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November 11, 2003

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From Mangalore we keep going south on another overnight bus. This morning we arrived in Kochi. It's a port city located on a cluster of islands and narrow peninsulas. The city absorbed influences from ancient Indian villagers, medieval European colonizers, and Chinese fisherman. With that background it must be interesting.

Down near the waterfront you can see St Francis Church, India's oldest Christian church. Historians say that this is the first place where Europeans landed in India. The old grave of Vasco da Gama, here in Fort Kochi's church (his remains were later moved to Portugal), supports this claim.
Chinese fisherman from the court of Kublai Khan introduced these cantilevered nets. Pink dolphins swim around and help the fishermen by scaring fish into the nets.
At least three men and a foreign woman are needed to pull the weight stones down and lift the net.