Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Asia
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old January 1st, 2010, 12:52 PM
safarigal's Avatar
safarigal safarigal is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,449
Default Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin

Has anyone been to the Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin recently?
__________________
"Flying is but a fad. There will always be passengers for ships like the Queens"









Queen Mary 2 October 2012; Veendam September 2012; Queen Elizabeth June 2012 X 2; Queen Victoria 2012; Queen Elizabeth 2011; Queen Mary 2 2010; Queen Mary 2 2009; QE2 2008; Queen Victoria 2008; Carnival Glory 2006; Paul Gauguin 2006; Sun Princess 2003; Sea Princess 2002; Rotterdam 2001; Majesty of the Seas 2000; Rotterdam 1999; Independence 1998; Dreamward 1997; Nordic Empress 1996; Atlantic 1995; Dawn Princess 1994; Majestic 1989; Vistafjord 1992; Maasdam 1992; Cunard Countess 1985; BI Dunera 1968; BI Devonia 1967; BI Kampala 1963; Hoogkerk 1963; Queen Elizabeth 1962; P&O Iberia 1962; P&O Cathay 1962; BI Uganda 1961; Rotterdam 1961; City of Durban 1959; Europa 1959; Africa 1958; Dunottar Castle 1958; Warwick Castle 1958; BI Karanja 1957; Pretoria Castle 1956; BI Uganda 1956
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old January 1st, 2010, 01:29 PM
SwissMyst SwissMyst is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: California - Italy - Switzerland
Posts: 6,210
Default

Been there twice recently on two separate trips. What would you like to know?

I like the Fort Cochin area the best of all the various islands and parts of the Cochin stop. Hope you like to walk around on your own because Fort Cochin will give you the best experience for independent travel. The Synagogue is located in a busy part of this little town near the Pepper Exchange and on a quiet side street. Has gorgeous blue chinese tiles on the floor that they still let you walk on and they look as vibrant today as I imagine they looked when they were installed.

Be sure to walk along the trading street next to the river heading towards the luxury hotel Brunton's Boatyard and the Chinese fishing nets. Loved Fort Cochin and was happy to have a return visit. Also you may want to consider the excellent Aryuvedic massages they offer at the Brunton's Boatyard hotel, which is also a very good place to lunch outdoors where you can watch all the river traffic go by.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old January 1st, 2010, 02:28 PM
safarigal's Avatar
safarigal safarigal is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,449
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMyst View Post
Been there twice recently on two separate trips. What would you like to know?

I like the Fort Cochin area the best of all the various islands and parts of the Cochin stop. Hope you like to walk around on your own because Fort Cochin will give you the best experience for independent travel. The Synagogue is located in a busy part of this little town near the Pepper Exchange and on a quiet side street. Has gorgeous blue chinese tiles on the floor that they still let you walk on and they look as vibrant today as I imagine they looked when they were installed.

Be sure to walk along the trading street next to the river heading towards the luxury hotel Brunton's Boatyard and the Chinese fishing nets. Loved Fort Cochin and was happy to have a return visit. Also you may want to consider the excellent Aryuvedic massages they offer at the Brunton's Boatyard hotel, which is also a very good place to lunch outdoors where you can watch all the river traffic go by.
We were going to stop over in Mumbai for the day on our cruise, but we found out yesterday that has been changed, and looking up what I could about Cochin, I'm actually quite pleased!

We love to be able to walk around, and from what you said, it looks like this is a good walking place. Were you there on a cruise, and if so, was it easy to get from the ship to Fort Cochin?

Our personal interest in the synagogue is twofold. Our friend traveling with us is very fond of anything blue, and also Willow Pattern like, so the synagogue floor sounds like he would love it. We are in Cochin on a Saturday, so I fear the synagogue will be closed to visitors, but if they are holding services we may be able to attend, fulfilling my personal interest of attending services in far off places. The problem is that as many of the small congregations have dwindled, they no longer hold regular services. I couldn't find out on the internet who we should contact to find out what the story is, so I was hoping that maybe someone had been there recently and attended services and may have more info.

Your response has been very helpful, and I am very excited about our visit in a few weeks, the massage bit sounds wonderful too, and anywhere you can eat out doors and watch what's going on on the water sounds like perfection to me!

Thanks again!

Lesley
__________________
"Flying is but a fad. There will always be passengers for ships like the Queens"









Queen Mary 2 October 2012; Veendam September 2012; Queen Elizabeth June 2012 X 2; Queen Victoria 2012; Queen Elizabeth 2011; Queen Mary 2 2010; Queen Mary 2 2009; QE2 2008; Queen Victoria 2008; Carnival Glory 2006; Paul Gauguin 2006; Sun Princess 2003; Sea Princess 2002; Rotterdam 2001; Majesty of the Seas 2000; Rotterdam 1999; Independence 1998; Dreamward 1997; Nordic Empress 1996; Atlantic 1995; Dawn Princess 1994; Majestic 1989; Vistafjord 1992; Maasdam 1992; Cunard Countess 1985; BI Dunera 1968; BI Devonia 1967; BI Kampala 1963; Hoogkerk 1963; Queen Elizabeth 1962; P&O Iberia 1962; P&O Cathay 1962; BI Uganda 1961; Rotterdam 1961; City of Durban 1959; Europa 1959; Africa 1958; Dunottar Castle 1958; Warwick Castle 1958; BI Karanja 1957; Pretoria Castle 1956; BI Uganda 1956
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old January 1st, 2010, 02:37 PM
groinky groinky is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 417
Thumbs up Love Cochin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by safarigal View Post
Has anyone been to the Paradesi Synagogue in Cochin recently?
Cochin is one of my all time favorite ports. We hired a local Tuk-tuk driver and it is an experience you don't want to miss. It is true India, a country that I now love. The people were so friendly and our driver took us everywhere, including the Synagogue and local markets.
He was so sweet and honest and when I went to pay him before I returned to the ship to get a gift I had for his daughter, he actually trusted me to come back and waited for his fare. Now that is trust. It was the hghlight of our world cruise. Enjoy, I only wish I was going with you!
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old January 1st, 2010, 03:15 PM
SwissMyst SwissMyst is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: California - Italy - Switzerland
Posts: 6,210
Default

There are several possible places you will dock in Cochin. There is the mainland, an intermediate island and Fort Cochin.

We were on the intermediate island (can't remember the name - Wellington or something like this) between the mainland and Fort Cochin and had to take a water taxi to get to the Fort Cochin part which was just across the water -- however, this is not for the non-adventurous but it worked for us. We did not know until we docked which place we would actually end up in, as it was reported differently on our itinerary and even the ship's own printouts. So be prepared for anything.

There is a "teeming" quality to all these streets and activity and the taxi - tuk-tuk drivers can be very aggressive at the port entrance so you have to know where you want to go first to get past this initial guantlet. Then we found everyone left us alone. But you really did have to look brave, make no eye contact, keep walking and keep shaking your head no to get past this.

If you dock on this intermediate island you can walk to the major Taj hotel and make arrangements there, or find the little tourist office down by the ferry docks that will provide more "informal" transport across to Fort Cochin. (We got rowed across!) There is also a regularly scheduled ferry services that runs constantly between all three sections of Cochin, so you will need some local currency to use these. See if you can track down the ferry docks on a map first by searching the net or other travel guides.

I had been there before on my own so I knew how to get about from where the ship docked, and was comfortable traveling there from my first longer visit to India. So if you can keep your wits about you and get past their first (and very aggressive) taxi tuk-tuk gaunlets at the port (wherever you dock) you will do fine. (If third world travel and exploration is okay for you)

If not, then I am sure there are ship excursions to Fort Cochin that will include what you want to see. The synagogue is a very important part of this area's history and they welcome your visit. You will also enjoy the street and shops near by still selling Jewish items.

Spending as much of your time on Fort Cochin rather than the other areas at this port stop would be my best advice even though the Kerela "back waters" tours sound good, there is so much invasion of these canals with water hyacinths that it is not as intriguing as the photos appear since you can't penetrate many of the smaller canals and it ends up more open water sailing.

Sorry you will be missing Mumbai as it is one of the world's grand cities - stunning architecture and historic colonial presence. A real mix of old and new India. And everything in between. We ended up loving India a lot. And we had great experiences in local restaurants with the reasonable precautions of hot food only, bottled drinks only etc.

Last edited by SwissMyst; January 1st, 2010 at 03:17 PM.
Reply With Quote

  #6  
Old January 1st, 2010, 04:06 PM
safarigal's Avatar
safarigal safarigal is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,449
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMyst View Post
There are several possible places you will dock in Cochin. There is the mainland, an intermediate island and Fort Cochin.

We were on the intermediate island (can't remember the name - Wellington or something like this) between the mainland and Fort Cochin and had to take a water taxi to get to the Fort Cochin part which was just across the water -- however, this is not for the non-adventurous but it worked for us. We did not know until we docked which place we would actually end up in, as it was reported differently on our itinerary and even the ship's own printouts. So be prepared for anything.

There is a "teeming" quality to all these streets and activity and the taxi - tuk-tuk drivers can be very aggressive at the port entrance so you have to know where you want to go first to get past this initial guantlet. Then we found everyone left us alone. But you really did have to look brave, make no eye contact, keep walking and keep shaking your head no to get past this.

If you dock on this intermediate island you can walk to the major Taj hotel and make arrangements there, or find the little tourist office down by the ferry docks that will provide more "informal" transport across to Fort Cochin. (We got rowed across!) There is also a regularly scheduled ferry services that runs constantly between all three sections of Cochin, so you will need some local currency to use these. See if you can track down the ferry docks on a map first by searching the net or other travel guides.

I had been there before on my own so I knew how to get about from where the ship docked, and was comfortable traveling there from my first longer visit to India. So if you can keep your wits about you and get past their first (and very aggressive) taxi tuk-tuk gaunlets at the port (wherever you dock) you will do fine. (If third world travel and exploration is okay for you)

If not, then I am sure there are ship excursions to Fort Cochin that will include what you want to see. The synagogue is a very important part of this area's history and they welcome your visit. You will also enjoy the street and shops near by still selling Jewish items.

Spending as much of your time on Fort Cochin rather than the other areas at this port stop would be my best advice even though the Kerela "back waters" tours sound good, there is so much invasion of these canals with water hyacinths that it is not as intriguing as the photos appear since you can't penetrate many of the smaller canals and it ends up more open water sailing.

Sorry you will be missing Mumbai as it is one of the world's grand cities - stunning architecture and historic colonial presence. A real mix of old and new India. And everything in between. We ended up loving India a lot. And we had great experiences in local restaurants with the reasonable precautions of hot food only, bottled drinks only etc.
We love third world travel, so it sounds like Fort Cochin will be a great adventure! Thank you so much for all of your advice. I see you are also heading off on a trip soon, bon voyage!
__________________
"Flying is but a fad. There will always be passengers for ships like the Queens"









Queen Mary 2 October 2012; Veendam September 2012; Queen Elizabeth June 2012 X 2; Queen Victoria 2012; Queen Elizabeth 2011; Queen Mary 2 2010; Queen Mary 2 2009; QE2 2008; Queen Victoria 2008; Carnival Glory 2006; Paul Gauguin 2006; Sun Princess 2003; Sea Princess 2002; Rotterdam 2001; Majesty of the Seas 2000; Rotterdam 1999; Independence 1998; Dreamward 1997; Nordic Empress 1996; Atlantic 1995; Dawn Princess 1994; Majestic 1989; Vistafjord 1992; Maasdam 1992; Cunard Countess 1985; BI Dunera 1968; BI Devonia 1967; BI Kampala 1963; Hoogkerk 1963; Queen Elizabeth 1962; P&O Iberia 1962; P&O Cathay 1962; BI Uganda 1961; Rotterdam 1961; City of Durban 1959; Europa 1959; Africa 1958; Dunottar Castle 1958; Warwick Castle 1958; BI Karanja 1957; Pretoria Castle 1956; BI Uganda 1956
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old January 1st, 2010, 04:18 PM
SwissMyst SwissMyst is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: California - Italy - Switzerland
Posts: 6,210
Default

I should not have left the impression not to use the taxis or tuk-tuks. Others here found this a good way to get around and again if you know where you want to go and are firm about the price upfront, I had good luck with them too. They are very much part of the local color and experience. It is just that they can overwhelm you at the port. This is their job and to be expected.

It is far better to land somewhere where there is transportation available than not, so I should not have left this sounding like it was something bad. I knew we wanted to just walk, so with that in mind it was a bit daunting to get past them but it was all done in good spirit.

It can be very hot and humid there for walking and getting from point to point using these taxis and tuk-tuks is a good idea. I do recommend walking on Bazaar Street however, camera ready for all the old trading shops.

On my first trip I was traveling across town with a local and he made me stand around the corner when he engaged a tuk-tuk because he said the price would go way up if they saw a tourist. But the prices are low to start out with by our standards and I sure would rather support those who offer services and work for their money than those we too often see in the US who just sit on the street with their hands out.
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:39 PM
chrispb chrispb is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Wales
Posts: 1,942
Default

Using the word "aggressive" for drivers could well put some people off using tuk-tuks or taxis.. They are not "aggressive" - persistent may be a better word to use.

Don't forget to see the Chinese fishing nets and also if you have time drop into the kakali(sp) dancing school where you can watch whilst they do their make-up.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old January 2nd, 2010, 04:05 PM
safarigal's Avatar
safarigal safarigal is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,449
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispb View Post
Using the word "aggressive" for drivers could well put some people off using tuk-tuks or taxis.. They are not "aggressive" - persistent may be a better word to use.

Don't forget to see the Chinese fishing nets and also if you have time drop into the kakali(sp) dancing school where you can watch whilst they do their make-up.
No worries, we are used to persistent taxi drivers and sales persons! It sounds like there is so much to see and do (I do like the idea of a massage!), that I wish we could stay longer. I do love cruises, but all too often you only get a taste of a port, and I often wish we could go back again for longer!
__________________
"Flying is but a fad. There will always be passengers for ships like the Queens"









Queen Mary 2 October 2012; Veendam September 2012; Queen Elizabeth June 2012 X 2; Queen Victoria 2012; Queen Elizabeth 2011; Queen Mary 2 2010; Queen Mary 2 2009; QE2 2008; Queen Victoria 2008; Carnival Glory 2006; Paul Gauguin 2006; Sun Princess 2003; Sea Princess 2002; Rotterdam 2001; Majesty of the Seas 2000; Rotterdam 1999; Independence 1998; Dreamward 1997; Nordic Empress 1996; Atlantic 1995; Dawn Princess 1994; Majestic 1989; Vistafjord 1992; Maasdam 1992; Cunard Countess 1985; BI Dunera 1968; BI Devonia 1967; BI Kampala 1963; Hoogkerk 1963; Queen Elizabeth 1962; P&O Iberia 1962; P&O Cathay 1962; BI Uganda 1961; Rotterdam 1961; City of Durban 1959; Europa 1959; Africa 1958; Dunottar Castle 1958; Warwick Castle 1958; BI Karanja 1957; Pretoria Castle 1956; BI Uganda 1956
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old January 3rd, 2010, 03:56 AM
SwissMyst SwissMyst is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: California - Italy - Switzerland
Posts: 6,210
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by safarigal View Post
.... It sounds like there is so much to see and do (I do like the idea of a massage!), that I wish we could stay longer. I do love cruises, but all too often you only get a taste of a port, and I often wish we could go back again for longer!
We were on just a one day cruise stop and I was able to get the massage (one plus hour) at the Brunton Boatyard Hotel, and other than having my hair wet afterwards I was able to fit it into our day.

You have to make an appointment time so see if you can get in touch with them via email ahead of time or go there early to see if you can set up an appointment and then make it close to the time you want to get back to the ship if wet hair bothers you.

There are plenty of other massage places all over Fort Cochin, but if you want some level of Western comforts, this is a good choice. It is Aryuvedic, so they do a little health survey first and take you blood pressure and ask which ailment you want attended. After over-eating on the ship I indicated "weight loss" was my biggest concern and they concocted a 'weight loss" massage which also included a nice salt scrub.

I think it was about $17-35 dollars. Very professional. I had a woman do the work. DH sat in the lovely open courtyard of the hotel reading about Vasco De Gama for that hour. I also gave a tip to the masseuse herself.

Going out and about on our own in Fort Cochin was our best port stop on that trip. Though doing the same thing in Mumbai (minus the massage) came in a pretty close second. And both stops got us our best pictures.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:05 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.