With the North in our rear view, we headed south. Mentally we really have built up the vision for the south. We want cleaner, more green, less drama, and please maybe less aggro staring?
You can see from the other post that we flew down. We had two flights to make to get to Kochi. Delhi to Mumbai, Mumbai to Kochi. We were flying Kingfisher Airlines. The flight experience on the first leg was fine, though seatguru told us bad information about which row was the emergency exit row, so we ended up on the row right behind it 😦 ugh. The next flight though was rough. Small plane and scaled down to Indian sizes to get another row or two in. This crushed the knees against metal and that was no fun. But it was all worth it. Stepping off the plane into Kerala relaxed the soul. The air didn’t have very much “fog” at all. The temperature was warm and humid but not too much and there were palm trees. Yes. Tropical. I was waiting for the aggro staring to begin but it didn’t. Of course ,since I am WWF size to them, a few stares here or there but overall very nice. Chuckles was getting more attention and even then not much. Was a nice feeling. I don’t mind being on display, and as a photographer one can’t get too hypocritical about it. But it was nice to not have to deal so much with it.
We headed into Kochi to find our hotel. We were hoping to stay out in Fort Cochin, which is off the coast and a small costal town, but with the holidays everything was booked. We checked in and got settled at the hotel. We still needed to sort the next few days. With the difficulty we encountered finding a room in kochi, we decided we should probably plan for at least the next 3 days what we wanted to do. We burned a few hours calling places and reading to figure out what we wanted to do. We settled on 2 options. Visit a cliffside beach town and be bums for a couple of days or head to the backwater and be bums for a couple of days. Let’s wait for the next post to see what we chose 🙂 but with decision made, we headed out into Kochi to just walk around.
The city is markedly cleaner, more organized, and just plain nicer than any of the ones we visited in the north. The people are friendlier and the incidence of aggro staring remains low. We headed to the train station and the scene was orderly and efficient. Unlike Mathura. The ticket agent was really helpful and patient and this was the regular indian line vs the tourist line.
From there it we strolled to find the water. Most of India during the day has great color, contrast, and texture but at night it gets even more powerful because of the lights. This was just a corner.
The nightime stalls all light up in a fluorescent glow and does wonderful things to color.
As as twisted through alleys and side streets heading toward the water, it finally started to hit me. I am in India! It’s amazing the things we have seen and experienced here.
Some Christmas tree lights caught our eye, and we found a bit of action.
It was a book fair! But that wasn’t the exciting part. The cool part is that we finally got to see some water!! The unfortunate part is that Kochi is more of a commercial port vs sandy beach but it was nice to trade the desert for the water.
We just sat by the water, had a chat, and got eaten by mosquitoes until we couldn’t take it anymore.
But the favorite shot of the night is below. Makes me love Kochi.
Post stroll, hunger and beer called…No pictures of that