Travel Journal

Farewell India!!

(Friday 28 January 2011) by Timo and Jon
Farewell India !

In Kovalam, right outside our room we saw the second film crew of our trip, difficult to tell the plot, but good guys taking on baddies we think.
And we were not asked to be 'extras', even though we hung around looking available.:-^

We left Kovalam on 22nd January, a short taxi ride to Thiruvananthapuram, yes that is the name of the town, commonly known as Trivandrum, and much to Timo's liking the taxi was an Ambassador, the old workhorse of India. In Trivandrum, we visited 3 points of interest, a temple and palace together,
and a zoo. The Temple was Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple, a 260 year old temple, the main entrance (currently covered in scaffolding), is 30 meters tall and parts of temple [10 000 massive stones] were brought from Nepal by elephant, a very slow process...

The inner bits of the temple were for Hindus only.
Next to the temple was Puthe Maliga Palace, (80 rooms) which was partly renovated and now a museum and open for visitors, it had art and statues of
Kathakali carachters, pictures of Maharajas, ornate stones and other artefacts. A very interesting cultural day.|:-)

Finally in Trivandrum zoo we saw the Indian tiger, that were so elusive in the nature reserve. Also we saw the King Kobra, (Marita, and anyone else not into the slippery things dont look at the last picture in the gallery called 'Trivandrum'!) - it is the biggest and deadliest of India's wide selection of snakes. Beside the Cobras' enclosure were some very cute fluffy guinea pigs - just don't ask what they were there for....:o)

We left Trivandrum in style, in a 1st class cabin of Ananthapuri Express, a 15hr train ride across from Kerala to Tamil Nadu state, to city called Chennai (previously known as Madras) which lies on the coast of Bay of Bengal. :-)

The train compartment was not luxurious, but it was very comfortable and quiet, without any noise disturbances from passengers or staff. We both had a very good sleep. The 1st class cabins were lockable to we felt very secure. Fresh bedding provided just before bed time was just the ticket!:-O

In Chennai we had an overnight stop staying at a hotel near the airport as we then flew the following day to Mumbai...(the first place we landed into when we arrived in India). This flight was with Indigo (local budget airline similar to Easyjet) - but with very new, very clean and comfortable aircraft...

Then another overnight stay near Mumbai airport, as we had an early flight to Singapore, with was vital we left on that date as our visas had just about expired!!
The Australian Chardonnay they served was absolute heaven....we hadn't tasted wine like that for months! It was all very g'day and we felt like we were already in Australia!
That flight was over 5 hours.....we then landed at Singapore and checked-in for our Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur.

Singapore's Changi airport (rated best in the world many times) was wonderful, pre-celebrations for the Chinese New Year were in full music and dancing would be very easy to miss your flight with all that going on!B-)

A smooth transfer to KL.


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