Monday, November 4

The Ghost of Goa

After completing our first full day in India, next on our list was the once Portuguese-ruled town that is called Goa.  We hopped on a sleeper bus at INR 800 per person, arriving at the following day at noon time.  Our host , Sand Castle guest house instructed us to take a taxi from the terminal. From there we alighted in front of Novotel Resort and finally reached our home for the next two days.  We rested for a few hours after having lunch and headed on to the nearly deserted Candolim beach which was just a five-minute walk from our hostel.

Dog prints everywhere!
Late afternoon at Candolim Beach



We walked its entire stretch and I fell in love at the end of day since the historic Aguada Fort greeted me.  I watched, mesmerized as the crashing waves of the Arabian Sea spontaneously kissed its feetThis fort was constructed in the early 1600s and served as a guide for sea vessels coming from Europe.


Aguada Fort






It was a slow afternoon and we did not realize that it us took more than an hour of walking before we reached the fort.  A private resort was erected before the area. Non-guests were not allowed to pass through it.  From the place we were standing, we were told by the guard that we can only reach the fort by passing through the rocky portion of the beach. Okay, I thought.  Marx was a quick walker and I had a bit of a hard time catching up to him since the sole of my itchy feet was starting to ache.  (Almost all throughout our India trip my feet was aching! Huhuhu!)  But I had no choice but to walk briskly since I was getting nervous because the crashing of waves were so audible I thought they were chasing me! :-D

Walking along the beach calmed my nerves. Marx and I wondered if we were really in India.  The place reminds me the provinces in my home country.  People are generally nice and friendly.  The moon was quickly rising and so we began our walk back to the inn.


The following day we woke up at around eight and realized we were behind schedule.  We left the inn at past ten and reached Panjim bus terminal at exactly 11 in the morning.  We were supposed to visit Dudhsagar Falls located in the outskirts of Goa but we found out it was roughly a three-hour ride.  Time again did not agree with us and so just went straight to romantic Old Goa. As I am writing this blog, the 7.2 magnitude earthquake just hit Bohol province. I am deeply affected by the unfortunate event which killed hundreds of Filipino lives and damaged Philippine Heritage Structures.  


We rode in an Old Goa bound ordinary bus and paid INR 12 each.  The roads leading to the old town was surrounded by tributaries.  We spent time in the Chapel of St. Catherine, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Basilica Bom Jesus and a couple of their adjacent musuems.  We also posed beside the Convent of St. Monica and admired for a long time the Church of St. Augustine Ruins.




I feel like I am in Switzerland!



 St. Catherine Cathedral


Details. Details.

At Se Cathedral

The churches of Goa are gigantic and magnanimous.  They remind me of the centuries-old houses of worship in the Philippines.  We visited some and was tongue-tied at the hollow space they all occupy.  

Old Goa is a historical city in the Northern district which served as the seat of Portuguese India from 15th to 18th century.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is just about ten kilometers from capital Panjim.





The grandest church (in my opinion), Basilica Bom Jesus was under construction during our visit.  Pilgrims, church-goers, locals and foreign tourists alike flock to this seemingly most popular church in Old Goa. 

Basilica Bom Jesus


Basilica Bom Jesus Interiors






The Church of St. Augustine Ruins is a huge complex standing in quieter part of Old Goa. Not many tourists flocked here during our visit.  I was curious if fire cost its destruction but it read that it was purposefully deserted when the Portuguese government in India put a ban on them and they abandoned the church and the convent.

St. Augustine Complex Ruins




The tower stands about 46 meters tall and is as imposing as the complex itself.

We bid goodbye to the past and went back to present, finding ourselves at the crowdy and rowdy Calangute Beach.  This was not included in our sights to see but I saw a symbol for another fort in the tourist map located on this side.  Unfortunately, the said fort was not reachable from our point but we still ended up enjoying the last few hours of our second day.  Only a handful of foreigners were there while throngs of locals were congregating on this loud sea shore.  It was just nice to people watch that time.


Calangute Beach




A whole day may not be enough to explore and fully appreciate the richness of history and culture nestled in this charming old settlement.  Old Goa greatly reminds me of our very own heritage towns.  I admire the government's tremendous effort in preserving part of their nation's pride.  From the way they implement the rules to the way how visitors appreciate its significance.  Old Goa truly made an impact on me.  Definitely, its ghost of old world beauty will haunt me until I am back home.



More Photos Here

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Other parts in this series

Part 1   How to Apply for an Indian Tourist Visa

Part 2   Smyle Inn :-)
Part 3   Karan's Guesthouse: Your Home in Jaipur
Part 4   Kolkata's Sunny Sunflower Guesthouse
Part 5   Goa's Little Secret
Part 6   One Night in Kuala Lumpur
Part 7  Brave in Bangalore
Part 8  You are on it!
Part 9   Magnificent Mumbai
Part 10 What to Wear in India for Women Travelers
Part 11 Romantic Udaipur 
Part 12 Israel, Morocco and the Fort of Chittorgargh
Part 13 Pondering in the Pink City
Part 14 New Delhi Baby!
Part 15 The Red Fort
Part 16 Whirling Emotions
Part 17 Varanasi's Traditions 
Part 18 Kolkata and Calcutta
Part 19 Off to Pattaya!
Part 20 India Trip at a Glance
Part 21 India Trip Backpacking Expenses

8 comments:

  1. Nice post Pau! :D sarap puntahan! :)

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    1. Thanks ate chie! Masarap dito magpunta. Parang sa aten lang kasi

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  2. Nice post Pau pag balik mo sna makasama nako :)

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    1. Sama ka next year andami nila magpupunta dun!

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  3. Hangganda nung St Catherine Church and the ruins! special mention dun sa 9th photo :)

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    1. True Jeffrey! Napakalaki at hollow inside. you'd feel the Divine talaga.

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  4. But I had no choice but to walk briskly since I was getting nervous because the crashing of waves were so audible I thought they were chasing me! :-D - tlga lang ahhh... lol

    anyway i love the Basilica born Jesus!!! I love that kind of structure - brick red building. That always reminds me of my childhood fantasies of walking down Frankfurt and be just mesmerize by the charm of that kind of architecture... Next year, when we visit HCMC, you will see almost same structure... hehe excited lang lol

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    1. Hahaha, malakas talaga yung waves coming from the Arabian Sea! Open sea na kasi! Anyway Am pretty excited for next year. Hope all will be fine. :-)

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