The Travelling Teacher: beaches, nightlife and architecture – Goa, it’s got it all!
After the time we’d spent in Kerala was so enjoyable, I was sad to be leaving and worried about how busy our next spots would be. I love a laid back life and much prefer the quiet life to hustle and bustle.
But, I didn’t know what Goa held, so onward I went! This week I’ll be sharing some of my favourite spots we visited whilst in Goa! Here it goes….
Goa: The flight
As always, to find out flight to Goa we relied on a flight app that is renowned for finding the cheapest flights. Though I often did look for a better price elsewhere, 9/10 this app was the best! What do you use to find the best flights?
We had to wake up early to catch our next flight. Whilst waiting for our taxi to the airport…which was late. We noticed that the accommodation we had been staying in actually had some fruits growing. On closer inspection, we realised they were passion fruits. They looked different to the typical brown ones I’d seen before, these were green and almost resembled a lime! The hotel staff offered them to us and being a lover of passion fruit I accepted, though these ones were a little tart! It did remind me that I need to make sure I really take everything in. Though I always try to, there’s always things that are right under our nose and still get missed.
Part of us booking the best flight deal resulted in us having a few hours for a stopover. With a few hours to kill, we decided to book in at the Bengaluru airport Lounge during our stopover on the way to Goa. I recommend looking around for offers at most airport lounges as there’s often discounts to be had. However, here the price for this lounge was minimal! We were able to sit back and relax whilst getting on with our work and then had the buffet to keep our brains fuelled. We were even lucky enough to be there long enough for some of the ‘made-to-order’ stalls to open. Fresh omelette …. make that two? Why not?! These were very yummy (hence me going for seconds) and were included in the price. Don’t just think that lounges are for the business class, they are a great pit stop for all and often, like my experience at the Bengaluru lounge, very comfortable! Ensure you make sure you know exactly what they offer before booking in though as we saw that other lounges weren’t quite worth the money.
Lounges aren’t just for the business class. Many are more affordable than you would believe and most of the time you can find a discount code online!
As we landed in Goa I was in awe at the beautiful view from the window. It was full of greenery and littered with trees, in fact, far greener than I could have imagined. Also a beautiful snaked river meandered into the distance! So, if you end up flying here and if you’re as much of a nature buff as me, make sure you’re awake for the arrival and as this was one of the best landing views I’ve seen! Unfortunately I wasn’t prepared with my camera! The tremendous views didn’t stop here as we also passed many cool, old plans on the runway.
We were lucky enough that another couple were looking for someone to share a taxi with to cover the costs to get to the village of Anjuna. So we doubled up to save some pennies! After chatting to them, it seemed that the price they were paying was almost the same as ours…and they were staying in a hostel with shared rooms whereas we had a double room, with an ensuite, breakfast AND a pool for a very similar price. Definitely make sure you look on booking apps as often, you aren’t getting that much of a bargain in many hostels.
After spending time in the laid back South of Kerala, my first impression of Goa was that it was definitely busier! The roads were much busier. Often in Kerala you wouldn’t see many people, though some of the towns were a little busier, Goa was much busier everywhere! I was also surprised at how brave the cows and dogs were. They had obviously grown up used to the amount of bikes and cars on the road and were completely un-phased and were often in a stand-off with a vehicle…which, many a time they would win, as people had veer around them.
Just like in Kerala, the best method of transport here is definitely by a bike. After hiring out a bike ourselves, we headed to Bardez, to visit Chapora Fort. As we were staying in Anjuna, it was only a 20-minute ride to the fort. There isn’t much around this area and what there is, really does need to be accessed with transport, so hiring some form of transport is almost essential.
This fort boasts spectacular views of the Chapora River, so I was excited to head there and see for myself! Another interesting fact is that this fort is also known as ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Fort, which translates – the heart yearns. The reason is that in 2001 a Bollywood film with this title was filmed here!
Though the fort itself is free to enter, you will have to pay to park there. It’s a popular spot to visit, so take note of exactly where you park as, as we found, it is very difficult to identify your ride in a sea of bikes! (Trust me!).
The fort is at the top of a hill, it’s quite a steep walk up so make sure you’re well prepared. You will most definitely need water! There are little stalls nearby that provide this….but don’t expect this to be cold. Whilst going up to the fort there is trodden down path that you will see everyone follow. However, we ventured off the pathway a little. We headed to the right of the fort into the grassy area. I definitely recommend this! It’s great to see a super view without the hustle and bustle of everybody else. As I’ve mentioned in my other blogs, this is another top spot for a drone, so if you have a drone find a little secluded spot and take in the beauty that surrounds you here!
The fort itself covers a large area and there’s plenty to walk around and different spots to capture a different view. The views here are spectacular, so take your time and make the most of it! There’s even a cool old gate covered in greenery – is anyone else just in love with old features covered in greenery? I always think it makes it look like something out of an old story book.
Panjim: Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church
After visiting the Chapora Fort we headed to Panjim, a town only 40 minutes away. Here it was much more built up. Rather than the roads lined with stalls we witnessed near the fort, there were lots of shops, stalls and restaurants here….but that isn’t what we had come for. We’d come to see the sights. Although I did make a purchase. I bought some new sunglasses to replace the ones I lost while playing wave jumping in the fierce waves of the sea in Kerala.
First up in Panjim, the ‘Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church’. Wow. Now, I’d read this church was white and it really is very white! This church makes for a lovely sight to see! On the day we visited they were busy setting up chairs so we didn’t get a chance to go inside. Have you been? I’d love to hear if it’s just as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside!
Caranzalem: Heading to the beach!
Whilst we had the bike, we also decided to take a trip to Caranzalem beach, 40 minutes away from Anjuna. Now, this is a great time to say, that I ADORED riding on the bike whilst out here! So, I will often say that we took a bike ride to places. There’s something so amazing about riding around and in the sun. Warmth on your skin, wind in your hair and SO much to take in with your eyes!
This area is even more built up than Panjim. I found it so bizarre that you would go from seeing tin houses…to an Audi garage. Such a clash of cultures and sadly showing how quickly the world is changing and becoming modernised with traditions being forgotten and replaced.
Though there were many restaurants in Caranzalem, we couldn’t find a specialised fish restaurant, even though we were by the sea! The ones we did find…were closed. By this point we were realising that often in India the restaurants don’t open until late. However, my keen eyes did spot many a bakery…I was craving some baked treats, but then again, for anyone who knows me, when don’t I fancy these?
What’s up next?
It’s not time to stop in India yet! I have plenty more to see and tell you about! Want to find out what Mumbai was like? Then look out for my blog next Sunday as I update you with all the details of my time there as well as the other destinations I stopped at after!
I always love hearing from people and would love to hear about the places you’ve been in India! Why not share some of your travel stories and pictures?
If you have any questions or want to know any details, perhaps you’d like to know some of the accommodation I’ve stayed at? I’m more than happy to help, you can contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org