The last stop of my little South India tour was Kochi, the main city of central Kerala. I arrived there by a bumpy and noisy night train ride from Bangalore in the early morning and made my way to the hotel in Ernakulam, the busy and modern mainland part of Kochi. After dropping my luggage, I took the ferry to Fort Kochi, probably the most interesting historic part on the island west of Ernakulam. Its main attractions, such as the Chinese fishing nets, the Dutch Cemetery, the Maritime Museum, St Francis Church and Santa Cruz Basilica, can be easily viewed in 2-3 hours by walking around. On the way back I took a different ferry route via Vypeen Island, which however did not provide any special sights. In the afternoon I walked around the promenade at Ernakulam and back through the busy city centre with many shops, restaurants, and a modern shopping mall – a metro is also currently built which is supposed to link the city centre to the airport.
The second day I joined an organized day tour to the Kerala Backwaters, which mainly included two stops with boat tours, the first with a motorized boat around Allepey located at Punnamada Lake with its many canals and house boats, sometimes also called the “Venice of the East”. The second stop of the tour was near Kottayam and involved a boat trip by a small canoe through narrow channels and a visit at a spice farm. Unfortunately, much time was consumed by getting to those places, and the view during the car rides was only partially scenic.
The third day in Kochi and last day of my trip, I only had time to visit another part of the island, Mattancherry, with the Dutch Palace and Jew Town with the historic Pardesi Synagoge. Before my return flight I still had a bit of time to get to the “LuLu Mall”, supposedly the largest shopping mall in whole India, which does not much distinguish from malls like in the US – all very clean and polished inside, the same brands and the same entertainment options including indoor ice skating and amusement park facilities.