Chillin' in Kochi
Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
129Trip End Dec 22, 2013
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In Cochin we stayed in the modern part of town known as Ernakulam right near the main ferry terminal. Arriving later in the afternoon most of us headed to the nearby food court for dinner and succumbed to fast food from NFC; think KFC
The next day we took the local ferry over to first to Mattancherry which is the main market area, the epicentre of the Malabar spice trade and home to the wealthiest Jewish and Jain merchants. There are also many high end antique markets which is full of Jewish furniture and un-portable heirlooms from when they emigrated en masse to Israel in the 1940’s. As we wandered around the streets we passed by the Jewish synagogue and then made a visit to the Mattancherry Palace known locally as the Dutch Palace; erected by the Portuguese and gifted to the Raja of Cochin
Heading north towards Fort Cochin which is where the Portuguese erected their first walled citadel, Fort Emmanuel, we passed by many spice warehouses and got to see lots of loading and loading of trucks with various spices, bags of rice, onion and garlic. It was so nice and peaceful just to wander along and take in the sights of the day. We all met for lunch at a cool little café called Kashi Art Café where I had probably the most delicious tuna melt ever. I know in India you ask? But it was fresh tuna, lots of garlic and cheese on this fresh made bread toasted with butter. I also had a nice limeade and the best cappuccino I’ve tasted in a long time. As you guessed this place catered to Westerners and while inside you would think you were in London, Paris or Italy.
Refreshed from lunch we visited the famous Chinese fishing nets that are lined up along the northern shores. The nets are suspended by big wooden poles and operated by levers and weights (stones) and take four men to operate. We were called over by one of the fisherman to take a look and we happily went in up and on the contraption. He explain how they work and types of fish they often catch and we were allowed to stay will the raised the net. They caught mostly catfish which is not really a choice fish for selling. Apparently it’s not the right season for catching much other than catfish with the nets. They will raise and lower the nets up to twenty-two times a day. Thanking Simon the fisherman and preparing to give him RS 100 he started arguing and saying there is six guys and he needs Rs 500. We said no way and started walking away; kind of ruined what was a nice moment for me
With most of the afternoon left and still feeling battered and bruised from the Chembra Peak trek and missing out on getting a massage in Goa, Mike and I found a place to get a massage. It was called a rejuvenation massage and not like any other massage I had before but by the end of it I did feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Started with a head massage, then face and the body; front then back. By the end there was so much oil on the table I was sliding every time she pushed down on my neck and shoulders. A 10 min steam bath and shower in attempt to wash the oil off finished the hour. Heading back on the ferry, my final hours in Kochi were spent finding an ATM and enjoying dinner at the Grand Hotel which had a posh atmosphere but the food didn’t necessarily match.
Some how I managed to lose all of the pictures I took in Cochin - still figuring out the new camera. So these pictures are courtesy of Mike who I spent the day with. Thanks Mike!