Creating a Kerala Honeymoon Album to Cherish Forever
You know what photo albums are for? They bring back the most cherished memories as if the moments just passed by! At home, we had a huge collection of photographs, the printed ones, ranging from my grandparents’ childhood photos to our most recent trips photos. My father used to take copies of all the good photographs to send to his siblings back when there were no emails and WhatsApp. We have treasured them in a cupboard that we open every time we all met up during the holidays or on family occasions. Those photographs are truly treasures and they bring back so many memories. Sometimes we are able to relive every story that’s behind a photo that makes us all so happy! That’s what prompted me to create a honeymoon album. We had planned our Kerala Honeymoon Packages a few weeks after our wedding so that we will have enough time to settle down in our new apartment and then happily enjoy the time together. So we had our camera ready with quite some supplies so that we never run out of memory or battery and miss a beautiful picture. We had 3 days of time completely to us in Kerala to enjoy nature and ourselves amidst the rains and greenery. Luckily, we had planned our trip during the Onam time and we would be in Kerala to enjoy every bit of the gala celebrations. You wouldn’t believe what an experience it was!!! The moment we stepped into the flight, we could smell the sandalwood as the festivities had already begun.
Since we had booked a flexi-package starting with 2 days in Kochi, we were free to rearrange the tour plans according to our needs. It was no business tour to be strict and composed!!! We both were wanderlusts and enjoyed exploring places in detail rather than just having a look around in a jiffy. And it was our Honeymoon Packages in Kerala. We had more things in the plan other than just travel. So after a week of meticulous planning, we landed in Kochi. There was a slight drizzle which made the evening quite wet and romantic. All around us the greenery just got a little brighter and fresher because of the rains. And the most impressive sight on our way was the twin parallel bridges, one of which seemed comparatively new; across a roaring river which the driver told us was Periyar. We were in our resort past the bustles of Kochi city in an hour’s time. A city is the same everywhere. We could sense that we were nearing and clearing the city based on the heavy traffic that increased as we were getting inside the city and started clearing out as we exited it. The resort, Ramada, was impressive!!! That’s not the right word good enough to describe the ambiance. It was located close to the backwaters and our cottage had a water channel in front. We could see the sunrise and sunset sitting in our room which was spectacular. We enjoyed the evening stroll around the resort which was splendidly maintained and managed to fill half of our first memory card clicking the pictures. It was definitely a beautiful property for stay during the Kerala trip.
The next day morning, our driver picked us up from the resort and took us straight to Mattancherry where we reached quite fast. It took hardly half an hour! We first decided to visit the Jewish Synagogue which looked grand. Considering the fact that it was built during the 15th century, it is really amazing that the synagogue is wonderfully maintained. The interiors were quite colourful with woodwork and Belgian glass chandeliers. We visited the Dutch Palace and a couple of churches nearby. Everywhere what intrigued our interest was the Kerala architecture that dominated and blended well with grandeurs of the Dutch and European architecture that made the buildings unique and beautiful. We visited the Bastion Bungalow and Pierce Leslie Bungalow before we had our amazing seafood lunch at the Vasco-da-Gama square. The flavours of fresh spices, coconuts and fish were explosive! It was perfect for the honeymoon packages! It was more of a walking tour of the places since the car would not enter most of the old narrow streets and they were quite nearby too. That was perfect as we could click a lot of amazing images of the place which came out marvellous. We really enjoyed the climate as it was drizzling slightly now and then. By evening we were at the crowded Fort Kochi beach. Even though it was crowded, it was not dirty. The premises were well-kept and there were inviting fast-food counters where they made a lot of snacks made of fish. We did not miss a chance to have some Samosas and roasted fish here. The sunset was mesmerizing and we were totally refreshed by the end of the day. This probably was the best part of the Kerala tour.
The next day, we decided to explore the city. After the filling breakfast of Puttu and Kadala with crispy pappadams and bananas, we were soon at one of the biggest malls in the state which was deserted at this time of the day. Good for us, the mall was open to us few wanderlusts who were either new to the city or were in dire need of shopping. The mall was superbly decorated for welcoming the customers shopping for Onam. Apparently, Onam was the biggest shopping season and all the shops had great offers luring them to make their grand purchase from them. We too bought some typical Kerala dresses as we saw one store which had hand-painted shirts and saree on display. We later realized that the mall trip had become a part of Kerala tourism packages in Kochi. We had our lunch at the food court and watched a movie too there. It was convenient, to shop, eat and get entertained at one go! We visited the Rainbow Bridge and the temple nearby in the evening. The temple was quite crowded and was not much modernized despite the crowd. The sunset from the Rainbow Bridge was spectacular too as the sun disappeared behind the backwater. It looked as if it went down to get some cooling relief! We had a great dinner at a restaurant that served the best non-vegetarian food in the city as suggested by the driver. Apparently, it was a toddy shop which had a family restaurant and had many families who were enjoying their tasty delicacies together.
The next day we went to Kumbalangy ecotourism spot which was quite refreshing. Again, located pretty close to where we were staying, the place was quite charming which very few concrete structures. There were fish farms, agriculture, handloom weaving, handicraft making and potters creating beautiful clay pots in different shapes and sizes. We managed to click quite a few pictures here and even went on a short houseboat cruise through the backwaters. It was the best part of our entire Kerala tours. Nature and greenery were refreshing and we even enjoyed an Ayurvedic massage before we left the place. We saw how people made coir from coconut husk. We saw how cotton was traditionally made into thread and hand-woven into a saree. We even bought a few handicrafts, sarees and spices from the place to gift to our friends and relatives back home. The best buy from the Kochi trip was the Aranmula mirror which was made completely of a secret metal alloy. It was a little expensive but apparently, it made the woman more beautiful with every use!!! Not that I fell for it, but it definitely looked very elegant. That was our last evening of the trip and the resort was giving us a complimentary candlelit dinner. We enjoyed it and by the next day afternoon, we were back home after the short but magical tour of Kerala.
Once we were back home, we started sorting out the images to be printed. We had shortlisted quite a few from which we had to choose about 20 to 30 pictures to be printed and stuck to the album. We took suggestions from our friends and cousins and finally spotted the ones to be printed. The album was digitally printed since the conventional photo albums were no longer available. The studio did a wonderful job editing some of the pictures for better light and added some amazing captions too. We both were happy about the trip as well as the album which our little daughter loves to see. She has only one complaint that her mumma papa did not take her to the trip!!! We all laugh out loud every time she would say that. Am happy to keep our tradition going on adding another album to our collection. I even have an album for each year of my daughter growing up printed and kept safe. She’s 3 now and loves looking at those baby pictures not realizing it is her only.