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Kerala blog express

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#KeralaStories: 10 reasons to visit India

You’ve never been to India – you’d love to plan a trip but you’re quite hesitant. Well, not anymore, since today I’ll list 10 reasons why you should visit India without a second thought! The impressive Taj Mahal next to skinny people sitting silent in empty, dirty streets peering at passers-by with their huge eyes; that’s what comes to most people’s mind when they think of India. But that is not what India is all about. It’s a country full of colors, full of spicy foods and the smell of spices in the air, it’s a country of inspiring music, magical beaches, huge areas of green and aquatic roads crossing all its southwestern coast. It’s a country made out of its differences. Northern India is quite poor, with a high percentage of illiteracy among its residents – 90% of those are Hindus – warm climate, high temperatures and cities and…

#KeralaStories: Exploring the Backwaters of Kerala

It’s about time I share with you the most beautiful part of Kerala! Disclaimer; everything you’re about to read along with every photo you’re about to see, is nothing compared to what you would experience and see if you were to visit this place. Follow my adventures for now, to get a taste from this green paradise on earth till you get to plan your own trip to India – really soon hopefully. Our day started rather early on that Wednesday morning – around 6 o’clock. I wouldn’t have done otherwise, since our hotel (The Quilon Beach Hotel) offered such a magical view calling for an early start – just to watch the sunrise on the beach. So, there I was at sunrise in Kollam beach walking by a few local fishermen who had just returned ashore. At this extremely early and different stroll at the beach, I had a…

#KeralaStories: Elephants, Yoga & Bollywood

“What’s in today’s program?” I asked Kenney, the organizer of Kerala Tourism blog express project. “Elephants bathing, a yoga course, rowing and something I can’t tell you about – it’s a surprise” he replied with a secretive smile. I leaned back to my seat, anxiously waiting for the bus to begin. We left Trivandrum, heading to Kollam. It was a 3-hours trip full of green landscapes, colorful cities, some intense glances and lots of on-the-go shots. I just couldn’t get enough of it! First stop: Elephant Rehabilitation Centre! We arrived there at around 9.30 a.m. (tell me about an early wake up call…). The centre is located in Kotur and as Manoj – our guide – explained, it is where elephants with a history of abuse from every corner of India were transferred in order to recover. He added that it is common for wealthy people in India to own elephants as pets …

#KeralaStories: The Press Conference, the Temple & the Bus

“30 travel bloggers from 21 countries on an enchanting journey across Kerala!” The bus that would help us explore one of the most exotic areas of India had this phrase written all over it. Yes, that’s right; we had a bus exclusively for our transportation, a bus that was meant to become our “home” for the next 2 weeks. A pleasant surprise awaited us on our 1st day, as we began this journey with the Minister of Health of India welcoming us at Mascot Hotel and quite a few journalists taking brief interviews from all the bloggers, plus asking us to present our blogs. Until next morning we were on every newspaper and news website around the country! Wohoo! We then had lunch at the hotel and prepared to hit the road to explore the city of Trivandrum for the very first time! (On food now; that’s a whole different…

#KeralaStories: First impressions

“Welcome to Thiruvananthapuram” This… mouthful of a word was a part of the pilot’s first few words after we landed in Kerala and all I was thinking was if I would be able to pronounce it correctly during the next few days. As I was making my way out of the plane, the heat wave hit me like a slap in the face! 35 degrees at 3 AM? Wow! I headed towards the exit, taking off layers of clothing at the same time. The team of the KeralaBlogExpress project had to be there waiting for my arrival and while being worried about someone actually showing up, I saw a big sign with my name on it. Flowers and lots of smiles came with it – One thing is for sure in India; they’ll make you feel special! 15 minutes later, in a cab, I was literally worrying my heart…

#KeralaStories: A night -and a half- to remember

Ok, you may have heard me saying this before but believe me when I say that, when you will be virtually traveling with me, it won’t just be about exploring some picturesque (or not so much) parts of the world. It won’t be about sight-seeing or listing all the ‘must-visit’ restaurants of an area. It will be about hearing stories from people living all around the world or seeing the faces of those my life crossed paths with. It will be about quoting every conversation I had with the locals, any words I shared with fellow travel bloggers, about me living in their houses or planning a trip with someone I’ve just met. It’s not a coincidence I named my blog ‘Travel Stories’. Stories are the bread and butter of this travel blog. Because, I do believe that a story can’t be interesting unless it comes with a name and…

“Congratulations! We are waiting for you in Kerala!”

“Congratulations! Can’t wait to see you in Kerala!” That was the headline of the email I received about a month ago, and, after spinning around myself for quite a while, and calling my loved ones to announce the great news, I dove into a pill of information about the place that will welcome me in less than a month.   But let me take it from the start! A few months ago I read that Kerala Tourism is organizing a trip exclusively for 27 travel bloggers, writers and photographers from all around the Globe, and that to get in the list I would need the vote of my (digital and non-digital) friends. Even though I did not even know where Kerala is actually located, I spontaneously decided to take place and notify my Facebook friends! Without having any great expectations…I ended up in the list! 600 votes of friends and…