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A movie? Yes, a mixture between Indiana Jones, Eat Pray Love and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And we can add also a romantic comedy in which the main character goes alone in India to write a romantic novel.
This old part is called Fort Kochi and it’s a harbour that has been active since 1341. This is how for so many centuries, this part of India has made exchanged values with the rest of the world. It is still active, but time and modernisation has slowed things drastically, but it is still a very beautiful place where people are selling spices, oils, rice and other goods.
From the Danish, Portuguese and British colonization, Cochin has now a beautiful interbelic architecture, then we add some palm trees, yellow-orange soil, the sea, a lot of loud crows and we have the perfect recipe for a romantic, bohemian and artistic setting, or however you would like to call it. I felt instantly like in a movie, I don’t know how o explain it very well, I felt like teleported a few centuries ago and I started enjoying a good cup of tea in a luxurious interior garden.
First of all, I recommend The Spice Market, the place where a lot of exotic oriental goods are sold for export. On a street that is probably one or two kilometres long, you can find merchants in every house, and in the back, there is for sure a world to explore, like warehouses with cinnamon and ginger smell, ports and factories.
And the natural aromatic oils are found everywhere. Now I am using these magic aromas instead of perfume, I bought sandal wood oil, pink lotus, black musk and a few others:)
Kerala is the place where Ayurveda has started, so you can imagine that this is also the place where most of the magical herbs are grown and harvested. And I can tell you that these plants are fascinating, they have wonderful colours, powerful smell and strange shapes. And if you get into details about their benefits and the wonders that ayurveda can do, you will stay in Kerala forever and ever 🙂
This part of the town maybe it’s not on everyone’s taste, but as a traveller, you can appreciate the authenticity and the beauty of this place, and above that, it’s a paradise for every photographer, for street photography, architecture and interesting portraits.
Dreaming and evolving is like walking on a narrow and strange path, but you feel that it’s a safe one.
Another very pleasant activity, is walking on the streets nearby the fort, where you can admire a chaotic but beautiful mixture between colonial architecture, graffiti, colourful houses and small souvenir shops.
Sometimes you feel like you are in Cuba, sometimes like Mexico or maybe Bali :)) A strange combination of different architectural styles.
Also in this old part of the town, you can find beautiful temples and churches of different religions that are in this part of India. In Kerala, most of the people are Christian, only after that Hindus and different other religions like Jainism, Muslim and Sufi. Maybe that’s why they call it God’s own Country, doesn’t matter the name of the God, it is one holy place for all religions.
Before sunset, you can enjoy a beautiful and authentic Kathakali dance, a traditional show from Kerala. If you get there one hour before the show starts, you can even witness the precess through which the two main characters, the demon and the hero, are putting on their make-up. This is a ritualic practice, before starting applying the colour, they recite a prayer and ge in a special state of awareness.
Kerala is surprising me every day, and Kochi is a place that you can easily fall in love with, and that is giving you that oriental, romantic, bohemian and artistic vibe. And yes, it is very safe, and if you are alone, you can hire a wonderful driver like Peter. Haha, he is so funny! 🙂
If you are planning a trip to Kerala, for sure Cochin would be a very nice stop. And on top of that, all flights from here are cheaper than from Trivandrum, the official capital of Kerala.