Thursday, February 07, 2008

been unconnected, a few updates

30 January, 2008

Last week when we were in Agra [home of the Taj Mahal] we went to a different Tomb- a long story as to why but the moral of the story is don’t get so pleased with yourself you don’t check up on all the details! As you usually would]

This is the tomb of the grandfather of the famed Mumtaz, beloved wife of Shah Jehan who built the Taj Mahal in memory of her.
The stone work was amazing in the tomb, inspiring for dynamic quilt patterns, they had used a variety of different types of stone which easily resembled fine floral prints. Then there were beautiful painted panels throughout, I am not really a classic quilt person but boy one of those American style I think Baltimore?? With all the floral motifs inspired by these designs would be stunning.

Truly such a visually stimulating place.

This week we left Delhi wearing two jumpers and still freezing to fly to South India, Kerala and tropical warmth.
We have started in Fort Kochin, with the famous Chinese fishing nets just round the corner, scooping fresh fish from the Arabian Sea.
We have hard a very busy day in the office putting final touches on some tours we are planning- 34 degrees- lovely for lazing around a touch warm for checking millions of hotels, making maps of interesting sites, checking restaurants and attractions.
Still some highlights of the day included the Spice market- if you buy in bulk red chillies are much cheaper and we saw one guy leave with a truck load – Really!
Then a ginger factory- the smell of the huge courtyard where it is laid out to dry was amazing- I can’t wait to get another lung full of it and upstairs was a Pickles Gallery- yes Indian Pickles it is a women’s co-operative and they have wonderful pickles and flavoured teas. For our cooking tour we can spend the morning with them learning about pickle making- yum, loved the mango…and the garlic…and the …they were all good!

We came to the Mattaryam Palace, not huge and grand like we are used to in Rajasthan, more European in size [ it was built by the Dutch 500 years ago!]
Inside there are the remains of some absolutely gorgeous murals depicting scenes of the Ramayana. Really mouth watering paintings…all warm reds and earth tones, full of life and the antics of the Gods. The paintings are so full you need to work through them by just picking a small detail to consider, to see the skill of story telling and painting and then step back and get a whammy of the full scene.

The evening and early morning see lively fish auctions down at the nets so I am off to take a look before we head on to the Rice Boats of the Kerala Backwaters, and a night on the waters…another bust day in the office. This one though will give Parveen and I time to sit at the computer writing notes and polishing itineraries, costing, ticking off to do lists- all necessary fun of a business.
See ya

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