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Thanks fo the many E's on my India themed reviews. Sorry can not keep up with thanking you all individually. Just in case we wake up tomorrow and find Ciao no longer here may I say So long and thanks for all the fish

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since 23/09/2002


Learning Resources 24-Hour Student Clock 30/05/2016

Tick tock time to student clock , learn to tell the time

Learning Resources 24-Hour Student Clock I recently retired from working in a special needs school so am busy reviewing the equipment we used before I forget {:-). At school we had these Learning Resources Pupil Clock's to assist pupils with time telling. We also had the Learning Resources Pupil Clock Dials which I reviewed in April 2016. I may update and position the later review next to this one. - This clock is made of a hard plastic. - The colour of the clock faces a nice bright yellow. The colour will fade a bit after a long time. - It is a 13 cm in diameter so good for individual work, not as good as a clock for demonstrating to whole class. - There is an attachable/detachable stand which ideal to make the clock stand so pupils can easily see the clock. -The hour numbers red. The minute dots and numbers blue they are clear and easy to read. -There is a hidden gearing so that the two hands move at the same rate as the hands on a working clock. -When you buy the clock there is also a teaching guide see as I believe this is the same. -Price £6.00 from It does not say this is a multi pack so guess it's for 1 clock face. I think that's very expensive just for 1. also has it for this price. Learning resources also make some similar geared 10cm mini clocks a pack of 6 is £11.06 reduced from £12 at ...

Learning Resources Bulk Money Pack 27/05/2016

Money ,money, money, but its pretend

Learning Resources Bulk Money Pack Today I shall be reviewing the bulk pack of sterling coins from learning resources These are pretend coins so do not get excited. This bulk pack contains 750 coins. I seem to remember they came in a bag; ours were decanted into a large plastic sweetie jar. >>These coins are suitable for those over 3 as they are very small and could easily be swallowed. If you have an older child who still "mouths items do be careful " >>These coins are made of a hard not brittle plastic. They are hard to mark and do not show teeth marks easily. >> Contents of the bulk pack do not include paper money but do include 100 coins of each of these 1p, 2p, 5p, 10, p 50p, £1 and 50 £2 coins >>The size of each of these coins is almost the same as a real one >>The HM Treasury approve of these replica coins. >>The design on the coins is the exact same as on a real one the tail design the one used in 2011. They are very realistic. The Queen on the head side looking her regal self with the name and the date around the edge of the coin. The tail side the same design as the one introduced in 2011. .>>These coins are very durable. >> I like using these coins with children when doing money projects, playing shops, adding up, sorting, because they are realistic. I like to use real or realistic items when playing with children especially special needs children. The child then gets a true understanding of what the coins look like and learn what they represent. I have noted in the past unrealistic ...

Palm Tree Heritage, Varkala 27/05/2016

The palm tree on the beach in Varkala, a place to sleep and dine

Palm Tree Heritage, Varkala Today I shall tell you of the Palm Tree Heritage, Varkala, near Kerala India .We stayed here for 3 nights at the end of February. This hotel was booked via booking .com. We had already had nearly 2 weeks holiday at other resorts in Kerala. Not having our own transport, we hired a taxi from the resort we were in previously, I can not remember the Taxi price now but it was much less than a taxi in England over the same distance. Varkala is a seaside town about 85k from the Neyyar Dam the place we stayed at before our visit to Varkala 42 K from Thrivanthrupuram I am glad we had a Taxi although I expect we would have been able to find Our Hotel the Palm tree being almost the last on the northern coastal edge of Varkala .We also had a map and had looked it up on Google maps. It was a lot less stressful having someone else find it for us. The position very good right on the edge of the town but walk able and right on the coast. We were dropped by our taxi by the side of our hotel; we could see a restaurant cafe right on the front in a small cove looking out to sea. Yes this would be the hotel restaurant where we would eat our breakfast, and evening meal. Behind the restaurant were the offices where we booked in and someone showed us our room which were in the hotel block. At the Palm trees heritage there are also some "bungalows to rent by the sea the opposite side of the" restaurant" In the palm trees heritage compound there was also a tourist shop selling jewellery and ...

Varkala, India 27/05/2016

They'll never ever find me ''neath the coconut tree.

Varkala, India Hey hey, it's good to be free 'Cause they'll never ever find me 'neath the coconut treeAfter a few days in the town of Thiruvananthapuram then a few days by the Neyyar dam lake we decided to round our visit to India of we would go to the seaside. We did not want to travel far so choose to stay at Varkala which is about 80k from the Neyyar Dam where we were staying and 50k from Thrivanthrupuram where we would fly home from. Varkala is a very popular tourist resort we heard people speaking in many languages. Varkala is a medium sized Cliff top town which has a long beach. We were staying in the north of Varkala by the beach on the far end of the town. We were only here for 3 nights but did explore. Walking into the town first we came across all the tourist shops and Market Street strung out along the coast. On offer were many tours to a popular place Ponnumthuruthu Island/ Golden Island and many other tourist haunts. As we were not in Varkala long, preferring to discover places for ourselves we did no tours or trips. As we walked along the streets we were invited by many of the store keepers to look at their wares. I hate haggling and did not need any tourist nic nacs so smiled and walked on. At one point I did have an ice cream. There were quite a lot of hotels and accommodations tea and coffee shops. We did stop and have a drink at a restaurant that overlooked the sea I felt Varkala was certainly a place where Europeans would feel comfortable. One day we arranged for ...

Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Kottur 27/05/2016

A place for Elephant rehab. in India

Elephant Rehabilitation Centre, Kottur Moving on from Thrithandrupuram we stayed for 3 nights at the Bio Veda hill resort by the Neyyar dam and explored this area a little. We decided to visit the Kottur Elephant rehabilitation sanctuary Although I do not have enough detail I believe that this Elephant sanctuary is for old, sick, injured or elephants. I can not find any info on if will they be released in the wild or maintained in captivity when rehabilitated. I think this may have been partly due to a language barrier. Also I can not find their own website, if they have one. I also think this Elephant sanctuary only established in 2008 or 2009. There are about 20 or 30 elephants here. There is a small refreshment area selling drinks and a few snacks, but best take your own if you want anything ~Opening times are 9.30am-5pm ~Location This reserve is in the Kerala district of India about 40km from Thrithandrupuram near Kappukadu . These reserves about 6.k away from our accommodation, for a map look at ~Getting there There are some busses from Trivandrum. Also from the Dam, I believe Also there are trips which include this reserve. We decided that we would get a taxi to take us there from our resort in the hill's about 9 miles away. I can not clearly remember the price but it was not expensive for us On Google it says it will take 1 hr 20 to walk. The route along the road ...

Bio Veda Ayurvedic Hill Resort, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Unwind at the Bio Veda hill resort and hear the lions roar.

Bio Veda Ayurvedic Hill Resort, Thiruvananthapuram Bio Veda Ayurvedic Hill resort After 3 nights in Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of Kerala. We headed to the Bio Veda Ayurvedic Hill resort near the Neyyar Dam. The Neyyar Dam is on the Neyyar River, only about 31 km from Thiruvananthapuram. This is a beautiful quiet green hilly area. See map We found out about this resort via Google we did a lot of researching wanting to split our India holiday up into 3 quite different areas so we felt we had a sample of different Indian experiences. ~Booking We booked through This was simple, uncomplicated. We booked 4 nights here. ~Price A room (wooden chalet) for 2 cost us 9000 rupees about £24 per night (in Feb. this year) this included breakfast. ~Getting there. Thiruvananthapuram airport about 30k from the Bio Veda about 1 and a half hours car/taxi. Website says 1 hour but I think longer We could have booked transfer from our hotel in Thiruvananthapuram to the Bio Veda in advance. Or the staff at the Bio Veda resort would have arranged it for us. We arranged a Taxi when we were in Thiruvananthapuram we got a better price this way. Although when we booked the taxi through our hotel in Thiruvananthapuram were told he knew where the Bio Veda Neyyar Dam was, he didn't really! (No sat nav) Yes he did know where the Neyyar dam was but not our resort. There were not many people around to ask, and very little in the way of road signs. However we ...

Neyyar Dam, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

A dam,a lake/resevior, wildlife parks, fantastic scenery in India

Neyyar Dam, Thiruvananthapuram Neyyar Dam India After our stay in the City of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India we stayed at a resort by the Neyyar Dam. Strictly speaking the Neyyar dam is the dam wall. It is on the Neyyar river in Kerala. >Location The Neyyar Dam is about 30k from Thiruvananthapuram Kerala. It is on the Neyyar River in Kerala. See,77.1922184,11.75z The dam has made a lovely lake and is in the countryside, it is hard to imagine the busy town of Thiruvananthapuram only an hour or so away. >Accommodation. When looking for ourselves I could find only a few places close to stay. The following places we researched on the internet + The Bio Veda resort where we stayed which I would recommend. See +Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram this really is a centre for Yoga, meditation and other treatments I believe it is quite rigid and do not think its for me when I looked at reviews on Their own website + Agasthya House is the only other accommodation I can find in very close location to the dam. See >If you do not wish to stay but just have a day visit then I would recommend. >Getting there it's possible to do it under your own steam in a car or hire a taxi. Alternatively this company do a ...

Thakkaaram, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Is it a train carriage ? no its the Thakkaaram in Thrivadrapuram

Thakkaaram, Thiruvananthapuram When we stayed at The Capital hotel in Thrivadrapuram we only booked bed and breakfast. When on holiday I like to explore the area we are staying in and eat out at other establishments, also staying in an unknown hotel I like to feel that if the food is no good we have the option of eating elsewhere and do not feel we have paid for a meal at the hotel which we have not eaten. Most nights we ate at the hotel and were very satisfied. One night we felt like eating out somewhere else and went to the Thakkaaram, “’Thakkaram’ means a hearty welcome. ~Location This restaurant was only 5 -10 minutes walk away from our hotel. It is on the Press road just off the Pulimood Junction, near the near secretariat see map This restaurant is one of a small group of Thakkaaram restaurants. There is another at Kochin , one at Kannur and there are some at other locations. ~Parking We walked so did not need car parking. I did not see a large car parking area but understand from the website that there is valet car parking. ~Waiting Entering the restaurant we were greeted and told we would have to wait for a table there is a small waiting seating area. We waited for what must have been 10 minutes the restaurant very full and busy. I have read on line that there is often a long wait. So going on advice that a restaurant that is busy is a "safe" place to eat then this had succeeded there when abroad I usually choose a restaurant where I ...

Padmatheertha Pond, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

A temple pond to cleanse yourself in.

Padmatheertha Pond, Thiruvananthapuram The Padmatheertham (means lotus spring) pond /Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple pond Thiruvananthapuram Kerala India is somewhere we visited on our Holiday in India this February this year. ~Location This pond is in the east fort area of Thiruvananthapuram only just inside the gate it's on the east side of the Padmanabha Swamy Temple. The temple is so large a glorious building you can see it from a long way. Also nearby is the Methan Mani clock tower. This pond is fed from the Karamana river. ~Size This pond /tank is large not sure how many sqm but I read it holds about 25000 cubic meters. ~Pond. We looked at the pond from behind the iron railings, which were I suppose put up to prevent access to the pond by people and animals from any part of the pond rather than the allocated entry positions. There are roads close to the pond edge on 3 sides the fourth side has some buildings. Looking over the railing the pond looked to me quite clean I believe it was cleared out about a year or so ago and that other work on this pond area will be ongoing. I could not see any fish in the water, no birds on the water at that time but a few flying overhead. I could see the bathing area with steps and a pavement next to the pond. Around the pond are several pavilions ( 'mandapams'). To enter a Hindu temple one must take a bath and clean clothes. . This pond has bathing Ghats around it to enable this immediately before temple entry. I did not see anyone bathing; I suspect most will ...

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Glittering grand Temple

Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, Thiruvananthapuram Recently visiting Thiruvananthapuram in India we visited the Sree Padmanaba swamy temple I was awed by its architecture (Kerala and Dravidian styles of architecture) and dominance over the area so I thought I would review it .This temple is a shrine of Lord Vishnu, Vishnu sometimes called Padmanaba which apparently means "whose navel is the size of a lotus flower." ~Location This Hindu temple of worship is in the East fort area of Thiruvananthapuram where there are several museums and palaces also lots of shopping. The temple pond which I recently reviewed is on the eastern side of the SREE PADMANABHA SWAMY TEMPLE ~Accessibility This temple is easy to find and get to when you are in Thiruvananthapuram. Nearest railway station is Thiruvananthapuram Central, 1 km away Nearest airport: is Trivandrum International Airport, 6 km away Location It is a tall building visible from afar. Since it is in a large shopping area Busses are frequent to near here. By UK prices taxis and tut tuts are very cheap too. It is easy to look at the outside of the temple, we stood leaning on the fence by the temple pond (see my previous review :-) This is a Hindu Temple and sadly for me non Hindu's are not allowed in. so I could not go inside. For a Hindu to enter they must wear appropriate clothing. For men this means wearing a Dhoti or mundu this is like a fabric worn around the waist and going down to the heels they and should not wear shirts of any kind.. A woman must wear a sari, ...

Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Did I lika Kuthiramalika palace museum

Kuthiramalika Palace Museum, Thiruvananthapuram Today I take you to the Kuthiramalika Palace Museum sometimes called the Puthenmalika Palace Museum in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) India. ~Location This museum is in the Fort area. This is very near the noticeable Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple. A different area to the one with the Napier museum. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple can be seen through many windows. ~Opening times Like the other museums in Thiruvananthapuram this museum is closed Mondays. It is open other days from 08.30 am to 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm to 5.30 pm. ~Building This is a low 2 storey building built by the Travancore King Shri Maharaja the architectural style is traditional Travancore style. . This has many Wood carvings a including 200 horses. These horses are carved onto the brackets which hold up the roof. This palace has 80 rooms, 20 are open for visitors ~Cost The cost to us was for us Foreigners 20 Rupees (20p) for native's 10 rupees children 3 rupees. I had noted several museums charging us Foreigners more than natives I approved of this as its obvious we have more money and 20p wasn't a large amount to us anyway ~ Entry Before entry we had to take our shoes off, this is common practice inmost of the museums that we went into, It is possible to aces a lot of this museum with a wheelchair. Guide. After we paid our money and entered the museum a guide was there to show us round, we declined this preferring to walk round by ourselves. ~Exhibits. The exhibits are mainly items belonging to the ...

Natural History Museum, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Thiruvanthapuram museum for natural history.

Natural History Museum, Thiruvananthapuram I have recently got back from a two week stay in Kerala India for 3 of those days I stayed in Thiruvananthapuram the capital city of this area. Sometimes called Trivandrum (I discovered that although the Indians originally gave the town its name Thiruvananthapuram, when the English decided they could not spell or pronounce it easily it was called Trivandrum until 1991, when the government made it Thiruvananthapuram again)) The name Thiruvananthapuram means the city of Anantha or, the abode of the sacred Serpent Anantha on which Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the Hindu trinity, reclines. Note I have reverted to this spelling of Thiruvananthapuram in the rest of this review it's easier for me Usually we are not town, city people preferring the countryside however visiting a country new to us we wanted to experience a town in India. ~Location The natural history museum is in the same area and complex as the Napier museum (which I reviewed earlier) and the zoo. This area and the other touristy attractions are on the map at This is an excellent location with the other attractions nearby and a green garden /park area connecting them all. ~Access. Although there are steps up to this museum from one direction I believe that you can approach from the side on a path that is suitable for wheelchairs. Inside you could manage with a wheelchair ~Museum building This museum is housed in a modern building, It ...

Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Attractive building interesting museum

Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram While in Thiruvananthapuram recently I visited the Napier museum. Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras from 1866-1872 ~Location Our hotel was just less than 2 km from here so we walked. We got the route from''/napier+museum+trivandrumHere it suggests the walk would take 25 minutes however this 2k walk took us a long time due to the fact it was our first visit to India and we were looking at the buildings and sights as we walked. Also although it was morning it was very hot This museum is on the Vellayambalam Road in an area which has other museums, the zoo and a green park area. This area is ideal for a place to rest or picnic. We saw many people taking their lunch break in the park. ~Disabled access Sorry I can not clearly remember all the accesses but there are many steps in this park area up to the museum, but I seem to remember there is a way if you go the long way round where you can access the museum with out steps, inside the galleries were quite wide. So I think if you were determined you would be able to access the interior. The outside park area has paths some areas steps but as I said going the long way round and there would be no steps. ~Opening times 10:00 A.M. to 5. P.M. (Wednesdays 1:00 P.M. to 5 P.M.) if you should arrive before it opens it is in a park area with plenty to look at. -- Read more: ...

The Capital, Thiruvananthapuram 27/05/2016

Capital stay at Thiruvandrum

The Capital, Thiruvananthapuram The Capital is a hotel in Thiruvananthapuram India. Thiruvananthapuram sometimes called Trivandrum is the capital town in the state of Kerala south east India. After having researched many hotels in Trivandrum on many websites we booked our 3 nights at this hotel with the hotels website > So what made us choose the Capital hotel? ~Location The Capital is just off the MG road at the Pulmoodi junction on the Amjuvavilasam road. We got a taxi from the airport so finding this hotel initially did not bother us One of the reasons why we chose this hotel was it was nearly mid way between the sree Padmanabhaswamy temple the chalia market street and museums and palaces in this location and the Napier museum, and palaces museums in the other direction These areas were about 3 and a half K from the Capital hotel we would visit one area one day the other the next. Easy to find and in walking distance. ~Size type The Capital has 37 rooms and suites so not in my opinion too large and impersonal. The Capital has describes itself as a business hotel and has conference rooms available. I decided that with nothing except internet reviews to go by that this would be ideal for us we did not want facilities for children, a swimming pool or lots of hotel holiday entertainment. With it catering for a business clientele I thought this hotel would have to be a fair standard. ~Arrival We arrived at Trivandrum airport in the morning and would ...

Thiruvananthapuram, India 27/05/2016

Thiruvandrum sometimes called Trivandrum

Thiruvananthapuram, India With my husband I visited India for the first time. We stepped of the airplane at 8.30 after 22 hours travelling from London into the airport at Thiruvananthapuram Thiruvananthapuram is the capital town/city in the State of Kerala in the south west of India below Goa and not quite as far as the top of the bottom of India. Thiruvananthapuram is sometimes called Trivandrum, an easier name to say (and spell) which the town was given in colonial time now since 1991 officially the town is called Thiruvananthapuram again. We spent 3 nights in Thiruvananthapuram obviously in that time I did not get a full picture of the town, so I shall tell you of my experience. ~Airport Thiruvanthapuran airport is quite a modern building not dissimilar to other airports which we have visited. Before we could enter India at Thiruvanthapuran We had to show our passports and our visa, we were also fingerprinted. The desk where we did this was not busy Our bags collected from a standard airport baggage carousel. We went to find our pre booked prepaid taxi to our hotel. At this stage we had no Indian Rupees. You are not allowed to take rupees in or out of India. The airport 1 or 2 k from the main town ~First impressions The journey through the street was interesting. Our senses were saturated with temperature, shape colour and smell. The building styles the shops, the dress Everything was vibrant hot, bright, noisy. We were anxious, hoped our hotel was not in as bad condition and in a better ...
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