Saturday, 5 September 2009

Destination Goa

Blast from past!

After a 4 month sabbatical, the traveler in me is on the prowl again. I recently found the missing pictures of a holiday taken in 2009. Well, I had to put on my writing gloves after that.

I bet everyone has done that, been there! So instead of the obvious, let me write about the offbeat. Goa and offbeat? Yes , there is more to Goa than the beaches!

A long holiday and an itinerary in hand, i narrowed upon the first of the two places we crashed in on our holiday. A self confessed LP fan, i choose a century old heritage hotel " The Panjim Inn" in Goa's Latin quarter for the first 2 days of our holiday. The Panjim Inn has a colonial old world charm with its antique furniture, art and the building itself. I totally recommend it, if you like offbeat!

 We started our holiday with a walk through Fountainhas.With its calorful old villas, some crumbling buildings, quaint little shops, it was a sight to our sour eyes and drive to tired heart.With that we set off to our next stopover.
Along the entire course of goan rivers like Mandovi, Zuari, Cumbarjua canal,there exists an intricate network of creeks and backwaters. Well, mangroves and birdwatching go together like dosa and chutney. Even though it was off season we took a 1.5 hours canoe ride and spotted egrets, sand pipers and many more at Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary!

After a quick tour of all the other popular tourist spots which i had already seen as  a kid, we decided to head out to Chandor. DO you ask why Chandor? What's in Chandor? Well Chandor and its colonial mansions  gives you a peek at the opulent lifestyle of Goan landowners during their height of fortunes in the Portuguese era. Braganza house and Fernandes house took us back in time with its Italian marble floors, Belgian glass chandeliers, carved rosewood furniture, chinese porcelain. Braganza house had a ballroom and a chapel. Can you believe it!  So romantic with its love seat and chandeliers. Did i mention the ballroom.I felt as if i was a character out of a Georgette Heyer novel. Unfortunately photography is not allowed. But the long ride to Chandor was totally worth it!!

After doing the sightseeing leg of our holiday, we landed at Sinquerim for our " don't getoffurass" leg of our holiday. We were treating ourselves luxuriously to do nothing at Taj village. We were upgraded to a sea facing villa with Hrithik and Ash as our neighbors. Now the reason for the upgrade is a long story , not worth writing about but name dropping! totally worth it!

Though the beach along the resort has eroded and the grounded tanker close to shore spoils the view, I loved the stay here. I would love to come back to the resort whenever possible. As it was monsoon season and there was no water sports, guess what we did for two whole days. Well we did not get off our ass!

Location: Panjim and Sinquerim, Goa
Date of travel: September 2009

Tip: Do the offbeat!
Must do:Buy the tax free booze. For the non alcoholics...well...Tough luck..Your loss!
First: Visit an heritage ballroom and imagine yourself as a victorian character.

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