Ernakulam - The waiting game...

When I got up at 7 AM on Wednesday it was still very quiet outside. Shops only open at 10 AM and there isn't much traffic before that.

I went back to the ferry station but this time booked a whole day excusion. All the other passengers were Indians. And so was the organisation... The boat was supposed to leave at 9, but some small groups arrived nearly half an hour later. Then we had to wait some more because the guide was still hoping for more people, I think they wanted to get as many passengers as possible on board.

There had been no specific description what places we would be going to. It turned out that the morning part of the tour was to Fort Kochi. Oh well, I hadn't been in the Dutch palace the day before, so it was ok. Also the guide gave some additional info about St. Francis Church - apparently the first church that was built in India!

This is inside a gigantic antiques shop:

Jew town - just like where I live at home :-)

Inside the church, big fans

The boat went back to the starting point and those of us who had booked the full tour were driven to a restaurant where they serve vegetarian thali. It was a traditionally Indian place where you eat with your hands and waiters walk around with buckets full of rice and lentils for those guests who want a refill.

Food in Kerala is far less spicey than in Tamil Nadu and I really enjoyed the meal. After some waiting for the driver and then waiting for other guests we finally started part two of the boat trip.

This time it was a 3 hour cruise through the famous Backwaters - channels between many small islands.
Among the palm trees there are small villages consisting of houses that are painted in very bold colors.

Some of the other guests on the boat trip - green is the color!

This - as our guid had annonced - was mostly just a relaxing trip.
We had a short stop in a village that was basically just a big bus stop with some simple shops. Other than that we were just sitting and enjoying the landscape.

When we got back I started walking towards M.G. road to buy the last things on my shopping list: bangles and bindis.
It was night very soon and for some reason the street lights were not on (power outages are not uncommon here). Fortunately most shops had their generators on and lighted up the sidewalks, which is important because there are many broken stones and one could easily break a leg! No strolling while looking at shop windows, you really have to watch your steps.

Back at the hotel I took a much needed shower and then went up to the Japanese restaurant again for some teriyaki chicken.