Ernakulam - Fort Kochi

Technically speaking I hadn't been to Kochi yet - the area I am staying at is called Ernakulam. It's the busy city where you hardly see any Western tourists - and most of it isn't really pretty. Although, when I look out of my hotel room's window on the 6th floor, I see a lot of palm trees and only the occasional bigger building.

I took the boat over to Fort Kochi on Tursday morning. It's about 20 minutes on the public ferry that costs 2,5 rupees, which is close to nothing (for comparison: the rickshaw to the harbour had cost 50 rupees!).
As I looked through my coins (some of them leftovers from my first trip to India 20 years ago) the conductor was very fascinated with one of my 5 rupees coins. It must have been ancient! He offered me to trade it for a new coin and then examined the old one very thoroughly.

This is a look back at the skyline of Ernakulam.

I walked along the coast of the island and watched some of the fishermen working with their big "Chinese fishing nets".

Fort Kochi is more like a big village. Not much traffic and honestly you can see all the important sights in one day. I had actually expected something a bit more impressive. All the guide books and articles I have read only suggested hotels for Fort Kochi, but I am glad to have my hotel in Ernakulam. City girl....

It was quite hot again and I took a break in a little garden with my favourite Indian drink: Fresh Lime Soda!

Dutch Cemetery

Where there is an island, there is Bob Marley...

Indians always want their picture taken with me!
One of the many churches in Kochi

It's also quite easy to find everything, just go for a stroll and you will soon bump into a church or a small museum.
After lunch I spent an hour in an Internet cafe (my hotel charges far too much for WiFi). And there was a hairdresser nearby so I also got a hair wash and a relaxing head massage.

I walked quite some time before getting to the originally jewish part of Kochi.

There were a lot of traders on the main street (mostly rice, nuts and the like) and some people had transformed old warehouses into stylish shops.

It's always easy to know when you get close to a place of interest: the shops change and become more colorful. This was also the case in Jew street. I went to visit the old synagogue which again was not spectacular but still interesting, especially the floor which was made of handpainted Chinese tiles.

I missed the ferry but somebody told me to wait, the next one would come "soon"... Which turned out to be nearly an hour later! I was so glad when I could finally sit in the boat, and I nearly fell asleep.

Back in Ernakulam I joined the many other people who were strolling along the boardwalk called Marina Drive (although there is no driving) and watching the sunset.
It got dark very quickly so I went into a smaller but very busy street which had a lot if little shops that sold everything from toys to pans to hardware. This is where I went looking for thin needles because I had forgotten mine at home.

I also had dinner at a simple restaurant there - but when I left it at about 7:40 the area had changed a lot: shops were closing down and suddenly the streets were nearly deserted.
In search of a rickshaw I walked by a Hindu temple that was decorated with a lot of bright and blinking lights. Apparently it was some kind of special event. But I was too tired to investigate after this long day.

So I went to the hotel for more sewing and stitching on my dance costume.

By the way, it's not like I am missing much if I stay in at night - Kochi is definitely not a "city that never sleeps". It gets very quiet at night.