Mauritius – Day 4 – Goodlands Market, Historic Marine, South Indian Temple & Local Salon

In the morning, we visited Goodlands Market which was arranged by the hotel for all guests. But the van was already full, so we went in a taxi. That’s why we could also visit few other places on the way.

Goodlands Market:

This market is like the local road-side market in India. For ex, like Koyambedu market, but they don’t sell vegetables here, instead clothes, ornaments, shoes, pooja items etc. There is a bus stand nearby, so even for local people, it would be a easy place to reach. This market did not surprise us becoz all the items sold were also available in India. So we really did not buy lots here. We just bought a painting of Gods with some handmade chumki works. We also bought a set of bangles and a handmade beautiful kumkum box.

Historic Marine

This was a fantastic industry. Every ship model was handmade. A personnel took us to the factory & explained us how a ship model is being done.  Completely handmade. Was wonderful to see & know the art.

South Indian Temple

We already visited 2 temples (biggest at Mauritius). But they are all north-indian style temples. We saw a south Indian Temple on the way back and stopped to visit there. It was a small temple but I had a good feeling here.

Local Salon

Ilango wanted to traditional Mauritius shaving.. meaning at a local barber shop. He had been asking all the taxi drivers we used since the day we are here. Today, we saw one on the way and our taxi driver stopped nearby and Ilango had a traditional Mauritius shave. A shave and eye brow alignment costed 100 Mauritian Rupees. This salon had 2 sections: for Men & Women. Ilango was not that much satisfied. According to him, Indian shavers are much better than these people.

Rest of the day:

Rest of the day was at hotel. I played with our daughter in the banyan pool. Spent about 1 hr in the pool. Then papa went back to the kids club and we took a 30 mins drive in a manual boat.

We had our lunch at la carte restaurant (in the hotel). Today we took italian food. It was very tasty.

We spent our afternoon in the beach. Just laying and sleeping. Later we spent about 20 mins in steam bath with our daughter. Today’s evening was fully dedicated to Indian tradition. There was a Mehndi session between 7-8PM. I had mehndi on my right hand and my daughter did a small one in here right feet. We listened to Indian Fusion Music between 7-9.. meanwhile also had Indian dinner with Tandoori Naan, Paneer Ticket, Jalferzi kurma, Tandoori chicken, Marinated Fish and so on. The menu was quite big and very tasty. I took dinner in 2 rounds.

The day ended with a traditional Indian dance at 9:00 PM. Music from different movies (all AR Rahman songs) and also a devotional song. They performed bharathanatiyam, mix dance, dhandiya etc. All children were sitting on the floor and watching it. It was a very nice to see their performance.

Today was a very relaxing day and tomorrow is a full-day tour.. Need to have a good sleep to be prepared for a full-day entertainment tomorrow.

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Mauritius – Day 3 – Our 6th Marriage Anniversary

We are celebrating our 6th marriage anniversary today. Our plan is to visit Temple in the morning and then spend the rest of the day at hotel. My daughter liked Kids Club very much. So we have left her at Kids Club (Mini Club) to enjoy.

We spent our day at hotel. Were in the beach for sometime. I wanted to go for swimming, but unfortunately there was rain for more than 30 mins and then it was cold. So I was sitting in the restaurant.. watching rain.. and eating Pommes with Mayo.

Then we had 60 feet massage. Wow super massage. Very relaxing. Both of us slept for sometime.

Finally, ended the day with candle light dinner in the balcony of our room. Beautiful arrangement from the hotel. We had ordered giant lobster and giant prawns for our main course. We also had a very tasty soup and dessert.

On the whole, today will be a memorable day in my life. This is the first marriage anniversary which was spent fully for us and just relaxation and enjoyment.

Breakfast at kitchen restaurant

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She took waffel with honey on the first 4 days.

 

Mauritius – Grand Bassin, Nature Park, Rochester falls, Gris Gris, Crocodile Park

Today we did a south full-day trip. We are staying in North. So to travel from North to South, it took 1 hr in the morning and 2+ hrs in evening due to traffic at Port Louis. We visited Grand bassin, Vallee des 23 couleur Mont blanc (Nature Park), Rochester falls, Gris Gris (Beach) and crocodile Park.

Grand Bassin:

Before reaching this temple, we saw a very big statue of Lord Shiva. Grand Bassin is considered as holy water (like Ganges in India). There is a shiva temple right in front of it. I also saw navagraha temple where all the navagrahas had different idols instead of human idols like in South India. The god names were written in English for everyone to understand. We could directly do the aarthi for god and the poojari would only say manthra.

Vallee des 23 couleur Mont blanc (Nature Park):

I would say, Nature Park was today’s highlight. Super landscape, super views. The 5 falls were superb. People are also allowed to swim here. Due to cold weather today, nobody was swimming. They have 4 types of trips. You can go by walk and explore yourself (which could take 1 day) or you can take a bike (with 4 wheels) or you can do zip lines or you can go in a jeep (1 or 2 hrs trip). We opted jeep trip since we were with our little princess. We also saw 23 colored stone which was shaped like Mauritius map. Before we started the trip, the guide showed us a museum where they had all 23 color sand, how this was created, history etc… This was a very useful information to collate later with the trip. Anybody visiting Mauritius should not miss Nature Park. There are no animals here.. only Deers which are set free. When you enter the park, you can also see 80-130 yrs old Turtles. Otherwise.. it is just about nature. It’s green, green and green everywhere.

Rochester falls:

A small fall but worth to visit. It is deep in the forest. We had to go thru a sugarcane field to reach here. In case of flood, you may not be able to reach Rochester falls.

Gris Gris (Beach):

Beautiful Beach. We were told that people are not allowed to go down the beach. But we already saw some tourists near the seashore.

Crocodile Park:

Except the sleeping giant crocodiles and turtles (which you can touch, feed and sit on), there is nothing great here to watch. The turtles are 80+ yrs old, some more than 120yrs. There were lot of turtles found here.

Welcome scenery at Airport

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LUX Grand Gaube Photos

http://luxislandresorts.com/en/mauritius/lux-grand-gaube/welcome.aspx

5* Hotel with 3 restaurants and lot of other features. We have booked all-inklusive. So can enjoy almost everything with no additional cost.

Playing

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How I reached Mauritius???

I prepared package list 1 week before, packed all suitcases 2 days before, but still I had to face challenges during our journey to Mauritius.

First Shock: I checkin at Berlin-Tegel airport & BA personnel asked me “Do you have a transit visa for UK since you need to change airports?” Oh man.. Do I need a visa? I am an Indian yes.. but I am EU-Spouse and have permanent residence at Germany. She called her boss and he said that my permanent residence is good enough for me to get into UK. We were cleared at Tegel and boarded finally to Heathrow Airport

Second Shock: You could have guessed already. Yes. It was at Heathrow Airport. I previously had work permit at UK and it was never ended in their system. But I left to Germany in 2006 itself. I was detained. I waited for about 15 mins to get the clearance. Every second was like 1 hr. Ilango was so angry that I did not take care of it before. Wipro (my employer for whom I worked in UK) already informed that my work permit should be ended. This was at least recorded in their system. Since I have a permanent residence visa for Germany, I was given 1 day transit visa.

Third Shock: I booked transfer taxi between Heathrow to Gatwick. The journey would take min 1 hr to max 4 hrs depending upon traffic. The time was 6:00 PM and we had the next flight at Gatwick at 9:05PM. The driver went missing. I called emergency call centre and they told me that the driver should be there anytime. We were waiting until 6:40 PM for the driver to finally reach us. Again fighting with Ilango that I did not take proper care. How do I predict such a thing!!! This is the first time I booked transfer taxi. Ok. Now the driver has come. The next question is will he bring us to Gatwick in proper time??? Ilango was so angry with the driver. But he couldn’t express his emotions. The driver was casually talking to Ilango. But we were not in the mood to listen to him. I was all the time looking at navi (which shows approx reaching time) and Ilango had his hands tied and just kept quiet. Only answered to driver’s questions. I don’t understand something with these drivers.. If they know that we are from Germany.. they ask so many questions to us.. they are so much interested to know about Germany. That’s nice.. but do they also do the same for other countries too !!!

Ok. Now back to the point. Yes. This driver brought us to Gatwick airport at 8:00 PM. We had enough time to checkin and finally boarded successfully to Mauritius. 11 hrs journey. Very tiring. My daughter kept her head on me, legs on her dad and slept peacefully for 9 hrs. We both were struggling a lot to get some sleep. Finally we landed at Mauritius. Food was ok with BA.

From Mauritius SSR Airport, we had to travel 1hr in taxi to reach the hotel. The hotel is worth this travel. We are so happy that we booked here.. Now enjoying a fruit cocktail at Beach restaurant in the hotel.

Photos will follow this post.

Brushing/Combing hairs in evening

My mom always scolds me whenever I comb my hairs after sunset. The reason that she would say is “Lakshmi (God) will not come home if you comb after sunset”. Traditionally, we lit the lamp in pooja room and keep the main door open so that Lakshmi (God) would come to our home and bless with health & wealth.

But today, nobody would keep the doors open in evening. It’s not becoz they don’t want Lakshmi to come home.. but becoz of the mosquitoes. We shut all windows and doors once sun sets.

Ok. now what could be the technical reason behind my mom’s scoldings. My theory is below

In olden days, we did not have electricity. The oil lamps could not make the entire home bright. We couldn’t use many oil lamps too. There would be max 1 per room or 1 per house used (depending upon their economic situation). Therefore, if you would comb your hairs in evening, you cannot collect all the fallen hairs from ground and they can fly and also get into the food we eat (Remember we sit & eat on the floor those days and not in dining table).

I also say my theory to my mom whenever she scolds me. But she would just say that I am talking like my dad.

Ilakiya – 4th Birthday Party

We invited 8 children and their parents for our little ones birthday party. This is the first time she enjoyed her birthday with her friends. The party began at 11:00 AM at Bambooland, Steglitz. We cut birthday cake at bambooland with all children and they all enjoyed playing for 3 hrs at Bambooland. The children were also offered food at Bambooland.

After that, we all came back home where I had prepared Indian food for all parents. I prepared the following

1. Chicken Biriyani

2. Mutton Biriyani

3. Peas & Paneer Masala

4. Chicken Curry

5. Dosai

6. Gulab Jamun

7. Chicken 65

Apart from these, we also had fresh juices, ice creams, snacks etc. The children continued playing at home. Everyone liked my cooking and we gave away marinated chicken 65 to parents so that they could heat in oven and eat at home.

Party ended at around 9:00 PM. This was a long day for me with lot of cooking, managing etc. But everything ended well and my chellama was too happy about it.

 

Why should women wear kolusu (anklets)?

What do you think?

I don’t know where & how this tradition started. Googling says it was very popular in Egypt and of course India. I read in some articles that in olden days, Indian men also used to wear anklets but without any sound. This was a sign that they are married. But some sites say that it is also a sign for married women. But many photos and movies portraying olden days show that women wear anklets almost from their birth. This is an ornament for the bottom of your body. Significantly, women wear a ring in their toes after marriage. This is a symbol that they are married.

When I was a child, somebody told me a different story why women wear anklets that makes noise. Women are well-known to spread rumors. They cannot keep a secret. Therefore, men would use it as a signal to know if a women is walking nearby and they would stop discussing any secrets. Well.. that sounds really acceptable for me.

Whatever be the reason, I like wearing it. My daughter also wears it since birth. She has already started liking it very much. Everybody who see her with anklets say that it looks very nice and she is very proud of it. 🙂

 

Why should you know about Indian Traditional Food and Practices?

Since my childhood, I have seen my mom, grand moms doing home remedies for common problems such as fever, cough, cold, stomach pain, head pain etc. My mom also insisted on following some traditional practices.

Nowadays I don’t do it. But I still keep thinking about this. Why should we do it? Could there be a scientific reason behind it? My dad does not believe in God. But he tells me that what we see in temple is a stone and not god. This is of course true. But the questions is why do we have so many huge temples all over the state then? Could there be any other reason why our Raja’s and Maharaja’s built these?

This category is to discuss all these. I would like to post my thoughts, views, assumptions about our practices. I was inspired by “7am arivu” and the recent “kalakalapu @ Masala Cafe” to start this category. I will first post all that I know and then will collect info from elderly people and post it here.

This is for everyone to know and to benefit (or may also follow some) from our traditional methods.

Streetfestival at rheinstrasse

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This is the only entertainment we found suitable for her at strassenfest. She enjoyed the ride very much..