Day 5, 6 – 22nd Dec – 23rd Dec
We spent these two days at home and finished a few household chores. I was also pursuing a possible work opportunity so we had our hands full.
Day 7, 8 – 24th Dec – 25th Dec – Merry Christmas!
We planned to attend the mass at the church on 25th Dec, 12:00 AM. As it would be too late to drive back home after that, we booked an Airbnb at Fort Kochi for that night.
We started to Fort Kochi on 24th afternoon at around 12:00 PM and checked into our Airbnb by 1:45 PM.
For lunch we drove to Alice Delices. It was a little late when we arrived and unfortunately they were out of food by then. If you plan to have a meal at Alice Delices, the best time to visit would be for breakfast. They did have some French baguettes left over and we decided to try them out as we had never had them before. According to the manager there, the French eat them as is, but Indians usually require some butter and jam. We first tried to eat them raw like the French do, but we’re Indians at heart (and tongue), so ended up eating them with butter and some fresh pineapple jam. For the remainder of our lunch, we hit Cafe Kochi. It was a hot sunny day, so we spent some time in the AC relaxing and getting some reading done.
Our next destination was the Saint Francis Church. The weather had changed drastically; the skies were filled with clouds and there was a cool breeze. The church was closed by the time we reached but we walked around the compound looking at the huge trees and the Christmas decoration. Since the lighting conditions were perfect, we wandered around in Parade ground next to the church taking a few snaps.
We’d heard of a large tree being decorated during Christmas at Veli Ground. Upon reaching there though we could not find anything and decided to revisit later. The Jew Town is quite close to the grounds, so that ended up being our next destination. Although we new that the Paradesi Synagogue would be closed, we wanted to see the town. When we reached there though the entire street was already shutdown. The town seemed to have gone to sleep by 7:30 in the evening!
After a short walk at the Kochi beach, we headed for an early dinner at Dal Roti. The food was unique here, a little unexpected but delicious nonetheless. Other than the oil soaked paratha, we enjoyed our dinner.
Since it was only 10:00 PM, and mass would not start until 11:45, we went back to our AirBnb to relax and use the loo. When we arrived at the Santa Cruz cathedral at around 11:40 PM, the place was already very full and we could see people from many different countries. We went into the church and stood near the side door with a view of the altar listening to the hymns being played. A few minutes before midnight, the priests appeared and performed the Nativity scene. We hung around the church for another 20-30 minutes after midnight and then rounded up our day by going to the Fort Kochi beach to listen to the waves.
When we returned home, our Airbnb host – Joseph, invited us for a glass of home made wine and some plum cake. It was delicious, the wine was sweet and the plum cake was soft. We spent some time at his place talking about Kochi and about how he met his wife. We also met a mother and daughter from Argentina who were staying at the Airbnb.
The next day we got up late and checked out of our room. We then went to Bread World where we had a late brunch. Mattancherry Palace (also known as the Dutch Palace) was our next stop. The Palace is a relatively modern monument and museum that talks about the history and people of Kochi, the Malabar coast and Kerala as a whole. While you are there remember to look up at the nicely carved ceiling and out the windows as they offer some beautiful views. We sat in the grounds near the palace for a while and then made our way to the Paradesi Synagogue again to see if it was open during Christmas. It ended up being closed, like a lot of other restaurants that we wanted to go to for lunch.
After a short visit to the Kochi Biennale at Anand ware house near the Mattencherry Palace, we decided to call it a day and headed home.
Day 8, 9 – 26th – 27th Dec
Usual boring day; we stayed at home and I got some work done on a new project that was about to start.
Fort Kochi is beautiful during Christmas. The streets, the parks and the cathedrals were lit up and decorated with bells, stars and colored paper. We could see people from various religions and countries joining in the celebrations. The last 7 days of the year are infectiously fun, and when you are in a touristy place like Fort Kochi you can feel the festivities everywhere.
Until next time!
Thanks to my wife and travel companion for the pictures. You can follow her on Instagram here.
Following is a summary of the places we visited in no particular order,
- Alice Delicacies, Fort Kochi – Restaurant
- Cafe Kochi, Fort Kochi – Restaurant
- Saint Francis church, Fort Kochi
- Mattancherry Palace, Fort Kochi – Monument / Museum.
- Santa Cruz cathedral, Fort Kochi
- Dal Roti, Fort Kochi – Restaurant
- Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Anand ware house, Fort Kochi – Art exhibition