We’re back in India! The AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur took 4 hours and safely deposited us at the Cochin airport, in the southwest of India. Cochin is a popular starting point for Keralan backwaters tours and such, so it’s a fairly touristy area.
It is nice to be back in the country when the weather is more manageable. It was around 80 degrees when we landed, very comfortable! Our packs were already at the carousel when we got through customs (so fast!). When we exited the airport we weren’t surrounded by tuk tuk drivers. Strangely, we were allowed to walk to the bus stop. So far so good.
It didn’t take long for us to have our first reminder that we were back in India. After waiting for 45 minutes at a bus stop for the bus into the city, we watched it fly past us and leave the airport. Sweet. Apparently all the people we asked if this was the bus to Ft Kochi didn’t really know. I grabbed a couple of cups of chai, resigned to a long wait, and luckily another bus showed up within a half hour.
Fort Kochi is a fascinating place. You can see evidence of all the colonial influences on the area. The Portuguese colonized the area in the 1500s, making it the first European colony in India. At the time, there was also a sizeable Jewish community there (and you’re still able to visit “Jew Town). Then the Dutch came and conquered Kochi. There are lots of Christians there. It has been and still is a major spice trading market.
In Kochi, there are goats instead of cows everywhere
We spent a couple days wandering around Kochi. I got a shirt made, sold a couple of books. We ate at the Elite Hotel for breakfast every morning — had amazing idlis, appam, idiappam. Mmmm, keralan breakfast!! The best. We checked out the old Dutch Palace which had amazing mural art.
I found Ft Kochi to be a bit expensive, so we were happy to catch our bus to Alleppey to find some cheap digs and eats.