It had been a long time since we went for a vacation. We, as in myself and my parents.
On mom’s birthday in Nov ’14, I was wondering what to gift mom. (Usually it is jewellery / smart phone) and then I recalled that how mom keeps saying she is the only one from the family who has never been on a flight. And voila! a idea formed in my mind. Let’s zero in on places which are not far from Mumbai and which won’t be too expensive!
I had been to Goa in 2010 for a weekend. You can read about it here: Rendezvous with Goa But it was just a sip for a thirsty soul. I always planned to return for a more fulfilling experience.
I booked flight tickets, hotel and planned a detailed itinerary which would suit my parents. Some people tried to dissuade me from this plan saying you all are vegetarians and teetotallers, what would you do in Goa? I was not doing Goa right maybe but I was definitely doing being a daughter right 😉
We didn’t booze, party or go for adventure water sports but we did have fun in our own way!
Brace yourself! A detailed account is coming up! 😉
On D day, we left home at 9 to catch a flight scheduled at 1.30 (Funny thing that we had to travel 150 minutes for a 45 minute flight 😛 ) Anyway, we reached the domestic airport in Mumbai well in time, only to know all domestic flights of Air India do not take off from Domestic but the International Airport (fondly known as T2). Anyway, we took another cab & reached T2. The path leading to T2 is amazing in itself and so is the airport! The airport is done up beautifully including lots of art installations.
We had a quick brunch at the Street Foods by Punjab Grill (Yummy food, specially the Samosa Chaat) The walk towards the flight gate was too long, be careful if you have people who can not walk much. Arrange for a wheelchair well in advance.
Since it was an Air India flight, we got free snacks – a cheese sandwich, Frooti & a small bottle of water. Shouldn’t have eaten at the airport 😉
Anyway, so we landed a bit late at the Goa airport as the plane wasn’t getting place for parking (who would have thunk?) Do take the prepaid taxis (booking inside the airport at the prepaid taxi counter) to save yourself from being fleeced. Unless you have an arrangement with the hotel to pick you up.
Our first destination was Vasco, at my mom’s cousin’s place. After a heavenly lunch, sharing stories, discussing politics and a refreshing nap, we headed towards Calangute. The air was filled with scent of trees and you could sense that you have left polluted city far behind.
The hotel, Calangute Grande, situated in a charming bylane was a delightful place (for the budget we were on that is)
Day 2: A visit to Old Goa, Dona Paula & Miramar Beach was planned. Also lunch at Delhi Durbar in Panjim (Amazing amazing food)
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an enchanting structure with lots of options for photo ops. The Basilica also displays the remains of St Francis Xavier and a hall of paintings based on life of the said Saint. The paintings are a bit dark and the remains can give one the creeps. The backyard of the church has a small garden as well.
Right opposite the Basilica is the Archaelogical Museum and Se Cathedral. Its a beautiful place and I regret not going inside the museum. Next time maybe!
We had booked the cab for sight seeing via the hotel and none of us had taken the driver’s number or noted the licence number in enthusiasm (Totally Facepalm moment) Like fools we kept searching where the driver had parked his car. And after a long futile search, coordinated with the hotel for the driver’s number. We were totally exhausted by then. Delhi Durbar here we come! After a leisurely lunch, which included Sula Rose Wine for dad (after all we were in Goa 😉 ) we moved towards Dona Paula. A picturesque place with such a beautiful view! Totally enjoyed clicking pics here 🙂
Next Stop Miramar Beach. The sand here is very silky and the distance from the beach to the sea is probably the longest.
Day 2: Dolphin Trip, Fort Aguada & Baga Beach
Unlike few years ago, there are ample restaurants available for vegetarians, one of them being Navtara in Calangute. We had this amazing Veg Xacuti, a spicy vegetable curry along with hot hot buns!
We had planned to go for Spice Plantation on Day 3 but somehow dropped that plan and just did some shopping in the morning & a visit to the Calangute beach in the evening. Got inked (temporary) and made dad envious and had an amazing Italian dinner at Over The Flames. Got parents introduced to Tequila, only to be questioned over and over again on what happens if you drink tequila (annoying parents happen that’s what -_-) Note that Calangute beach is more crowded than Baga. Water sports at Calangute are cheaper than at Baga beach.
One thing was puzzling parents that we didn’t see any animals, not even strays in Goa and then look what we found 😉
And finally it was time to bid Goa goodbye! Sigh! One of the most beautiful vacation I have had. Would go again. I want to explore more on foot. The beaches as well as the beautiful by lanes. Goa is very green and clean inspite of so many tourists. It would be a delight to be here again! Au Revoir!