We followed up our stay in the district of Ernakulam by taking a rickshaw over to an island district of Cochin named Fort Kochi. This area was much less busy than Ernakulam and came as a relief to us when we alighted from our rickshaw in the quiet tree lined neighbourhood that our accommodation was based.
Our lodgings were in a home stay which seemed to be quite a popular option in Cochin. Our host was a man called Dev, who was keen to look over a map with us and show us where all the best parts of his city lay. When we got up to our room we were stunned to find a newly built bedroom, decked out in splendour. In fact, it rivalled some of the more expensive hotels we had previously stayed in, and for only £14 a night!
Exploring the local area led us up to a restaurant, not too far away, which had come recommended. Dal Roti as it was called, served up a signature dish called a Kati Roll. This shallow fried wrap contained a wide range of available fillings and every one I had (every meal for the next few days) was totally delicious. It earned its reputation easily and came in as my favourite restaurant so far.
A little further to the north of Dal Roti was the beach. Along this small patch of sand stood rows of Chinese fishing nets. These cantilevered contraptions dominated the view, and there was a gaggle of Indians stood trying to convince me to cough up some money for a personalised demonstration of how they worked!
Further on and down the east side of the island, we hit a charming neighbourhood called Jew Town. As well as featuring the area’s only synagogue, it had a vast array of shops (some large warehouses too) selling a cornucopia of antique and traditional goods. Nicole and I spent hours walking around the aisles, awestruck by the scale of some of the items on display.
Finally, we made our way to the theatre where we watched a display put on by the local martial art dojo. This style of fighting was brutal and had none of the flair and flashiness that you see in the Japanese styles such as Wu Shu. Although the performance was fairly short, we felt we got more that our monies worth and even donated some extra to the dojo to go towards the upkeep of the tradition.