It was in 2017 when I was in the 10th Std. The first term exams were approaching. Every year my family and I go on an outing. Previously we went to Agra-Delhi-Haridwar-Jammu. A year before that, we visited the Tirupati temple and also traveled to Tamil Nadu. But since it was my 10th std this year, my parents were reluctant of planning a trip. I requested, almost begged because we hadn’t traveled in the summer vacation because of my ongoing classes. Also, the year was too hectic and I needed a break. After a lot of melodrama, my parents agreed.
My cousin’s and my family planned a trip together to Goa. We traveled by air to Goa and returned back by train. We reached Goa within an hour. That would have been the shortest journey so far. Since it was a late-night flight, having reached our hotels, we just slept. The next day after having our breakfast, we traveled to few places nearby. We could see the splendid beauty of nature. ‘Heaven’ as they say, truly, it is! We, then, went to a beach where we could go on a dolphin-watching boat tour. We wore the life jackets, boarded our boat, and maneuvered towards the open sea. After some time, we could literally see dolphins swimming to the surface of the water. Dolphin is one of the most charismatic sea dwellers. They were a feast for eyes. Besides, we could also gaze at Goa’s very old Portuguese jail and the Millioniers palace from our boat. It was a mesmerizing experience.
We then went to Calangute beach. Unlike Mumbai’s beaches, Goan beaches were clean and beautiful, had clear water and the blissful faces of the exuberant people enjoying there made us even more excited. No sooner we reached the beach, than my cousins and I jumped into the water. We also tried water sports. My cousins and I did jet-skiing, while my dad and uncle did parasailing. We, indeed, had an amazing time there. Since no one was willing to move out from the beach, we spent the rest of the day on the beach itself. Then, tired and sleepy, we headed back to our hotel. Another day rises, bringing in more excitement. We now visited the old Goa church- The basilica of Bom Jesus. It is a Roman Catholic-basilica and a UNESCO world heritage site. It is popular as it holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier. It was colossal and a magnificent church, as beautiful and auspicious. Then we went to the Mangesh temple. It is a Shiv temple and the largest in Goa. This temple was built before the Portuguese invasion in the 1500s. Next, we headed towards the Dona Paula jetty. It was a beautiful view there. Open sky, sea-facing, and mild wind. It couldn’t get any better! But this day was quite sunny, and we had a tough time out in the sun.
Our third day was exclusively dedicated to site seeing. We visited various places across Goa and one of them was Aquada fort. The fort was originally constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch. It was a sea fort and we could gaze and enjoy the scenic beauty of nature as well as the sea. We then went shopping at the Panaji market. The market disappointed us though. We had heard a lot about it but it turned out like any other normal market you visit weekly. After the sunset, we went on a Cruise ship. As we got engrossed in watching the spellbinding view, the management, then, delighted us with live performances which included Goan and Konkani dances. The host later called everybody on the dance floor and we enjoyed ourselves a lot- dancing, clicking pictures, singing, etc. This was the end of our amazing trip. Indeed, Goa is a place not for a one-time visit, as your heart would want to visit here again and again!