After our wonderful visit with Shinoy and his family, we got in a car and headed out for a six-day tour of Kerala. With some help from Shinoy and Shinith, we were able to book an amazing trip that started in Fort Cochin.
Since it was right around the holidays, the town was filled with amazing flair. The decorations were spectacular and made the atmosphere even more welcoming. The streets were lined with sparkly streamers and there were lights and stars up everywhere. Our driver asked us where we wanted to go, and since we had no real agenda, we asked that he surprise us. What resulted was a nice brief overview of what the city had to offer.
First we stopped at a few churches. The first was Santa Cruz Basilica. It was so beautiful and very crowded with visitors. The blue sky looked amazing with all of the stars and the stark white church. We took off our shoes and headed in to look at all of the Christmas decorations. Even though it was about 90 degrees out, it felt a little like the holiday season.
Then we went to St. Francis Church. This church was a little older and more worn, but really cool none the less. Outside of the church there was a tree filled with red and orange holiday stars and inside was the coolest Charlie Brown tree ever. Next year, Cody and I decided we were just going to take some fallen branches, stick them in a pot and decorate them, just like in Fort Cochin. It’s as easy as that.
Next, we went to the waterfront and walked around a bit. It had a lot to offer and there were many families and tourists out enjoying the day. There were food stalls, hawkers and little shops set up. Cody got some more fried peppers to eat and I bought an India-graph (think spiro-graph) from a boy on the street. We also went star shopping for our home in Dar.
Next, we were off to another church, the Ave Maria church in Vallarpadam, Kochi. It was a little bizarre. There was lots of green grass and many weird fiberglass tree trunk display cases with biblical scenes in them. The church itself was nice and we climbed to the top for a view of the surrounding area.
Then it was back to our hotel. I don’t remember what it was called but it was a funny experience. We arrived just in time to find the slug in our bathroom trying to escape through the ceiling. A slug is one thing, but add to it lovely ants and other assorted creatures as well as some blood-letting tables and the weird doctors office we had to walk through on our way to our room and it made for a rather sleepless night. The hotel was strange to say the least. My advice: don’t stay there. But overall Fort Cochin was not a bad stop.