18 Mar 2013....Cochin, India
19 Mar.............Mangalore, India
20 Mar.............Goa, India
21 Mar.............Mumbai, India
A pages of photos to keep you interested...
These four cities were ports on an ocean cruise booked through Blue Water Holidays in the UK on the M/V Aegean Odyssey, promoted as Voyages to Antiquity. A small ship of only 300 or so passengers, the Odyssey was well-run, had plentiful good food, and a successful method of allocating passengers upon boarding to color-coded groups for the included excursions. This facilitated getting to know at least a small group of fellow travelers fairly well—I suppose one could change groups if they were incompatible, but I was happy with my group and made some lasting friendships. The ship also carried several lecturers to add to our knowledge of the places we visited; they proved to be quite good.
After departing from Singapore, we stopped in Malaysia and Sri Lanka before hopscotching up the west coast of India before ending the cruise in Bombay. The excursions in each city emphasized the colonial and religious heritage of India, going back to the Portuguese in the 16th century. India's west coast has been a trading destination since Greek and Roman times; Arab merchants were sailing the Arabian Sea during the Dark Ages of Europe; and the great treasure fleet of Ming China also stopped there. Spices, exotic fruits and nuts, sugarcane, and cotton attracted profiteers and introduced colonialism by the Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, and finally, the British. There is a tradition that St. Thomas the Apostle traveled to the Cochin area in 52 CE to spread Christianity–he found a Jewish settlement already there and Christians have maintained a strong presence ever since.
The weather was hot and humid all the way, making our return to the air-conditioned ship a blessing. From Mumbai, a group of about 80 passengers flew to New Delhi to begin a 5-night land tour in the Golden Triangle
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