Agonda Church in Goa

Goa and its colonial heritage

Patnem Beach is considered as the alternative to the famous Palolem beach in Goa, as it is said to be less touristy. When I put my foot into the white sandy beach for the first time, this statement can not be confirmed. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants with sunshades made of palm fronds.

The white, palm-fringed beaches in Goa are the places of longing, where dropouts and hippies from all over the world retired years ago. For the last 10-15 years Goa has been the secret tip for party seekers from all over the world. Meanwhile, however, the package tourism has arrived – particularly popular is the region with Russians. The popular beach huts overlooking the sea are complemented by expensive resorts and hotel chains and parties are no longer tolerated on the beach anyway. From 10 clock is night’s sleep! Yes, in India, this is actually true in this place . Therefor so-called silent parties have formed, where clubbers can dance with headphones and 3 different channels to their preferred music.

The Portuguese, who had to give up Goa (now known as Old Goa or Velha Goa) for diseases such as malaria and cholera, shape the landscape. Velha Goa is characterized by churches and Baroque architecture and is therefore also known as the Rome of the Orient. Unfortunately it is not much left of the original town besides the churches. The Basílica do Bom Jesus houses the remains of Saint Francis Xavier (7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552) and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Xavier is considered a pioneer of Catholic missionary work.

My accommodation on Patnem Beach called Om Shanti is next to the Kranti Yoga Center. Here I met my former flatmate Anna, who has trained as a yoga teacher for a month. The world can be so small. From Goa we traveld together for a brief time.

Goa does not feel like I imagined India. All the churches, Portuguese fortifications and beaches rob one of the feeling of being on a culturally foreign continent. What made the difference for me in the end, were the adventurous moped tours. The traffic is chaotic by German standards, wild and dangerous – but you can handle it. There were occasionally dangerous situations with daring driving maneuvers, but in the end I had no scratches at the end of our excursions. So I was well prepared for rides in other Asian countries that are chaotic but follow their own rhythm.