Turning 26…

I could not have asked for a better birthday week. I simply had it all; family, travel, scenic locations, picnics, spa, games, cycling, yummy cakes and shopping for curios! After spending a few days at my parents house in Coimbatore, we started early morning on May 1st for our first stop of the vacation – Munnar. We were headed to this very scenic hill station for the first time and I must say the reviews for this place is underrated. It must be seen to be believed! Long winding roads in the ghat sections that seemed to go on forever, tossing us left to right and right to left as we desperately tried to soak in all that lush green beauty around us! The tall trees with massive trunks that might be a few 100 years old, sprawling tea estates that resemble a patchwork lawn you just want to lie down on and beautiful birds flitting about, Munnar indeed has plenty to share.

greenery1Sprawling Tea Estates

We stayed at Sterling Resort in Munnar, the rooms were cozy, but what interested us more were the outdoor activities. Playing games, cycling, taking long walks and having hot cups of ‘Kattan’ ( black tea in Malayalam) made us forget that back home summer was actually causing havoc!

flower thumbprintedColorful Flora

greenery2

On visiting the spa at the resort, I was pleasantly surprised to see Kerala wall murals adorning the reception area. I love this vibrant and ethnic form of painting that one can see across many parts of Kerala. We saw more of this in Cochin as well, but more on that in my next post.

mural1Kerala Wall Mural Depicting Lord Vishnu 

mural2

Another element of decor caught my eye in the spa, something I had not seen before. Coconut shell lamps; the intricate patterns drilled into these shells threw sparkling light all around. And since they were small with low wattage lamps, more of them were used to adorn the ceiling here to make the room appear brighter, providing a spectacular arrangement.

coconut shell lampsLovely Coconut Shell Lamps

And lastly before we left for our second part of the journey to Cochin, we did some yummy shopping at the Tata store in Munnar. The well laid out shop offered plenty of choice in tea, flavored tea, strawberry preserve (one can get this only here in Munnar, I think the rest is exported). The highlight for me is the wholesome strawberries soaked and preserved in lemon syrup and my favorite lemon tea! We have stocked up enough to last us a few months 🙂

preserveStrawberry Preserve Manufactured By Tata

Kattan ChaiLemon Flavored Black Tea

As we prepared to head out again, the only thing that made leaving behind this beautiful  hill station for the hot and humid city of Cochin bearable was the prospect of visiting a tiny area called Jew Town, which I first visited in 2009 and loved at the very first sight. More on Jew Town and its precious curios in my next post.

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