After a day tour through the backwaters of Kerala, I spent a couple of days in Kochi. This city was once one of the most important trading centers of India. Traders and explores came here from very different places. It was occupied by the Portuguese at the beginning of the 16th century, and later by the Dutch and the British. Here we can find a diversity of landmarks, witnesses of its rich history: giant Chinese fishing nets, Portuguese houses, a dutch cemetery, Catholic churches and cathedrals, among many others.
The Chinese fishing nets are structures of at least 10 meters high which are operated by a team of six people. In Fort Kochi, the nets have become mainly a tourist attraction. While it is interesting to see how they work, the catch in every attempt is minimum.
Fort Kochi, also known as Old Kochi, has a very relaxed atmosphere. I took a walk around and visited the Santa Cruz Basilica, the Dutch cemetery and the Bishops house.
The next day, a rickshaw driver took me to the Dhobi Khana, the main laundry of the city. Here, people still use traditional ways to perform their tasks, including hand-washing, air-drying and coal-powered irons.
In the evening, I attended a Kathakali performance. This form of art is a classical dance of South India. The dancers, traditionally all male, wear colorful costumes and very elaborate make-up which make take up to one hour to be applied.