You must go to Fontainhas, said my friend Albert on the phone. It’s a heritage area where you can still see influence of Portugese architecture. He’s a true blue Goan so I couldn’t possibly not listen to him!
On our last day in Goa, we headed to this old quartier of Panjim beside the Ourem creek. It’s a delightful area with so much colour and beauty that I wanted to spend much more time there. Next time, I hope I can stay somewhere in that area and take some more time to explore it.
It’s quite a change from the whitewashed facades of the buildings in Panjim city, which by the way, also looks extremely cool and chic now. It’s been a while since I’ve visited and the city has since undergone a makeover that now gives it the semblance of a European city : broad tree lined clean roads and whitewashed buildings.
Leaving the broad roads, we enter the narrow alley ways of Fontainhas. Old villas, and crumbling buildings, with walls painted with every colour under the sun : red, yellow, green, blue : dazzling and a sight for sore eyes surely! Signs of Christmas festivities are still in the air.
Here you will get a glimpse of the real Panjim as it existed during the Portugese rule. The people as in most of Goa, are friendly and laid back and at the most will give you a sidewise glance and a smile while you go about your explorations!
If you’re in Goa, take some time off from the beaches and discover this quaint and beautiful quarter of Panjim.