Pondicherry, like its name, is one of the sweetest spots we found in India.
By sweet, we mean the perfect union of charmingly quaint streets, fresh sea air and a slow pace of life to go with your 3rd espresso of the day (..who's counting?).
We arrived in Pondicherry feeling sick, exhausted and, well, just fed up of unpredictable India. I think a lot of people who travel in India experience these days of despair at some point, but after a day or so in Pondicherry we realised we needed to unpack, settle down and majorly relax. And so we did. For 9 blissful days of picnics in the park, walks on the seafront, french bakery treats and lazing in cafe-cum-art galleries.
Being a Former french base during India's colonisation, Pondicherry just has that charismatically French feeling about it. The european influence is still strong, but it's not worlds away from the India we know and love… Step outside the beautiful French Quarter and its equally satisfying to swap your croissant/coffee for street-side paratha & chai.
The market, especially, shows no sign of any European pretentiousness. We love any kind of foreign food market, and this one in Pondicherry did not disappoint. As women in a rainbow of saris sold sand-speckled fish, we happily surrendered to the mad energy of the market and spent some time people watching.
The wonderful Holi Festival also fell upon us during our stay in Pondicherry. Although the festivities aren't celebrated so strongly in the south of India, we still had so much fun being covered in powders as we roamed through the streets. Holi is such a beautiful celebration of all things colour - so much so that we were left with pink hair for weeks and rainbow splattered clothes!
-Baker Street Bakery (this place is famous for a reason…. try the escargots!)
-Take a trip to Auroville (post on this coming soon)
-If you're going to buy alcohol, buy it in Pondicherry! There's no tax on it here, so grab rum for mere rupees
-Head to the local parks for lazy days in the sun
-Hang out at the seafront promenade in the evenings. (There's a genius ban on traffic here between 6pm-6am, so make the most of it!)