Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Old Goa and Panaji


On our second day in Goa we went to Old Goa and Panaji.  Old Goa's heyday was from the 16th to 18th centuries where its population was higher than that of Lisbon or London - it was considered to be the "Rome of the East".  The Portuguese built huge churches, cathedrals and convents, which are now sadly falling into decay - some that are no longer in use have become museums.


After spending some hours in Old Goa, we then went to Panaji, the new capital of Goa state.  Panaji is characterized by brightly coloured houses.


We had lunch at a restaurant in Panaji - a brightly painted blue, yellow and orange place, where we sat outside in the garden at the rear of the restaurant.


After lunch we still had plenty of time to stroll around the streets and look at the amazing colours.  We also had a stroll through the Municipal Gardens.


The main sight of Panaji is probably the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.  Apparently this place was the first port of call for Portuguese sailors who came to thank their lucky stars for a safe crossing from Portgual, before continuing onto the state capital of Old Goa, further upriver.


We went on a sunset cruise down the Mandovi River.  We didn't realize it would be as lively as it was - there was live music and dancing!  I wasn't really into this, but the views were very nice.


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