A daycation spent amidst nature, tropical 🌴 green setting, a lush pool, a therapeutic spa, jacuzzi, and a scrumptious 3-course meal, what more can you ask for. A perfect monsoon indulgence @cocoshambhala got me covered to enjoy a luxurious staycation where I enjoyed all of this and lots more.
The spa package packed with a daycation was the kind of mid-week getaway I am a sucker for. The day to day life is so hectic with work, that even a hint of such an opportunity is something I grab with both hands wide open. So for a girls day out, Coco Shambhala, the luxury resort nestled in Nerul was a perfect option.
I was thrilled at the inclusions that this spa package offers. A relaxing massage, access to the villa which has a jacuzzi as well, use of the expansive swimming pool and a delicious and healthy 3 course meal along with a bottle of wine, like I said above, literally what more can you ask for. And at Rs 12500 for two people, its definitely an offer hard to resist.
The spacious and tastefully decorated rooms of the villa take care of all your comfort needs, the outdoor shower 🚿 is such a delightful experience and the patio serves as an excellent area for some relaxed time.
After lazing around in my room and exploring the natural beauty that surrounds Coco Shambhala, it was time to indulge in super delicious food. The dining table was laid out perfectly and the decor was in resonance with the tropical 🌴 surroundings. The use of jute and lots of green plants on the table made the lunch even more inviting and alluring.
The Welcome Cocktail, A Curry Leaf #margarita made with Tequila, lime juice, Cointreau not only matched the ambiance but also tasted extremely refreshing 🍸
Spiced Beetroot Cakes stuffed with roasted peanuts & cheddar and served with coriander sauce made for a perfect starter. I loved the texture of the cakes and with subtle spices, one could taste the beetroot and peanuts without anything overpowering the flavor.
Raw Papaya & Carrot Salad tossed with roasted fennel, dill & sun-dried red chili was nutritious, juicy, healthy and super delicious 😋
Beef Moussaka Timbale along with Greek salad, herb butter-toasted poi was the best I had in recent times.
Chilli Chocolate Ganache with plum sauce, basil crumble & pomegranate was a dessert to die for.
For me, the spa day at @cocoshambhala meant a complete relaxation of mind, body, and soul. For my always stressed body, I went ahead with the INVIGORATING Body Massage, it’s especially meant for those who are feeling the streaks
An oil blend containing pure essential oils of Frankincense, Orange & Grapefruit is massaged into the body to revitalize and stimulate both the body and mind thereby balancing the flow of energy. All three essential oils used in this massage are known for their energizing, uplifting and stimulating qualities. The massage helps increase energy levels and improve mental clarity and comprehension.
The aroma of candles, the mediating soft music, and this lovely massage literally made my day and then, of course, it was time to let my hair down and have some fun in the pool and private jacuzzi.
What a splendid way to spend a day full of luxury, comfort, relaxation and great food as well. For more details on the package, you can check the link here
WHERE TO FIND THEM
Coco Shambhala Coco Beach, Nerul Bardez, Goa, India E. firstname.lastname@example.org +91 80073 74123 +91 85509 85232
Divar Island had been standing long on my list considering the fact that I have been living in Goa now for over a year but due to some reason or the other it didn’t happen until today.. this came as one of its kind of blogging opportunity and I really didn’t know whether to say yes or no.. the issue was that this tour was supposedly a bike tour and since I didn’t know how to ride I felt I was gonna miss it yet again, but then with the kind gesture of B:Live I was made a part of the tour and very comfortably been ridden around an activa while others rode these e-bikes. My reason for choosing this tour was my belief in the concept, even if I don’t do something doesn’t mean I can’t enlighten my readers, so for all you guys who know how to ride a bike, here are top 5 reasons you must consider exploring Divar Islands and other parts of Goa with BLive E-Bikes
Bikes are always good for the environment, but when you get electronic bikes that give you the extra kick and yet aren’t harmful to the environment, it’s a win-win, isn’t it? These bikes come with the throttle and pedal assist modes for effortless riding. They also come with a battery life of up to 50 km which means you can keep riding without any worry and even if the battery is drained, you can pedal your way for the extended fun. You probably won’t have a chance to get lost as these bikes are GPS enabled too.
Since electronic bikes require less effort, they are perfectly suited for the terrains of Goa with its slopes and elevations. Also since exploring Goa could mean traveling through narrow roads, bikes definitely make for a better option. You don’t even need a license to ride an e-bike, just saying!
B Live are the first in India to do curated e-bike tours and they have quite a few options keeping in mind different needs of both the travelers and also the local enthusiasts
Right from helping you to ride and operate the bike, the staff and captains at B Live ensure that you have the smoothest and most enjoyable ride ever. Not just operational help, but the captains are so well versed with the touring areas that their knowledge is commendable and some of the places that they take you to are like hidden gems and I bet you cannot explore them on a car or even otherwise without an expert guiding you through. I personally witnessed some of such places which one can’t even think of. Dirt roads leading to such beautiful places, but it’s only possible, one when you are riding a comfortable e-bike and second when you have an expert taking you there, so in short, it means you can only experience such things with B Live.
Last but not least, these tours are very economical and won’t pinch you on the pocket. Each penny that you spend on this tour will only be worthwhile. Rather the knowledge and the memories that you will bring back will only make you richer.
So simply log on to www.blive.co.in and book yourself an experience of a lifetime! Don’t forget to thank me later and also it would be great if you could mention to them that you came to know about them through my blog or social media posts. Your words can go a long way for both me and the brand. Special mention to Anuj, and Captains Deepak and Rajesh for their immense support all through the tour.
Keep watching this space for my next post, wherein I will talk more in detail about the places I saw and experienced at the Divar Island
Well, who can deny Goa being the hottest travel destination in India. Goa indeed is a favorite with both the Indian tourists as well as foreigners. It is one of its own kind of place and you simply cannot compare Goa’s charm with any other place. Goa is like a slice of heaven that you can never get enough of. Even though I have been living in Goa now for over a year, I still feel like a tourist because there is just so much to explore in Goa.
Whenever time allows, I try and take small breaks within Goa and make the most of it. Sometimes these breaks mean exploring new and untouched places, a hint of adventure and sometimes, they simply mean relaxing. Whatever way I may choose, where to stay and what exactly to explore always seem like a challenge because even when we think we know it all, we actually don’t. At such times, I always feel surrendering to experts is the best thing to do. Experts who can help me decide both wonderful stay options and plan out my experiences depending on my budgets and duration. One such expert is Goa Unlimited. I regularly avail services of Goa Unlimited to make my breaks the best possible, I let them decide for me while I just enjoy what they suggest, because they know the best.
Here are top 5 reasons you should consider Goa Unlimited for planning all your Goa trips
Whether you are looking at chilling at a hotel or resort or renting out an apartment or villa, Goa Unlimited will provide you with enough and more options suiting all kinds of budgets. Villa rentals though are one area, where they surpass everyone. Goa Unlimited now offers over 60 villas and around 20 service apartments in different budget categories without compromising on the quality and service. I personally prefer villa stays more comfortable than the hotels as they allow me to chill and relax at my own pace. There is no hurry to wake up early for the breakfast or wonder about the closing time of the restaurant. Villas provide me with the kind of independence that is ideal for a place like Goa. Villas also offer an opportunity for friends and family to stay together. From one BHK villas to 3-4 BHK villas, one can easily choose as per the total number of people. They allow privacy, as well as a common, connect for the family to experience togetherness. My recent stay at one of the villas in North Goa was just perfect. Serene, quaint and yet equipped with all modern amenities, it had a perfectly balanced feel.
From helping you experience the famous tourist spots to discover lesser known places, Goa Unlimited can customize travel packages as per your needs and requirements. From water sports to cycle tours, from spice farms to unknown waterfalls, from exquisite bars and restaurants to local joints, they simply know it all and can help you with multiple options for each category.
Bike Rentals, Car Rentals and anything and everything that you need to make your trip stress and hassle-free, Goa Unlimited is at your disposal.
Basis my several experiences with Goa Unlimited, I can easily say that they very competitively priced. I have never found them expensive. In fact, they have offered me better prices than most online travel platforms, for some of the places and hence my trust in them is unmatched.
One of the best things about Goa Unlimited is the personalized service that they provide. The team headed by Nikhil Mirkar and Jui Damle is the most hospitable you can ask for. Nikhil’s experience of 25 years in the hospitality sector comes across very evidently and Jui who after quitting her corporate life joined Nikhil has only taken the company to newer heights. Her contribution in expanding the venture and managing the entire operations has been an integral part of their growth story. They ensure that your stay is not just a memorable one but also extremely comfortable and hassle-free. They strive for repeat business and clients come back to them every single time because they make your travel so easy without denting your pockets that you simply cannot help but look up to them.
I always choose Goa Unlimited for all my travel needs in Goa because as they say if its Goa, Its gotta be Goa Unlimited. Hope you will do the same for all your future trips to Goa and experience a wonderful stay.
Family vacations don’t come around often enough. Because of this, it is important to make the most out of the time you get. There are many lodging choices to consider. While each has its own benefits to consider, there are extra advantages that come with planning a cabin vacation such as with Beavers Bend cabin rentals. They have many great cabins to choose from on their site at www.beaversbendlogcabins.com.
Peace And Quiet
While getting a hotel room is a go-to when planning a family vacation, there is an appeal of cabin rentals that you cannot get with staying at a hotel. One great benefit of staying out in a cabin is that you will get lots of peace and quiet. Most hotels are crammed to capacity with noisy guests and events. A cabin is set out in the woods with much less people around.
A cabin will offer you a lot of beautiful scenery to enjoy on vacation. Depending on where you rent your cabin, you could have a view of a beautiful lake or mountains in the background. At night, the distance away from the city will allow you to see the sky and stars more clearly.
Space And Privacy
Most cabin rentals will offer more privacy and space compared to many hotel rooms. There are a variety of sizes and styles that can accommodate most families and budgets. If you are planning a huge family vacation, there are cabin rentals that can fit up to 30 or more people.
If you want to bring your family pet on vacation, the best option would be to get a cabin. If you have a dog, they will have plenty of room to run around and play without worrying about parking lots and other guests putting them in danger.
There is nothing wrong with staying in a hotel on your family vacation. However, if you want a unique and relaxing experience, a cabin rental is a great choice. You will notice how amazing it really was once you get back to the city and notice the difference.
Well on some of the days, we really wanna get away from the hustle bustle of daily life and that is one of the prime reasons I left Delhi and chose to live in Goa. Goa in itself is so peaceful and surrounded by nature that I find it refreshing me all the time, but even then, sometimes we want to go a little far away from the daily life and spend a couple of days relaxing. What better than staying close to nature for a perfect getaway and relaxation.
I had read about a lot of places that offer accommodation in the lap of nature, and Nature’s Nest true to its name was the one name that cropped in my head. I discussed it with my friend, and she too readily agreed to the trip. We chose the Independence Day Eve as a perfect day for our mid-week adventure. Nature’s Nest is located in Surla area of Goa, which was approximately 60kms away from where we stay. Its truly surrounded by nature, its close to the Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary and very popular with bird watchers and trekking lovers, as it offers perfect spots for both.
We set out around 10 AM from our place, as it would take us 1.5 hours drive to Nature’s Nest and the check in time was at 12 Noon. The weather was totally on our side and once you cross Ponda, the drive becomes even more beautiful. The narrow roads, with greenery in abundance on both sides, makes for a fantastic view. We added some music in the background, grabbed a couple of drinks and snacks for the way and we were all set. We reached Nature’s Nest quite on time, at 12:15 we were at the reception of the resort.
The Ambiance and Rooms
The ambiance has a very raw appeal to it and is surrounded by greenery. It’s like practically living in mud and bamboo cottages in a middle of a jungle and in one look, I loved it. The greenery seemed even more alive and fresh after the rains and as per me, monsoons are definitely one of the best times to visit this place, not that you cant visit during other months, but trust me monsoons are the best. After a warm welcome at the reception along with a refreshing Kokum drink, we were directed towards our cottage. The resort houses 10 cottages and they look so lovely.
Our cottage was named Kunjan, and once again the raw appeal of the cottage, the mud walls, the thatched roof, all reminded me of the times I have spent in the villages and it was nostalgic. The room was spacious and comfortable, twin beds, with side tables, a dressing table and an open cane shelf for keeping clothes etc. The bathroom too was very spacious and huge, it almost felt like another room.
After settling in the room and chilling for sometime imbibing the nature, it was almost time for lunch. At 1:30, we headed towards the restaurant area and a traditional Goan lunch was waiting for us. Prawn Curry, Chicken Xacuti, Rawa Fish Fry, Veg Gravy, Bhaji, Dal, Solkadi, Salad, Papad, Bhakri and Rice, the menu was quite a big one and was perfect for both vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians. It was freshly prepared and had the authentic taste of Goan flavors. Loved the kheer for sweet-dish.
After lunch, we retired to our rooms for a power nap and returned to the activity area at 4 PM. We indulged in 3-4 activities before our dinner and they were:
Artificial Wall Climbing
Well, this one was not for me, as with my fingernails I just could not get the grip and climb even one step. My friend did try a bit, but even she couldn’t do much. So we kind of skipped this one and moved to the next activity.
Flying Fox and Zip Line
Now both of these were really fun, I had never tried a zip line before and although it wasn’t a very high or long one, I really enjoyed it. Zipping between the greens and with raindrops drenching me, it was something I really loved.
Trek to a Plateau
Well, this was an evening trail amidst nature, we trekked to a nearby plateau, the slight uphill climb was beautiful. The sounds of a peacock and a flowing stream were almost filling the entire place. View from the top point was breathtakingly beautiful. I could not manage a lot of clear pictures because it rained heavily while we went there and also some of the pics came blurred because of this reason. Nevertheless, what I captured in my mind and soul will remain with me for a long time. We also saw an insectivorous plant and a pair of Hornbills, they looked amazing as they flew from one tree to the other. Their flight looked magically beautiful.
This point is otherwise very famous for sunset, but as we were in monsoons, there was no sunset to watch, but a lot of refreshing greenery, the water stream, plants, birds, frogs, and yes the peacock. I felt so so good after this trek. Also met an Ornate Flying Snake Baby, never had a chance to see a snake so closely, it looked so so beautiful. And strangely enough, I wasn’t scared.
By the time we returned from our trek, it was almost 6:30, we came back to our rooms to freshen up a bit and then at 7 PM headed for a short night trail. This night trail was specifically to show us a luminous kind of mushroom that glows in the dark, so complete darkness was important.
After a walking for a short while, we reached the spot, though we were using our flashlights to walk through the dense forest, at this point, our guide, Mr. Ramesh, one of the partners at Nature’s Nest instructed us to switch off all lights and close our eyes for a few seconds. After those few seconds, when we opened our eyes we were astonished. A full tree branch, from the ground to the top was glowing, it felt as if someone had put a tube light there. We even held one of the branches in our hand, with the flashlight on, it felt like any other branch, with nothing special to notice, but the magic happened when it turned dark.
After this night trail, we were a bit tired with the day’s activities and chose to have an early dinner. A spread of simple dishes including Kadhai Chicken, Mushroom Curry, Dal, Baingan Bhaji, Rice, Roti, and Seviyan was laid out. It felt like a home cooked comfort food, nothing fancy, but simple yet tasty. Though we had all intentions to retire to bed early as we had to go for a morning trek too, but we ended up chatting for long hours sitting and relaxing in the restaurant itself and then with some background light music supported by the music of falling raindrops on the roof, the sounds of the cricket and watching the fireflies glow near the window, we drifted into to a good night’s sleep.
We got up early the next morning, as, after a quick breakfast of omelet, poha, pav and black coffee, we had to leave for the Talde Waterfall Trek. We left the resort at around 8:30 AM. The trek point is about 10 minutes drive from the resort and its a 30 minutes trek into thick forest with very narrow lanes. 20 minutes of the trek is more of a straight walk, but like I said the walk is on a very very narrow lane which can barely fit one person, and the last 10 minutes of the trek are tougher with more of an uphill climb on slippery stones and rocks, but once you reach the waterfall, its all simply worth it.
The view is mesmerizing, the noise of the waterfall filled me with so much calmness that I words will fall short to explain my feelings. It’s definitely worth a visit. For me, it was my first experience of almost dipping in the water and feel a waterfall so closely. Its one of those experiences that I will never forget. We spent a good half an hour enjoying the waterfall and after capturing memories in my camera, we started on our way back. Once back to the resort, we did our check out formalities and came back home completely refreshed and rejuvenated.
This entire experience filled me with so much of positive energy that as soon as I was back home, I was raring to go for another adventure. I did not feel even a bit tired. This staycation was a much-needed break for me and although I was not very sure about anything, as everything was new for me, all I can say is I am glad I took this decision and chose Nature’s Nest.
As per season, Nature’s Nest offers a lot of activities like Bird Watching, Jungle Safaris, Night Trails, Trekking, Waterfall Treks etc. Make sure you check with them of the available options and plan your travel accordingly.
When it comes to planning a trip with your other half, it can be tricky to get the balance of romantic and fun, or other aspects that you are looking for when you travel together. It can be a different kind of trip to one that you’d go with your family, and equally, somewhere different than you would just travel with your gal pals. So here are some suggestions for cities all around the world that make a great destination for couples. There is a real mixture, so hopefully, there is something for everyone.
When you wander the streets of Rome it can feel like a film set! It is a stunning place to visit, with cobbled streets, Baroque churches, and al fresco trattorias. The history in Rome is immense too, with places like the Colosseum, museums, and Trevi Fountain. It can make for a romantic getaway, as well as a fun trip for two; just make sure that there is plenty of gelato involved!
San Diego, California, USA
San Diego may ring some bells for any Anchorman fans, but it is much more than what Ron Burgundy tells you about. You can have the best of both worlds as you discover the best of San Diego and what it has to offer. There are beaches on one hand, with beautiful places like La Jolla Cove, and then there is some amazing shopping and attractions like San Diego Zoo and Legoland. So if you have a sense of fun, it can be a great place for you to explore as a couple.
Cheeky and alluring, Amsterdam is a great place to visit as a couple, as it really is such a charming place. Cycling around the city or exploring by boat along the tree-lined canals can make it a trip like any other. The food scene is incredible in Amsterdam, and there is a real modern vibe, alongside the historic elements of it such as Anne Frank’s House.
If Denmark sounds a little more up your street, then Copenhagen can be a great option; it really is quite magical and whimsical. You can explore the Mermaid, spires with intertwined dragon’s tails, fortresses shaped like stars, and much, much more. It is a great sport for some great seafood and cuddles up walks along the canals.
If something completely different is what you are after, then a trip to Iceland is a must. It has grown in popularity as a tourist destination, and it is easy to see why. It is a place with a really romantic feel, with brightly colored homes and pretty scenery, with both mountains and sea in sight. In winter it can be a great place to snuggle in a hot tub and look for the northern lights. In summer, it stays light for so long, as you can make the most of the daylight and visit some of the famous landmarks like the Blue Lagoon and other stunning areas.
If you’ve got a busy career and family life, it can be a challenge to find the time to switch off and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. However, more people are having to take leave from their jobs due to stress and fatigue, because they weren’t making themselves a priority. Therefore, it’s crucial to the success of your future lifestyle, to know when it’s time for a breather and to get some much-needed, healthy headspace. Whether it’s a couple of days and nights away or a regular vacation with your loved ones; a getaway and break are just what you’ll need to recharge, refocus, and give yourself a boost for whatever comes next.
Your calendar and diary might be heaving, but there’s no time like the present to schedule in some you time and work around the moments you’ll be spending away alone, with your partner, or with your family. Now is the time to think about those place where you feel most at ease, and know that you’ll be able to benefit from some fresh air and relaxation time to read a book or partake in your favorite activities. It’s not necessarily about lying back for the whole of your getaway and doing nothing, but more about a change of scenery, and taking your mind away from the craziness of everyday life. Ensure that you have all you need before traveling anywhere, and head to sites like https://www.saveritemedical.com/ so that you’re fully stocked up on essentials, and won’t need to worry about getting to a pharmacy when you’re meant to be enjoying your log cabin.
Eat Well And Feel Better
It’s likely that you’ve probably got yourself into a routine of a quick coffee for breakfast, whatever fast food you can grab for lunch, and late dinners. Therefore, you should be making the most of fresh local produce during your time away; cooking from scratch with quality ingredients is another way to concentrate on something simple, and your body will reap the rewards when it’s time to serve up. Book somewhere with a BBQ, and take some simple recipe ideas along to fuel your time away. You’ll return feeling refreshed and keen to book your next mindful getaway.
Enjoy The Fresh Air And Water
Jobs in business and offices don’t tend to leave much time or room to spend some quality moments enjoying the open water and the open air. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about booking a getaway somewhere you can enjoy an open expanse of H20. Check out a lakeside retreat, and think about booking in some water sports sessions for yourself, or you and a loved one. You can look forward to hours of mindful activities and relax on the water ahead. Or, hire a boat on arrival for some sailing or fishing; whatever you decide to do, maker the most of the environment around you, breathe in and out, and blow out those cobwebs for clarity and a clear head.
As humans, flying isn’t a part of our lives which is natural. We have always wanted to explore other parts of the world, and in the last 100 years pioneers have allowed us to take to the sky easily and without any issues at all. However, being on a plane can still have weird effects on our body, and here are just some of the issues you might face in a plane this year.
You’ll be thirsty
As we gain altitude in the air when we get on a plane, the humidity in the air will start to change. Where you are normally surrounded by a decent amount of water vapour, there will be a lot less when you get high in the sky. You can, therefore, benefit from keeping a bottle of water with you for your flight and make sure that you are able to stay hydrated on the trip.
Toxic water supply
The main thing which is gross about being on a plane is the sheer number of people who are in the same space using the same facilities. If you want to avoid issues with your stomach, avoid any water which isn’t bottled. Plane water can often contain E.Coli and this is a nasty bug which is usually found in faecal matter. Enough said.
It’ll hurt your ears
If you have sensitive ears already, you might struggle with the change in pressure when you enter a plane and get up into the air. You can use different types of hearing protection to keep your ears happy throughout the flight and it will hopefully stop you from struggling too much with your hearing on the flight.
When you start to travel up and to a higher altitude, you will notice that the levels of oxygen in the air are a lot lower than they are at ground level. The main issue that this can create is for those with breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema. If you believe that you are really going to struggle to breathe during the flight make sure you bring some travel oxygen with you and maybe even your inhalers.
You might swell
The pressure on a plane is a lot less than the pressure you feel when on the ground and this can cause your body to swell up and do some weird things. Make sure that you wear loose fitting clothes and also loose shoes on the plane because your feet are likely to swell up and it will hurt you if you are wearing tight shoes. Make sure you are comfortable on the plane and make sure that you leave room for your body to grow if it needs to!
Planes can have some odd effects on the body and you can end up feeling a bit odd when you reach the ground again. But remember that you can always recover from their effect in a few hours once you land so they won’t last too long. Enjoy your flight, be aware of the weird body changes and have fun on your summer holiday.
Fontainhas is an old Latin quarter at the Altinho foothills in Panjim. It’s one place in Goa where the Portuguese influence is still very evident, so much so that this is the only place in Goa which has Portuguese as the main spoken language.
The name ‘Fontainhas’ was derived from a natural spring, Fountain of Phoenix that sprouted in 1770 and is present to date. Fontainhas was founded in the late 18th century by a wealthy Portuguese named Antonio Joao de Sequeira. He used this land for coconut plantations. But, in the early 1800s, due to the spread of epidemic in the Old Goa, the Portuguese government headquarters was shifted to Panjim. As a result, this area was transformed into the residential area for Portuguese administrative officers and rulers. In 1984, UNESCO recognized Fontainhas as a Heritage Zone.
Narrow lanes, bright and vibrant houses, small cafes, old bakeries, art galleries and every nook and corner that tells an interesting Goan story are some of the characteristics of this amazing place. Even within the hustle bustle of Panjim city, Fontainhas has maintained its serenity and quaintness. All thanks to The Local Beat Goa, I recently enjoyed a heritage walk of mixed with lots of fun and facts about the place. After grabbing a refreshing glass of watermelon juice from the Mamaramma Cafe, just next to the St. Sebastian Chapel, we started off by driving through the uphill lanes of Altinho and the Maruti Temple became our first halt.
Coloured in bright hues of orange, a colour that represents the monkey god ‘Hanuman’, the structure of the temple is a perfect mix of modernity and ancient heritage. As I moved in, I came to know that the temple has two idols of lord Hanuman, and even without climbing up to the main temple, one can see the bigger idol through an opening in the lower floor wall. Well I bowed down my head in front of both, the main idol which is housed in a big hall looks majestic.
The prayer hall is huge and a big chandelier in the centre makes it look magnificent. There is a lot of open space around the main temple and the view from the top is breathtakingly beautiful. You can practically see the entire Fontainhas area from there and especially the spring.
We climbed down the stairs that lead to the Fontainhas spring. It is believed that there was a tunnel from the temple till that spring, which now stands closed, and the door was sealed with a cross. The two structures that line around the spring used to provide light in that tunnel, are mosque like structures and hence this place becomes a wonderful amalgamation of 3 religions.
From there on we strolled through the lanes of Fontainhas, visiting a few art galleries, which house some of the best art that leave you awestruck. Its so interesting to see these old world charm buildings, you know the windows in some of the old houses use shells in place of glasses, as glass wasn’t available back then. And trust me they look so amazing that given a chance I would want my windows to be made of sea shells.
We also visited one of the oldest bakery, named Confeitaria 31 De Janeiro, it still uses the old stone clay oven and bakes some amazing stuff. I tried the french rolls and it really took me back in time, normally don’t get that kind of taste anymore. They were so fresh and delicious. The name 31 De Janeiro holds a significance in history, Rua 31 de Janeira (31st January Road) is named after the day when Portugal got independence from Spain on January 31, 1640
From a light drizzle to thunder shower, monsoons made the walk even more interesting and beautiful. I also learnt that the houses in Fontainhas still need to get painted after every monsoon, it was a rule laid out in the Portuguese time but is followed till date. This keeps the beauty and vibrancy of this place in tact year after year. One of the historic houses that I came across had big well in front of it, though the well is not in function now, but the serenity and peace of the place is inexplainable. You can really spend some quiet time there breathing the natural and man made beauties together.
Another place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy some great coffee and snacks is the Bombay Coffee Roasters. The front wall of this cafe is quite a popular one with photographers. The mosaic is really worth a look and the place offers calm and comfortable interiors, has wi-fi and is ideal to spend some quality time alone and get some creative work done, or simply chill out with friends.
Talking about mosaic, its not just about the wall of Bombay Coffee Roasters, but this tile art is one of the most significant characteristics of Goa and especially the Fontainhas. Azulejo is the Portuguese name for these beautifully hand painted ceramic tiles. This art originated in the 15th century and travelled to India when the Portuguese settled in Goa. Though back then these Azulejos were imported from Portugal, and there were no Goan artists to do it, the art from literally died. It was brought back by a man named Orlando De Norohna, who had a 5 year degree in commercial art from Goa college of arts. He went to Lisbon to get himself skilled with guitar and came back with Azulejos. Since then the art has been fully revived and many students took interest in learning the same. Today Goa is the only state in India where these tiles are made. Take a walk around Goa and you will see these Azulejos as a part of its landscape. From name tiles to murals, each Azulejo tells a Goan story. Azulejos De Goa in Panjim, is one of the best shops to hunt for these stunning hand crafted tiles.
Moving on, we came to one of the major landmarks of this old quarter of Goa, the St Sebastian Chapel. It was also the point from where we started and the point where we concluded our lovely heritage walk. The Chapel of St Sebastian is a popular tourist attraction in Goa, built in 1818. This chapel is dedicated to St. Sebastian.In earlier days, when people were troubled with the disease of pests and plagues, they turned for help to St Sebastian who treated them through his mediation and miraculous interventions.
This whitewashed church has a striking crucifix which originally stood in the Palace of Inquisition in Old Goa. In the crucifix Christ’s eyes are opened. It’s a rather unusual sight to witness a crucifix with Christ’s head up and eyes open, it’s believed to be so in order to instil fear of god. The god is watching those who are troublemakers and they shall be punished for their sins. The Chapel also houses a statue of the Virgin Mary, two marquetry chests and three elaborately carved screens from a church in Diu, which once formed part of the colony of Goa.
This heritage walk of Fontainhas filled me with so much information and beauty, that the memories will last a lifetime. All I could do is capture it in my camera in order to cherish and relive these moments again and again. This is one thing that you should definitely not miss when in Goa
Most travelers relish the thought of a vacation with sunny, warm weather, even if it’s to a destination without beaches or swimming. However, warm-weather travel can come with its own inconveniences. If you’re traveling outside of the summer months, the weather can change, and a sunny day can quickly become uncomfortable.
Fortunately, experienced travelers know how to mitigate problems and keep everyone in their group happy. It can be tempting to under-pack on warm-weather vacations, but don’t forget the essentials for staying safe in the sun. Check out these travel tips and hacks for ways to minimize problems and maximize fun adventures on your next getaway!
1. Pack a proper hat and sunglasses
Even springtime sun can be intense enough to cause sunburns, and squinting in the sun is sure to interfere with your enjoyment of world-famous sights. A lightweight hat or bandanna is a good choice for shielding your head. Bringing comfortable hats for your kids can also prevent whining and misery later on. If you aren’t fond of hats, a sun parasol can be a stylish and fun option for staying out of the sun.
The best sunglasses for your trip will depend on what you’re doing and where you’re going, but don’t overspend! Sunglasses are far too easy to lose or break while on vacation. Buy a neck cord and be careful to double-check for your sunglasses before leaving restrooms, hotels and restaurants.
2. Make smart fabric choices
Denim can be stylish, but is it really the best option for traveling to Key West in the middle of July? Try linen, white cotton t shirtsor performance fabrics for breathable, comfortable outfits. Lighter fabrics roll up easily, too, saving valuable luggage space.
Tank tops can be very comfortable, but remember that the more skin you expose, the more time you have to spend putting on sunscreen. Consider covering up with lighter fabrics to help manage your sun exposure.
Also, remember to pack for layers, like lightweight jackets or cardigans. Even tropical destinations can cool off in the evening, so keeping an extra layer around can make the difference between a fun adventure and an uncomfortable evening. Air conditioning can also vary widely between restaurants, hotels and public transit, so a lightweight jacket might even be useful during the day. Leggings are also a good option for fashion-conscious travelers heading out on nighttime adventures.
3. Plan your sunscreen, bug repellent and allergy medication usage
While some may find sunscreen a pain to keep safe in your suitcase, packing it may be better than buying it at your destination. Your sunscreen brand and selection options may be limited if you wait to buy it, and you may find yourself stuck with a product that’s inconvenient or insufficient for your needs. It may also be cheaper to pack sunscreen. For most U.S. destinations, you can probably access the same general types of sunscreen across the country, but do your research for overseas destinations.
The same rule applies to bug repellant and allergy medication. Some destinations have mosquitoes almost year-round, and you may need bug repellant even if you’re not going into the woods. Unfamiliar flowers and trees can trigger allergy symptoms that keep you from fully enjoying your trip. Research your destination carefully to determine your best options.
Remember that some airlines or countries may have restrictions on bug repellent ingredients, aerosol cans or medication ingredients.
4. Pick a bag that suits your needs
Lugging around multiple bags after a day of fun can put a damper on the rest of your evening. It can also be troublesome to forget a bag of souvenirs, food or a water bottle someplace because you had too many bags to keep track of.
If you’re traveling alone, a small carry-on suitcaseor cheap backpack may suffice, but running around with children makes a large backpack mandatory. Look for something with padded straps made of a material that is breathable. An ideal warm-weather backpack will also have easily accessible space for water bottles, as well as room for souvenirs and snacks. If you’re planning a day at the beach, pack plastic bags for storing wet swimsuits.
5. Print out your transit options and safety plans
Nothing is less fun than lugging around a giant suitcase in 90° F weather because you misunderstood how the bus system works and there are no taxis in sight. Triple-check your plan for getting from the airport to your hotel and have a written backup plan in case something goes wrong. Also, keep a phone number for a local taxi company saved to your phone in case you truly need it after a day in the sun, and make sure you know how to quickly get to the hospital in case of accidents.
In many warmer regions, sudden storms can mess up a dream vacation. Popular warm-weather tourist destinations can be prone to storms in certain seasons, so make sure to familiarize yourself with the area’s flood, tsunami or other natural disaster evacuation plans, and even pack a printed copy, if possible.
6. Bring a backup option for shoes
Tennis shoes can be great for hiking but can quickly become uncomfortable when they’re sweaty or muddy. Pack a pair of padded sandals for hot days when you’ve planned a lot of walking.
If you’re planning a beach vacation, a pair of flip-flops may be worthwhile, but keep in mind that most flip-flops can hurt your feet after walking significant distances. Flip-flops also do little to protect your feet from the sun, and sunburnt feet can quickly put a damper on your dream vacation.
Children, in particular, can be quick to complain about sore, hot or blistered feet, so make sure to have backup options for them. It’s well worth the extra luggage space!
7. Carry a reusable water bottle
Reusable water bottles can save you money and help protect the environment. A well-designed reusable water bottle is lightweight, easy to clean and can be quickly opened and closed to protect the mouthpiece from the elements. It also reduces your need to find a trash can or recycling bin.
In some locales, though, clean drinking water is only readily accessible in bottled form. Do your research ahead of time and see if it’s wiser to pack vending machine change than a reusable plastic bottle. However, many international destinations have clean drinking water access at major tourist sites, so don’t waste your money on disposable water bottles unless you have to.