Friday, February 13, 2009

No More Beaches

We were done with the beaches. It had been lots of fun lazing on the beaches around Baga, Calingute and Anjuna, but our time there was over.

From here, it was decided that a different side to Goa needed to be seen. A look at the more traditional side of life here.

So, after a bit of haggling we found ourselves a taxi driver who drove us to the capital of the state of Goa, the town of Panaji (now known as Panjim).

This was the seat of Portuguese rule in Goa, right up until the Indian army invaded in the 60s.

Though only about 20 minutes from the beautiful beaches, Panaji didn't feel like it belonged in the same world. It was a relatively small town and it had a much more relaxed feel than the other places I had been in India.

The small size was great as it meant that a walking tour would allow us to see most of what we wanted to see here.

Firstly was a Monkey Temple. It turned out that it was next to a primary school and we were confronted by dozens of kids confused by why random foreigners were aimlessly strolling around.
The main attraction was up the road though.
"Our Lady of the Immacuate Conception Church".
This large church has the prime position at the top of a hill overlooking the entire town.
It provided some nice views of the town. I was very surprised by how much it reminded me of Macau and the ruins of St.Paul's that also sit on top of a hill.
The streets of Panaji continue to hold their old world feel. They are narrow and the buildings are mostly left overs from the Portuguese rule.
It was nice to wander through these laneways, contemplating once more the ridiculous contrasts that India had thrown at us.

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