Saturday, 22 October 2016
22.10.2016 - 22.10.2016
A torrential down-pour greeted us as we drifted into the port of Cochin. That put paid to any idea of a sunrise, the grey sky met the grey sea and it was impossible to distinguish the horizon. My attempt to upload the blog failed with the slow link reporting a 'time out'. The ship berthed between an aircraft carrier and a coastal passenger ferry.
We assembled in Club Fusion for our shore excursion. With surprising little fuss we were ushered ashore and onto our coach. We were destined for the old colonial sector of the city. Traffic was amazing with a mix of scooters, tuk-tuk, trucks and buses each determined to occupy the same piece of road.
The area has been under the influence of the Jews, the Chinese, the Portuguese, the Dutch and finally the British over the past 400 to 500 years. Each having left their architectural mark.
We walked down the street which still forms the centre of the spice market. The were also stores selling fabrics and a variety of souvenirs. We visited the Dutch Palace Museum and viewed the synagogue although there are only 5 Jewish people remaining with almost the whole population having move to Israel in the 1950s. Although labelled a market in most cases they are no more than a sidewalk stall along a particular street.
We returned to the spot where we'd left the bus and boarded a boat for a cruise on the major waterway. The boat had plastic chairs tied to the rail and it did have a collection of life-jackets. The 'cruise' was interesting and we saw one of the iconic fishing nets in operation. At the end of the cruise we arrived at a classy hotel where we were served refreshments.
Back on our feet and we walked to one of the oldest churches. It would appear that being very old made a structure a tourist feature. Not sure that I agree but after the third or fourth I'd seen enough. Fortunately we were spared the rain but the humidity was oppressive. Along with broken pavements, uneven steps and occasional mud puddles there was a constant swarm of vendors trying to sell their trinkets. Many of them were most persistent.
Eventually we met up with the bus again and drove back to the pier where over 30 hawker stalls were open for business. We dragged our weary limbs past about 10 of them and invested all of US$11 in some souvenirs to take home.
Back on board just after 14:00 we made our way to the Horizon Court for some fruit and refreshing drinks. We visited the Customer Services to sort out Jenny's defective key-card. While there we questioned the expiry date on our cards and it appears that our 'upgrade' was only from Southampton to Singapore. In Singapore we will be relegated to our Ocean View cabin on Deck 5. The staff will transfer our gear while we are ashore.
Spent some time relaxed in our cabin before preparing for dinner and enjoyed a lovely meals. This little old man had trouble staying awake and Jenny echoed a similar feeling. With another half hour time adjustment tonight we determined that we were too tired to attend the show.
Cruise ship, Aircraft Carrier and Hawker's tents, you can view my photo by following this link to the image of the Cochin Pier.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony.