Wednesday, September 27, 2006

gorgeous Goa

We're staying at The Leela Palace, which is a beautiful resort on the Arabian Sea in southwestern India. This is the view from inside our room, looking over the lagoon:

The pathway to our little cottage:

The grounds are really lovely:

The lagoon at night:
The beach is wonderful -- sand firm enough to walk on, gentle breeze, tiny shells scattered all over the beach, sand-colored crabs scuttling here and there. I love to walk at the edge of the surf and let it cover my feet, which we did last night at twilight, and again very early this morning.

So yesterday we relaxed, walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner, after walking on the beach, and hit the sack early. It had been a long day starting in Delhi, waiting around the airport, flying to Mumbai and worrying that we wouldn't make the connection (but we did), flying to Goa only to find out that we had to wait around for a short while for the car to take us to Goa, and then riding 45 minutes to the hotel. The countryside is really beautiful, and you can really see the Portugese heritage, both in the Christian rather than Hindu references everywhere, and in the architecture. The churches are enormous and very Portugese in aesthetic.

A funny thing we noticed is that the little homes typically are named by their owners. We saw:

* Pete's Abode
* Tony's Paradise
* Conny's Lovely Residency

Also, a business called Melissa's Motors. Notice that all the names are Anglo? We also saw a sign for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, which fits because there are so many bars here, and the restaurants all serve alcohol. This was certainly not the case in Hindu Delhi.

This morning we had a beautiful breakfast at the hotel, including this great masala dosa with ginger and tomato chutneys with a coconut base:

We also had fruit and fresh papaya juice, and a cherry lassi.

After breakfast we took a cab to Margao, which is about 20 minutes from our hotel and is the commercial city for this area -- the main thing to do there, as far as we can tell, is shopping. You can really see the Portugese heritage in this area, both in terms of the Christian rather than Hindu iconography, and also in the architecture, such as this church:

Downtown Margao is busy:

And people line up to have someone type for them -- it's an old typewriter, the kind you have to throw the carriage to change lines:

When we came back from Margao, we relaxed and swam for awhile and soon we'll find a new place for dinner. Tomorrow's plans include going to Old Goa, which is really rich in Portugese stuff (buildings mainly, I guess) and then we're also going to a spice plantation.

And I'm having so much fun, such a honeymooney trip.

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