Cochin is listed by the National Geographic as one of the top 50 places in the world to visit. To be honest I had a hard time seeing why.
Kochi (Cochin) is a mixture of islands, all demonstrating the colonial history of India, from British influence to Portugese to the famous Jew town. The island of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry are lovely. However, the heat and mainly the humidity did mean that doing anything much was limited. There is only so far I can walk with a soaking wet t-shirt, which when dries leaves a salt stain, (lovely I know!).
The highlights of Cochin include the synagogue dating back to 1568 and Mattancherry Palace. Both were a big disappointment. The synagogue was very bare and tiny. The Palace we had walked past 4 times before we realised it was there!
It was interesting to watch the Chinese fishing nets which as massive nets attached to bamboo poles on the edge of the water. These are lowered in and then slowly out with a mass of fish. Genuis. The history of these date back to the 1400s and require at least 4 men to operate the counterweights!
I also visted the Vallarpadam Church, recently made into a Basillica. It was a beautiful place but odd to see the pictures and statutes of Christ and the various saints draped in flashing neon lighting. Religion is a very serious matter in India, and it was quite apparent the depth of devotion within this Church alone. Well worth the visit just for the peace and quiet and coolness of the Church.
The highlight of Kochi was a trip to Domino's for good old fashion pizza. However, deciphering the offers took at least 20 minutes and an excellent example of Indian bureaucracy. For example, in order to take advantage of offer A, it included pizzas which fell into menus a,b,c. However, if you wanted a pizza from menu d then x amount was added unless...... The satisfaction of ordering was immense