Kochi - Mysore

After the Malabar coast, he headed inland, first to the foot of the Nilgiri hills, to Mettupalayam. On the way there, we stopped by a banana market and a rubber plantation:

Flower market


After arriving to our lodge, some of us went for a walk, but we did not get too far as we found a tree nursery. The owner was really friendly and proud of his nursery and showed us around. The selection was quite different than in my favorite garden shop in Budapest. We saw mango, cardamon, coriander, lime, etc.

Then next day we had to get up at 5.30 and go to the train station. The train ride from Mettupalayam and Ooty was one of the best train ride I ever had, if not the best. This is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, in a group called "mountain railways of India". The ride is only 46 km, but it took as 6 hours! We climbed from 400 to 2240 m (the steepest rail in the continent) with a steam engine pushing us up (i.e. it was at the end of the train). We had to stop every 20 minutes to refill the water. I really loved the whole ride, especially the tunnels where all passengers screamed as in an amusement park.
 At the stations, we had coffee and tea. There were some wise sentences printed onto our tiny paper cups, such as
 "Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final."
 "Your work is to discover the world and then with all your heart give yourself to it."
 This rail line was built by the English 101 years ago, so they had a large anniversary last year.

In Ooty, the weather was a bit chilly, especially after the sunset. We took a bus to the top of the Nilgiri Hill, then walked in the arboretum. 

Next day we descended the hill and drove to Mysore. On our way, we passed a national park. The guide told us, every once in a while they see deer, and rarely some elephants in the distance, so it was not promising. But we were a lucky group as we saw all sorts of animals, such as various types of monkeys, boar, spotted deer, giant squirrel, and a lovely elephant family very close to us. They were just tearing off the bark from the tree, I have never seen that before. We also saw large bamboo and African sausage trees.


In Mysore, we visited the large palace, built in 1912. It is absolutely awesome with its blue, dark red and gold painted columns, painted windows, chandeliers, rosewood doors, etc. I got a bit bored of the palaces in Europe, but this was surely something different.  
There was quite a crowd, but only local families and school group. So far I have seen maximum 10 Western tourists on the whole trip, that I find very surprising. I expected hordes of backpackers, but they are maybe all somewhere north, between Delhi and Varanasi.


After the dinner, the younger part of the group (including me) visited a cinema. No trip to India can be complete without a Bollywood movie, so we went to see one, called Rocky. There was a bad boy, a hero, a beautiful girl, an ugly girl, lots of music, fight, etc. It took over 3 hours, but I could only handle about 40 minutes and it was way too loud and flashy for me (like a music video clip).  

At Chamundi hill:

Today we visited the rest of the sights in town, such as summer palace, mausoleum and had some free time, when I headed to the vegetable market.


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