I’m going to open this post with a big thanks to Uber India and Musafir.com for sending my husband and I to Kochi. These two brands had partnered and organised a “Free trip on Valentine’s Day” contest where 164 winners would get to fly for the Valentine weekend to places like Thailand, Hong Kong internationally and Coimbatore, Kochi, Udaipur, Andamans etc within India. The stay, flights and commute within these places were all sponsored and all we had to do was shell those notes for food (excl breakfast), shopping etc.
My husband and I were on the Uber app anxiously trying to see if we could get a chance to win this weekend getaway. In under 20 minutes of adrenaline rushing moments, I heard a very soft voice saying – Preethi, I guess we WON :D.
To be honest, I was really hoping to go to a place like Udaipur, Andaman but we were given no choice but to fly to Kochi – our neighbour (DUH!). Don’t look at this as a complaint, but we have frequented Kochi so many times and definitely it was not the place that we wanted to spend our Valentine’s Day in. It was like being in another hometown of ours.
The excitement and the joy of winning did decrease to an extent after knowing our destination but nevertheless, as I would always call the both us – desperate wanderers, we wore a happy face and were ready to make Kochi a different experience this time around.
We left on Friday night which means we had a day to make our time worthwhile. It did not take us so much time for us to plan, but we wanted to go at least to one place we have never been to before.
What we did in under 24 hours: Mattenchery – Fort Kochi
Hotel offered: Abad Plaza, MG Road (next to Cochin Central Mall)
On the 13th of February (Sat), we got ready to have breakfast and decided to visit the Paradesi Synagogue or Jew town in Mattenchery. The clock on the wall has been up there forever and works perfectly till date.
Please note that this place is closed on Saturdays but the street will be bustling with people – all thanks to the numerous shops there. We explored the whole area and found so many interesting antiques that made us go crazy.
This place is filled with Antiques, wooden carvings and furnitures, huge pots, spices etc. Crafters is one of the biggest antique shop.
Once we did a bit of shopping here (we got some home made soaps, small antique items and some silver jewellery :P), for about an hour and half, we headed to Mattenchery Palace.
If you like Mural Art, want to catch up with the royal family photos and their attires, then don’t even think for a sec to skip this place. Beautiful is all I had to say!
Opposite to this palace is where you can go boating, have some chilled lemon juice to beat the heat and find more shops. We had lunch at a cafe owned by Crafters with a nice little view of the Jew town. From here we went to our room to relax for a while and go for Ayurveda Kerala massage before the sunset in Fort Kochi.
For the massage, we took an appointment and went to Fort House Hotel. A very beautiful property with beautifully done lawns and a great place to have coffee/tea. After a relaxing massage, we walked to see the Chinese Fishing nets which is also known as Cheenavala.
This is a long stretch which leads you to Fort Kochi Beach. Walk along this beautiful and picturesque walkway to enjoy Sunsets and the breeze along with other locals and tourists.
After the sun set, we headed back to hotel, had a good swim, went out to the Central Mall for Bowling and dinner and we ended the day with a good night sleep. The next day, as our flight got delayed, we checked out Lulu mall before taking off to Chennai.
Other places you can try exploring: Marine Drive (Fishing Net Bridge and Rainbow Bridge), Bolgatty Palace, Willingdon Palace, Vypeen Island and St. Francis Church.
To conclude, any trip is awesome and this one being free, especially for Valentine’s day, all I’ll say is Love Love Love, Love all the way 😀