Last summer, I spent almost 2 weeks in India from which I spent 2 nights in Goa, the smallest state in India and one of the most famous from all. This region is actually well-known for its beaches, nightlife, casinos and also it’s Portuguese past which is still apparent until now. Although, visiting at the middle of August is not the best idea… It was monsoon season so also off-season.
I took a plane from Mumbai to Goa with Air India. I bought my ticket return for like £35 which is surprisingly cheap as domestic flights in other countries usually cost a lot. I also used the website PlanMyTrip which was very useful to book flights and hotels in India. Anyway, after 1 hour flying south of Mumbai, I get to Goa.
I was greeted by a burning sun. I was happy. Also, patiently waiting for me was a taxi driver sent by the hotel where I stayed. He was nice and friendly. He explained with a good English what is Goa. I understood that it is a whole state and not one city only. It was quite a deception as I’m more of a city person. Hence, the name of my blog (inacitynearyou). But it was okay to get off the gigantic urban cities of India for a little while and have some time by the beach.
When arriving to the hotel, first thing I did was eat and sleep. During my nap, I was awaken by the water pouring heavily upon the ceiling. Yes, that was rain. There were no sign of it until it suddenly starts. I decided to wait for it to stop but it made me lazy to do anything. So I went to a nearby casino to check it out. But they don’t let me in because I was not 21 at that time, and they were quite firm about it! Anyway, the casino seemed empty because it was off-season!
Therefore, I spend my evening at the hotel and also having a walk around. The next morning, I went to explore Goa. I started with Panjim, which is supposed to be the nearest town to Dona Paula, where I stayed but also the state capital. It is a small town, I guess, proportional to the whole size of the state. I see the market, the corniche and walk around. But it was strange to feel like in Morocco,… Yes, I felt like at home there. Architecture was very similar to some neighbourhoods in Casablanca.
Well, Goa used to be Portuguese for a long time. It remains such with its architecture and culture. People from Goa are different from the rest of Indians. They seem to be more European, more organised and more educated. I did not have any problems communicating with locals. And apparently, it is one of the best states to live in.
Following my quick visit of Panjim, I took a rickshaw (tuc-tuc) to Old Goa (Goa Velha) to see all its famous churches recognised as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. A big part of people in Goa are Christians so they keep using some very old churches from the Portuguese era. They are well maintained and taken good care of.
I get back to the hotel after a 30 minutes taxi ride. Yes, everything seems a bit remote and far from something else. Panjim was actually at the middle between Old Goa and my hotel in Dona Paula. I did not really mind the distance as it was beautiful to see all the nature on the way.
Back to the hotel, all I want to do is swim. That happened! But of course, stopped by some heavy rain. It was very refreshing after a well heated day exploring. The monsoon season is not very bad time to be there. But for someone who expected a beach break, it was a bit unfortunate.