TANTALIZING FOR BOTH its rich history and natural beauty, every year Cochin (also known as Kochi) welcomes visitors from all parts of the world. But what makes it particularly attractive to cruise ships is its harbor. Known as one of the finest and safest natural harbors on the Arabian coast of India, it’s no wonder it makes a preferred port of call on repositioning cruise itineraries between Southeast Asia and Europe.
Navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral founded Cochin when the Portuguese penetrated the Indian Ocean in the late 15th century, thus giving Cochin the distinction as the first European settlement on Indian soil. Split into two sections, its more modern Ernakulam district boasts high-rises and a bustling modern vibe, while across the water on a peninsula, the old districts of Mattancherry and Fort Cochin speak to the city’s past. In the historic districts you’ll find spice markets, an impressive collection of colonial architecture, 17th-century Dutch houses, India’s first European church, a synagogue and a Portuguese palace.
One of Cochin’s more unusual sights is the Chinese fishing nets. According to legend, the Chinese explorer Zheng He introduced the nets, brought from the court of the Chinese emperor Kublai Khan. Huge mechanical contrivances hold out the horizontal nets measuring 65 feet or more across, with each installation operated by a team of up to six fishermen. It’s a lot of work for a modest catch, so today the nets remain more of a tourist attraction than a way to reel in loads of fish.
While the nets might be Cochin’s most iconic attraction, one of its most mesmerizing has to be the backwaters. Part of the 560 miles of waterways making up the Kerala backwaters, they consist of a network of interconnected canals, rivers, lakes and inlets. Many cruise ships offer backwater excursions; cruising along the waterways offers a chance to observe a unique way of life. Small villages, individual dwellings and houseboats dot the shore, surrounded by palm trees and lush foliage. Water birds, like kingfishers and cormorants, fly overhead, adding to the overall feeling of tranquility.
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.