In life, there comes some opportunities that neither knock nor announce themselves. They just come & go, like long weekends.
It’s upto you what you want to do with these opportunities. You may choose to sleep your way through it, Netflix & chill or brood over what all is wrong with your life (and what more can still go wrong). 😀 Or you may plan a trip…an escape from the routine. Like we did when we planned a trip to Goa for 4 days recently.
Goa in Summers?!
Yeah. Goa in Summers. A not-so-great time, I know. But like my friend Neha Tara says, “Goa can never be dull.”
If I trace my trips to Goa, I can see how I have evolved as a person. Back in the day, when I had just started working, Goa was all about wearing skimpy clothes, spending time on beaches & drinking alcohol. Yeah, yeah! I drink stuff other than tea too. I know it’s hard to believe but think like this: once an addict, always an addict 😉
After I crossed the second milestone in life which was – earning the legal rights to stay with a person of your choice in the society, Goa changed a bit. Then it became about checking out bars, buying cashew nuts as gifts for friends & family, going to fine-dine for dinners & clicking more pictures.
And then Goa became a place of hangout, with friends & family. A place where you go to relax after long days at work. A place where you let your hair down, put your feet up & let the worries dissolve in the salty water of the Arabian sea.
On this trip though, I saw a different side of Goa, the one that’s filled with many shades of colours & not just Blue or Green. I discovered the side of Goa that has traces of its times from the Portuguese rule. I took the ferry to see the dolphins & the islands. I stood in the sun to explore the old parts of Goa. I tolerated the heat to be able to visit the many churches that together form the World UNESCO heritage site. Does it reflect my personality? I don’t know. But this trip sure strengthened my belief that places & people are so much more inside…if only you have the patience to look.
1. Visit Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Located in Old Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus is popular for many reasons – for its iconic architecture recognised by UNESCO & for holding the remains of St Francis Xavier, in whose name, we have so many schools and colleges in India.
It’s a beautiful place with many spots for photography. I saw a bunch of girls doing wedding photography this time. By the way, this place is considered one of the seven wonders of Portuguese origin in the world.
As you enter the Basilica, you see a balcony on the first floor for the royalty, wooden benches for the masses & prayers, main altar & toward the right, they have kept the remains of saint Francis Xavier.
2. Explore a different world in Fontainhas, Latin Quarter of Goa:
Old Goa of today was the Portuguese capital of yesteryears. After four centuries of colonisation, Goa became free & a part of India in 1961. And if you want a glimpse of Portuguese lifestyle & architecture, you may want to visit this place.
3. Take a tour of the Houses of Goa, the museum:
Goa stands apart because of its beaches & beer. It also stands out because this is the only state that Mumbaikars know, outside of Bombay (Maharashtra). 🤣
The other thing that makes Goa unique is its architecture & its houses. Beautiful windows, spacious porches, intricate columns, the woodwork & the fluorescent & bright colours; if this interests you, take a tour of ‘houses of Goa’ in the museum by the same name. When you do, do not forget to drink the cold coffee sold in the cafetaria.
4. Check out Bollywood’s favourite – Immaculate Church, Goa
Bollywood loves Goa. And one of the most favourite spots in Goa is the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. Situated in old Goa, this Baroque style church was built in the 16th century for incoming sailors from Lisbon.
5. Explore Sali Gaon & the churches within
The best way to explore old Goa is by foot. But if you go in the month of May like we did, the heat is going to kill you. 😄
If you don’t mind the heat, take a walk. Or get yourself shades, a hat & some sunblock. And enjoy the cool vibes of Sali Gaon!