|St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica in Chennai, India.|
Today’s post will be our last from tours in Chennai. In the second part of this post, we share photos of the Ideal Beach Resort located in Mahabalipuram. Yesterday’s time in this village will be posted tomorrow when once again, we’ll be on the move to our following location, the French colony of Pondicherry.
Visiting this church was of particular interest to Tom, whose patron Saint is St. Thomas, aka “Doubting Thomas.” Humm, that’s so true.
From this site: “San Thome Church, also known as St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica and National Shrine of Saint Thomas, is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Santhome, in Chennai (Madras), India. It was built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers over the tomb of Saint Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. ,
In 1893, it was rebuilt as a church with the status of a cathedral by the British. The British version still stands today. It was designed in Neo-Gothic style, favored by British architects in the late 19th century. This church is one of the only three known churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus. The other two are St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain.
|No photos were allowed inside the church. This is a photo of the crypt of St. Thomas found online.|
|It was tricky getting good photos of the exterior with the traffic and crowds on the street.|
Pope Pius XII honored the Cathedral Church of the Archdiocese of Madras – Mylapore raising it to the rank of Minor Basilica by apostolic brief dated 16 March 1956. Massive followings and the immense devotion of people to a very ancient image of the Blessed Virgin, also known as “Our Lady of Mylapore,” were among the motives that prompted the Pope to bestow this honor.”
|Sundowners on the beach last night.|
Gosh, this is fun, and it’s a bit easier to say after a few great meals and for Tom, with bacon with his eggs the past two mornings. My guy sure is a picky eater and is much more content where he can tolerate something on the menu.
Let’s face it, for many travelers, including Tom. Good food is a part of the experience. For me, it’s of little importance as long as I comply with my special diet and am not starving, although I do especially enjoy meals when we’re cooking for ourselves.
|The pretty beach scene at Ideal Beach Resort.|
Once we arrive in the UK, we’ll be cooking again, which is almost two months from now. In the interim, we’re managing better in India, figuring out what works for both of us, with our expectations in check.
|Swimming in the Bay of Bengal is not recommended due to severe undercurrent.|
The moon was full, and we were able to take a few photos. After an hour, we headed to the dining room, ordering the same meals from the previous night, knowing they worked well for each of us.
This hotel has not been a very social experience when there’s no particular spot where guests go to mingle. We had some excellent interactions with other tourists in hotels along the way. But, soon enough, we’ll be on a ship where socializing is the name of the game.
Some of our readers have inquired about how we’re feeling, in light of the coronavirus about going on a cruise on April 3rd, only 25 days from today. Of course, we have concerns.
|Last night’s full moon.|
The cruise line contacted all passengers, offering us a full-price cancellation voucher but not a cash refund. If we withdrew, we’d have to find a place to stay for 30 days, paying for hotel/holiday home and flight, most likely to the UK, leaving us with an expensive Viking Cruise Line voucher which could eventually be worthless if the cruise industry crashes.
The Viking Sun is a small ship carrying only 900 passengers. This particular cruise line has yet to have a single virus case on any of their ocean-going or river cruises. Our temperature will be taken before boarding, and passports will be checked for recent countries visited. Many countries are being excluded, and passengers will be refused to board.
I don’t know. It’s everywhere, including our own USA. Nowhere except Antarctica is free of the virus. Besides, we’re already traveled there. We have military-grade face masks we purchased months ago, and if a single case is found on the ship, I assure you, we’ll be wearing them.
|Tom’s dinner for three nights, a form of chicken Cordon Bleu with pasta and bread. He says it’s good.|
Sure, we are more at risk traveling internationally than those staying housebound wherever they may live. But, if people so much as go to a market, a pharmacy, a school, a restaurant, or any public place in any part of the world, risks exist.
In the interim, we watch for and check for more information from Viking, should they decide to cancel the cruise. There’s nothing more we can do at this point. If we had to pick a place to “hide” from the virus, we don’t know where that would be. Does anyone know?
Instead, we continue with our India tour exercising good hygiene and considerable caution as much as possible. We may consider canceling any terms where there are vast numbers of tourists at any given time. We’ll research and make decisions as we go along.
That’s it for today, folks. Lots more is coming, as mentioned above, including yesterday’s exciting tours. Stay tuned.
Photo from one year ago today, March 9, 2019:
|The Nyala seems to be following a small forkl of kudus consisting of two boys and their mom. It appears he’s taking a liking to the mom. For more photos, please click here.|