Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
Trip End Apr 29, 2010

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Flag of India  , Goa,
Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 13th 2010

Marmagoa, India

We sailed overnight from Mumbai to Marmagoa (Mormugao) in the State of Goa and arrived about 7am. Actually, we docked about a mile from the city of Vasco de Gama.

There was not much to see in Vasco besides the ruins of a fort and one church so we took a taxi to the town of Old Goa, about 45 minutes away.  We passed fields of Water Buffalo and Cattle, and the shoulders of the narrow roads were covered with trash. The people seem to keep their homes and roadside businesses clean, but all their trash ends up in the streets and highways – so what's new!

The taxi driver seemed to be on a mission to get us there as fast as possible, even though I told him I wanted to stop to take pictures along the way.  Anyway, we passed many old Portuguese homes and mansions - some were still beautiful, but many were in need of renovations.  The Portuguese colonized part of the State of Goa in the Sixteenth Century, and their maritime operations were based out of Old Goa Town. Between 1624 and 1643, the Sultans of Bijapur and the Dutch tried to capture Mormugoa, but the Portuguese eventually drove them out and built a more modern port and a railway linking Goa to British India.

We visited Goa’s most important shrine, the Basilica of Bom Jesus which houses the tomb of the state’s patron saint, St Francis Xavier. His silver coffin is on top of a tall monument in one of the side chapels of the Basilica.  The tomb was presented by a Grand Duke of Tuscany who was also one of the last reigning members of the powerful Medici Family of Italy.  Next to the Basilica is a Jesuit Convent used by missionaries in days gone by.  Across the highway is situated the Archaeological Museum.  Since we had a short day in Goa, we did not visit the inside of the museum.

We travelled on to the capital of the State of Goa, Panjim City.  But, really, there wasn’t much there – just small local shops and a few souvenir-type stores. 

Mostly, Goa is renowned for its beaches – there are about 28 beaches – presently, they are actively pursuing tourists.  After lunch, we travelled to the beach closest to the port, Bagmalo Beach.  There was a range of shops, restaurants and hotels.  The beach was scattered with colorful fishing boats, bathers, tents, refreshment booths, sail boats and a few sports facilities – probably not one of the resort style beaches.  From the beach, we traveled back to the ship and sailed out at 5 pm.
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