Pondicherry-Where France meets India

I’ve been to Pondicherry or Pondi as people fondly call it, a couple of times.The first time was when I was in college.I remember hitting the beaches of Auroville, and almost drowning.

This visit thankfully was a bit less dangerous than the first one.After the wedding revelry in Chennai came to an end,me and my college friends decided to head to Pondi for a very small weekend getaway trip.

We didn’t have a lot planned honestly, as this was supposed to be a weekend where we did absolutely nothing. So after having a quick breakfast at our stay(Coromandel heritage), we headed to Pondicherry Museum. Now, I’ll be honest and say this. It was an absolute let down. The place was in shambles, and the artefacts were in various states of decay.If you’ve got a short visit planned like us, then by all means please avoid the museum.

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We then ambled around, took a few photos in front of the governors residence which I may add is a beautiful building in itself, and also stepped into a church on the way.What I do love about Pondicherry is that at times you feel like you are in some part of France. You’ll catch small bits of conversations happening in French,pass by street names in French, beautiful French architecture, and also savour French food.The remnants are everywhere.

Later,we headed out for a boat ride that was arranged by a local near Promenade beach.On arriving, we found that we would be getting into a fishing boat with no life jacket whatsoever.The memories of me almost drowning did come to mind, but I pushed through it. After all,what else can you expect for 1500Rs, so we got onto the boat.It was definitely worth it, and we got to see a close up of the old harbour.After two hours of getting burnt in the sun, we headed back to the hotel,freshened up and then walked to a little french cafe called cafes des arts. We were infact the only Indians in the place when we arrived, and so assumed the food would be authentic.I can’t speak for the others, but I did like my crepes.

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The rest of the evening was spent doing nothing. We walked to the promenade, sat there for a good two hours, and then ambled along.We happend to glimpse upon the Alliance Francaise in Pondicherry, and lo and behold, they were playing a French movie. So we got in, and spent the next hour and half watching the movie(which had sub titles thankfully). By the time, we stepped out it was around 11, and realised that all places would shut soon. So we ran from restaurant to restaurant and got kicked out by everyone of them, until we found one place that would take us in for 20% extra. We took the bait.

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The next morning, my friends woke up early to catch the sunrise(I slept in), and then we headed to baker’s street,the famous french cafe. Unfortunately for us, the service that day was horrible, and the food wasn’t as great as expected either.

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What followed after was another lazy day, followed by driving down to Chennai to catch our respective flights, trains and buses to head back home.