have enough background to appreciate it going on for an hour and a half, with no words (just singing).  And apparently the real version that isn't for tourists goes on overnight, for hours and hours!

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