Arrival in Beautiful Panaji
Panaji Travel Blog› entry 5 of 6 › view all entries
After just One day in Anjuna, we decided to set off early to the Very Portuguese Capital of Goa: Panaji or Panjim. A luscious green city, that can make you forget completely that you are in India, at all. We arrived in Alonso's guest house, which I highly recommend, very cozy, clean and with a very kind hostess and I cannot help but mention the delicious Goan Bread we had for breakfast.
The Hostel was pretty convenient to walk from there through the colonial streets of Panjim. It is not worth taking a rickshaw anywhere, since the city is small enough to walk around. The architecture is daunting with Portuguese style but the people parading through the city will sure you remember where you are.
Perhaps my first close encounter with Indian culture came when we were looking for a way to reach the top of the hill where the art galleries were, and found ourselves staring into a miniature temple, but very different from the few I'd seen before. As we were peeking inside, an old lady that looked to be in her 80s or 90s came outside, and took us by the hand inside, where there were posters everywhere, of Shiva, and Sai Baba, what I found a bit interesting is that the image was not that of the Sai Baba I had heard about at home, but an older looking monk. The lady started praying, made us get on out knees and then gave us an offering of bananas, crispy rice and a couple of small paper wraps with what seemed like ashes. Even though not a word was told which the other could understand, I realized this is what this trip was about.
Another fun experience of the day was going into a restaurant for Thali ( which I now realize was ridiculously expensive) a 30 course meal where we counted with an average of 8 waiters each, lol which meant we had a lot more attention than we bargained for during our meal, lol.
All in All Panaji was breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful and loaded with culture.
On our second day we decided to take a trip into Pondi to visit a Spice Farm. That was really fun despite the fact we had a stalker all the way to the farm and back. This gives you a chance to go deep into the jungle, bathe with elephants and learn about the myriad of spices that you'll find all over India.
On our way back to Panaji we got off the bus at Old Goa, were Ancient churches and monuments give you a peek at life in the 16th century in what used to be the Capital of the state.
All of our journeys were done either by foot or public transportation, and it was perfectly safe, and interesting...our lesson for the future...when faced with a stalker...just say up front that you will not give a single rupee, that will do the trick :)