Oh India, you crazy haze of chaos and wonder; I'm beyond excited to be back amongst it all. My first trip to India was when I was 13 years old and I remember it all so vividly; the chaos of the cities, the wondrous peace of the mountains, the colour and movement and life, intense and challenging at times but mostly just enthralling. If you've been following this blog for a while you'll remember my second trip to India three years ago now (...how did that happen??) which was a fleeting ten day trip before heading down to Sri Lanka. Ten days isn't much and if anything it was a teaser to see more of this country, which brings me here now. In India. With my boyfriend, my best friend, my camera and backpack.

We began our trip in the south of India, flying into Kochi where we were meeting up with Tess. I'd only ever been to the north of India before and had been told that the south has a very different pace and different vibe. Can confirm this. The locals are more relaxed and friendly, always ready for a chat, the pace is a lot more chilled out, the traffic not quite as chaotic, and the food... the food. So fresh, so good. We stayed in Fort Kochi, which is a beautiful little area of the city which feels more like a little town (I highly recommend staying here, or somewhere like Mattancherry). We spent our time wandering the lovely little streets or along the seaside, drinking iced teas in adorable cafes, and jumping in tuk tuks to take us to little fruit markets, to the ginger factory (a beautiful old building complex where they sort and dry out a seriously impressive amount of ginger each day) and to tasty little lunch spots. Mattancherry is an amazing area to check out, with a copious amount of beautiful arts and crafts shops, jewellery stores, traditional Indian wares, as well as a ridiculously old synagogue nearby.

In Fort Kochi, check out Loafers cafe (so hip, I can't) and the Arts Cafe, where they aren't in any rush to get your order out to you but the beautiful, lush cafe and art gallery space is the perfect place to wait. Also hit up Quissa cafe for some avo on toast and an iced green tea, which is probably all you'll want in the heat and humidity; just make sure you ask for no sweetener, because they go a little crazy on the sugar syrup. In terms of eating; go, go, go to Sri Krishna restaurant. Hop in a tuk tuk and ask for Sri Krishna and chances are they'll take you straight there. It's a very local joint, absolutely no frills, but the most delicious, authentic food there is. You'll be trying to manoeuvre the art of scooping rice with your right hand without getting food everywhere but your mouth, but that $1 thali lunch plate will be all so worth it. I highly recommend getting the masala dosa or the thali plate, which comes with a few different curries which they scoop onto you plate, chutneys, as much rice as you want (basmati, or you can ask for keralan rice which are delicious, fat, juicy grains of rice) (did you ever think you'd hear such a luscious description of rice??) and some pappads (or pappadums as you may know them). Also freakin' delicious are the uttapams, which are basically a fermented pancake made from rice flour and urad daal flour which you can find all over south India, which you can have plain (delicious) or with onion (delicious) or with a mix of veg and herbs (all so delicious, you can't go wrong).

Enough talk! Here are a bunch of photos I took on my Olympus om-d whilst we were in Kochi. Catchya in the next city.