My trip to Kerala (part 3): Kochi

net-fishIf you close your eyes, and try to imagine a place where different cultures, religions, travellers meet … that’s Kochi (aka Fort Cochin)!

Arabs, British, Chinese, Portoguese… all these people have left a deep mark in this town. Moreover, here you find mosques, churches, synagogues.

You can visit Kochi by following the main touristic and historical attractions or losing yourself just walking around.

Even though there are many kinds of hotels (from cheap to luxury ones!), I experienced the “homestay”. It is like European bed & breakfast, so that you can closely live with an Indian family. As you can imagine the real ‘engine’ of a family are … women! My homestays’ family was composed by a father and two hard worker daughters.

However, I had a great time with them; the house was cosy, and very close to the main palaces and churches, in the ancient town.

There, I spent one of the most moving moment of the whole holiday, as a person who used to live in Italy came and visit me. For a long time, Thomas took care of a relative of mine. Then, he was able to come back to his country, and join his family.

I have learned from him how hard is life for an immigrant…

Let’s come back to Kochi attractions… In the ancient town, it’s a mix of Dutch, Portoguese, and British buildings.

kochi-fish-marketA typical Kochi’s attraction are the Chinese fishing nets: they were brought by merchants from Kublai Khan court in the XV century. Nets, fishermen, and fish market make the promenade along the sea very busy. Furthermore, you can choose and buy fishes, and ask some nearby small restaurants to cook them for you! So, you can also follow the nice cooking smell, a mix of spices and sea…

But I believe the main reason for visiting Kochi is the perfect harmony between churches, mosques, synagogues. Just walking around you can find the signs of different religions, cultures, and traditions: St. Francis Church (where Vasco De Gama corpse was kept for more than 14 years), Santa Cruz Basilica, Pardesi Synagogue, Islamic neighbourhood, Mattancherry Palace…

I warmly suggest to free your mind and spend at least three days in Kochi!

See you in … Varkala, where I’ll tell you something more about Ayurvedic Medicine.basilica

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