Many Indians, no cowboys

In a full week of India we did not see a single holy cow. The closest we came were a bunch of goats, but they were there to be skinned and eaten. We did meet quite a few Indians however, and we got some glimpses of a very colourful and truly beautiful culture.

Before India we spent a day in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo, a city that to the untrained eye looks very much like what we later found on the Indian mainland. From there the Luminosa took us to Cochin in the Indian province of Kerala, to Mormugao in Goa and finally north to the multi-million metropolis of Mumbai.

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Colombo, Sri Lanka, is a busy mix of cultures. To the right, the impressive Jami-Ul-Alfar Mosque.

We were a bit afraid we would feel totally intimidated by the buzzing life in tensely crowded streets, filled with a language and a set of social rules we knew nothing about. We were not however, thanks to the fact that we took the trouble and the money to find local guides to give us a private introduction to the world we entered. They also took us away from the hordes of tourists of our own cruise ship, and shared with us a knowledge that we otherwise would not have had access to.

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Cochin, Kerala; an actor being prepared for tonight’s show.

The highlight of Cochin was a traditional folk theatre performance that we attended rather half-heartedly, but that turned out to be a fascinating show of mimics and music. The two highlights of Mumbai were the slum tour, that we have described in detail elsewhere, and also the textile marked where ES and her friend Lady B from the Luminosa dinner table literally shopped till they dropped.

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Mumbai; the impressive station building, still known as Victoria Station, the name the British gave it.

Before we give you our Sri Lanka and India photo album, let us recommend the Reality Tours and Travel Company in Mumbai. We took two five hour city tours for a very reasonable price, and without them we would never have understood much of the city we visited. Should you ever be in need of an introduction to Mumbai, reed our blog post on the slum and look up Reality Tours on the net!

 

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