Great ways to travel ~ the Indian ferry…

“We are the boat, we are the sea. I sail in you, you sail in me”…Lorre Wyatt

One of the fantastic ways to travel in Kerala is by ferry boat. This leisurely transport is the ideal way to see the sights and reach interesting points of interest in the Keralan backwaters.

On our last trip to Kerala Padma and I spent our 10 rupees and had a wonderful trip from Fort Cochin to Ernakulum. Not only was the trip relaxed and scenic but it allowed us to be a part of everyday life in India. I have always loved “people watching” and travelling on the ferry gives you a perfect opportunity to do this. One sight which really gave us a laugh was a sweet young man who was travelling with his bike. His brand of jeans really made us smile as you can see below.


“Hunkstar” has now entered our vocabulary and I love to call Rahul my Hunkstar! This is a perfect example of why I love India so much…the smallest sights can really delight your imagination and sense of humour.

Fun at the fair…

Posing at the fair…

One of the touching things about Tasmania is it’s old-fashioned feel especially in the country areas. Yesterday we were treated to a wonderful country fair.

Some alpacas watching people pass by…

The fair had some charismatic animals, tasty homemade scallop and salmon pies and lots of lovely wool weavers.

Weaving at the fair…

Some knitted alpacas…

One of the entertaining acts of the show was the Veteran’s Brass Band. I know from being in a brass band myself that clapping can often be on the light side…so Rahul and I made sure we showed our appreciation. Actually after us initially being the only ones clapping we started an avalanche of clapping for the band which they were very pleased about.

Of course a country fair would not be complete without vintage cars and old stationary motors.



Mad about Hobart ~ Day 2…

Interesting architecture in Hobart…

Day two of our wonderful trip to Tasmania started with a lovely toasted sourdough at the Retro Cafe at Salamanca Wharf. This cute cafe was filled lots of interesting knick knacks and had fantastic coffee.

The fast ferry bound for Mona…

Today we visited Mona (Museum of Old and New Art). The best way to travel to Mona is by the Mona Fast Ferry. It is only $20 return and takes 25 minutes. You get some great views along the way of the Hobart Zinc factory, Government House and the Cadbury Chocolate factory.

View of Mona from the ferry…

Mona is an amazing experience…one that will challenge you, shock you and amaze you all at the same time.


The inside of Mona…

Mona is an amazing feat in itself. Only the top floor of four levels is above ground. The other three levels have been drilled out of sandstone rock. The sandstone combined with the metal stairs and railings gives a dramatic effect.
The museum is free to all Tasmanians and for the rest of us it is only a $20 entry fee. Upon entering they issue you with an iPod on a lanyan to go around your neck. You can listen through speakers to artist interviews and information. They do this so they don’t have to label the art works with long tedious explanations. I really liked the interactive element in experiencing the art there.
Some areas of the gallery have a content warning and are not suitable for children. There is a museum shop and three cafes and bars.

My delicious lunch…

We had our lunch at the rooftop cafe – sitting on bean bags on the lawn overlooking the Derwent River…heavenly.
Here are a few shots of some of the art at Mona:





Mona is so worth the visit. Although some works may shock and surprise you it is a Tasmanian must-do. Rahul and I still haven’t stopped talking about it.

Looking out from Mona…

You too can be a princess but leave your modesty at home…

Everything looked fresh and beautiful at our hotel this morning after the pouring rain last night. We had a tasty breakfast of Marsala omelette and then Padma and I headed for the local ferry wharf.

On the way there we stopped to look at some local stalls. Padma bought some wooden stamps from a sweet young girl. She pressed the stamps with strong ink onto Padma’s palm. Padma now has a lovely reminder of Fort Cochin that will be with her for some time…

I bought a beautiful carved buffalo horn comb along the way. The carver showed us the article about himself in the Cochin Times.


We caught the ferry to Ernakulum (2.5 rupees each). It was a very scenic trip passing fishing boats and navy vessels.


At Ernakulum we walked a short distance up Shanmugham road to Bimbi’s restaurant for a refreshing fresh, sweet lime soda. On the return journey to Fort Cochin we got a great view of the old fort area.

This afternoon I had the three hour Rajakumari (Princess) Ritual at the Cochin Ayurvedic Centre. The ritual consists of feet cleaning, full body massage by two therapists and followed by sirodhara (a stream of warm herbal oil poured over the forehead). It was heavenly and I left floating on a cloud. However this treatment is not for the modestly inclined. The two ladies wash all the oil from your hair and body afterwards…this is done in a happy, girly/sister type mood and I felt very relaxed and not at all self conscious…
The ladies at this spa are really delightful and I highly recommend you visit when you are next in Fort Cochin.

Tonight we had a tasty dinner at the Fort Heritage Hotel (1/283 Napier Street).