Monday, October 25, 2010

Kerela in a Week: Cochin



CHINESE FISHING NETS, FORT KOCHI
 Cochin greeted us with a bang. Bang! Bang! Bang! The rain went, bullets from a water pistol, as our flight landed at the Cochin airport. The downpour continued with as much gusto even an hour later as the taxi made twists and turns in Fort Kochi streets. Me and my husband, Sanjay were in Cochin, the starting point of our 11 day vacation - a week long tryst with Kerela before we headed to Goa.

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The Itinerary, October 16-16, 2010

Fly from Delhi to Cochin
Days 1 and 2:     Cochin
Day 3 and 4:       Drive to Munnar (4 hrs), Overnight for 2N
Day5:                 Drive to Periyar (4hrs), Overnight
Day 6:                Drive to Allepy (5 hrs), Overnight in houseboat
Day 7:                Drive to Cochin (2 hrs) and catch overnight Rajdhani reaching Goa at 11.00 AM
Days 8-11:         Goa
Fly back to Delhi
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EARLY MORNING, FORT KOCHI SHORELINE: ITS A FISH MARKET, LITERALLY!

OLD HARBOUR HOTEL: WE SPENT SOME GREAT TIME JUST CHILLING IN THE GARDEN.




TEAPOT: LOTS OF FAT TEAPOTS, SHORT AND STOUT, PICK FROM THE HANDLE AND POUR FROM SPOUT!


Cochin
OUR ROOM, OLD HARBOUR
The Cochin airport is more than 40km from the city, the distance coupled with the rain ensured we took over an hour to reach our hotel – Old Harbor Hotel, Fort Kochi. We were greeted warmly by the staff and ushered to our room in a matter of minutes. The Old Harbor is a 300 year old building, originally a grand family home now converted into a boutique hotel with about 12 rooms. The decor is simple with an ethic touch lending the place an old world charm. Soon we were settled and set to explore the area – only it was still raining cats and dogs. After chat with the lady at the reception we realized it could continue pouring for hours or even days. This decided things- we armed ourselves with large white hotel umbrellas and set out.

KASHI ART CAFE
Our immediate concern was lunch and side stepping puddles we came to the Kashi Art Café- much talked about in Cochin blogs. An open air café, it is housed on the ground floor of an old home. Paintings and portraits of various scenes of the city and movie stars line the walls. We ordered sandwiches , coffee and cake. The food has a made at home taste- wholesome and subtle flavors. Done with lunch we explored the nearby area. Fort Kochi is a compact area with short intersecting streets lined with hotels, eating joints and shops selling crafts, further trips into Kerela and massages. It is essentially geared for tourists and in an hour or so, we had covered most of it on foot. We spent the remaining evening relaxing at the hotel and just getting used to idling!

CAT AND FISH
Our next day in Cochin started with- you guessed it – even more rain! However, it was light pitter-patter and we took advantage of it by taking an early morning walk on the Fort Kochi beach – though its not really a beach, it is more of a shoreline. Early morning- we saw fishermen hauling the catch of fish , crabs and prawn and spreading them out for sale. Each stall seemed to have its own guardian cat! We walked ahead towards the Chinese fishing nets. These are large net supported by wooden logs. A set of fishermen invited us to inspect theirs, a mistake on our part as this is a ploy to extract money from tourists. We went back to our hotel and fortified ourselves with some South Indian breakfast. We spent another half of the day visiting the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue and a couple of Churches- Santa Cruz Basilica and the St. Francis. The Dutch palace was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and houses some artifacts and murals. Close to it is the Jew Street and Synagogue. Also constructed in the 16th century, it is said to be the oldest in India. A small room has paintings depicting the history of Jew settlement in Kochi.

4 comments:

  1. Lovely blog Vasudha ! I am someone who is fond of travelling myself and you have explored a few places that I would love to visit myself. I read your whole blog in one shot today. Your trips to Leh and Amritsar made a very interesting read. I am a veggie myself and so agree with what you say about food options available. and ice creams and Hagen Daaz ! how I love them. Its too expensive here in India. But my fav remains Movenpick that I had during one of my trips outside !! Hopefully you are making more trips and do post about them ! would love to read.

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  2. Thanks Swathika....I hope you do visit the places on your travel list soon. I have not been travelling lately. Missing it!

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