We were tired and hungry when we arrived in Fort Kochi so we went to the nearest recommended restaurant and had an amazing curry, beer and naan, so much so we ate there again on two more occasions. Fort Kochi is a really nice area with a complex history and a truly ethnic diverse culture. There are exotic spice markets, Chinese fishing nets, Dutch style houses, a Portuguese palace, a Jain temple and a synagogue in the greatly named area of Jew Town! It is also home to a traditional southern Indian dance style called Kathakali.
We took our time exploring all the different areas and chilling out by the beach to watch the fisherman working the photographic Chinese nets. Jew Town was a lively area, lots of shops and the synagogue, which is the first one we have been too so that was interesting. The Portuguese palace in Mathancherry was nice with impressive murals covering the walls and facts about the history of Kerala.
One evening we went to see the Kathakali dance. You are told to get to the theatre early to watch the men transform into their characters as they apply the elaborate make up. The story was explained to us before the performance began and one of the men showed us the variety of facial expressions they pull as there are no words spoken, it is just music and some extremely animated movements. The performers were impressive; their ability to show such clear emotion with their faces and the technique involved in each specified movement was extraordinary. However, James and I were bored after about 25 minutes, I don't think we are cultured enough to appreciate it but we weren't the only ones. The performance went on for an hour and we lost three of the tourists to GSS (Grandy Sleep Syndrome)=the ability to fall asleep at a performance even with loud drumming music.
We went to the more modern area called Ernakulam to get our passport copy notarised. The ferry ride across the water was nice but on the other side of the water it took us a couple of hours of searching for a notary that was open and one that wasn't going to charge us a fortune to stamp the copies. Thankfully we got it completed at a reasonable price and went straight back the chilled out, pretty area of Fort Kochi.
It was so nice to have a few days in one very pretty spot of India and enjoy the great food, including fish caught fresh from the fishing nets and some great Kerala style curry.