We went. We saw. We marveled.
India’s popular seaside destination Goa left an unforgettable imprint on us. The journey from Bangalore to Goa was a bit hair-raising. Driving in India can be quite challenging at times, but our driver was supremely confident and gave us a non-stop running commentary. The night sky was pitch black and our vehicle barely lit the way with its tiny headlamps – goodness knows how he could see! The driver was so proud at how quickly we had reached our destination!
The splendid scenery (even though it was dark and rainy) with coconut trees and crops of Karnataka along the way was breathtaking. The guesthouse that we stayed in was on the main road, but was quiet at night. It was not a tourist place and yet there were food stands, selling Indian snacks. We quickly settled into a leisurely and inexpensive way of life for the next couple of days.
Upon arrival, our kids couldn’t wait to get to the beach. On our first day we relished in feeling the warm refreshing Arabian Sea lap against our toes. We watched crabs dart across the beach and watched hawkers trying to sell their trinkets. Early morning is the best time to go for a walk- collecting sea shells! Needless to say, most of our time was spent on the seashore at different points. Some of the beaches like Palolem in the South are quiet, unspoilt and peaceful, others like Calangute in the North are more commercial.
The soft sands and clear waters along the coastline of Arabian Sea stretches to a span of over 60 miles. Beyond the beaches lies a lavish backdrop with hilly farmlands, which makes Goa such an alluring place. Each of these beaches has its own unique charm, no matter which one you pick. The prime destinations like Baga house some amazingly luxurious hotels. Anjuna beach (which used to be a hippy hangout) still retains its authentic appeal.
Beyond the beaches and the scenery, Goa offers some impressive sightseeing architecture. The cathedrals, the temples, the surrounding greenery, serene settings with a lot of mythological importance are big tourist attractions. The ShantaDurga Temple, the Mangeshi Temple and Se Cathedral have interesting Indo-Portuguese structural design. The rich heritage, warm and friendly people, tropical climate and amazing handicrafts make it very popular.
The multi-cultural cuisines that are served up by the culinary experts are excellent and we loved their vegetarian fares. One night, we decided to do the Bollywood cruise, which the kids thought was bizarre, but we enjoyed it thoroughly!
As the sun set on our last evening, we sat on the beach and reminisced at how magical our time had been. We listened to the music playing, danced on the sand and watched the high tide lap against the beach tables. We experienced the best of Goa –the heritage, the hinterlands, the culture, the cuisine.
We love hanging out at this awesome place, and can’t wait to get back to it! There are some cool watersports that we’d like to try out-the next time!