March 27, 2012 – Marmagao, India
Goa, India is our second stop in this country. Goa is much larger and busier than Mangalore and is much more of a tourist center. Today there were eight of us who decided to tour together, and after failing to find a van, we engaged two cars and drivers for the day, which was to be a short one since we sail at 2:30 today. The city of Goa is about a 45 minute drive from the pier, with not much to see enroute. Goa was a Portuguese possession until 1961, when it was handed over to India; some 13 years after the British handed over India itself.
One item of interest, at least to me along the ride was the “break up yards”. In reading about ships, I had always noticed that the final resting place of old ships, other than the bottom of the sea, was the break up yards, which I knew to be in India, but I didn’t know where. The old ships are towed in near shore at high tide and are propped up (I have no idea how) and then crews of workers cut them up for scrap iron which is hauled off to steel mills, primarily in China.
So far, in India, it is 90% churches and temples, as far as things to see or visit. They are interesting and some are quite beautiful, but they tend to run together after a while.
Basilica Bom Jesus (Good Jesus in Portuguese)
Interior of the Church of St Francis of Assisi – Built in 1661 by the Portuguese
Off to do some shopping, naturally, and at the entrance to one of the shops, we saw this breadfruit tree. Interesting, since breadfruit first entered our trip on the Island of Tahiti, where it grew naturally, and here it is in India, probably introduced by the Portuguese. Also, note the quality of the dress of the private security guy at the shop. They dress their mall cops better than we do!
We drove through the older section of Goa and the Portuguese influence on the architecture was apparent. I am not sure the date of the buildings, since the Portuguese were here for a very long time (1500 to 1961?).
I finally got a picture of one of the famous sacred cows of India. We have seen several, but I haven’t been quick enough to get a picture, until now. They are very common, mostly one at a time, not in herds, and sometimes they have a halter on them, with someone leading them – I don’t know what that is all about.
Before heading back we stopped for some pictures of this Hindu Temple in Goa. The domed structures in the area nearby must be remnants of some type of fortification or lookout posts.
After a short day touring, we headed back to our home away from home.
From the deck, I spotted this ship tied up nearby.
As we pulled out I was able to read the writing on the side. It was a large horseshoe and underneath it said “The Horseshoe”. Unless I am mistaken, this is the old Horseshoe Casino Gambling Boat from Shreveport. I wonder how it got here and whether it is headed for the break up yards or is being refurbished. Since I saw some advertising for Casinos in Goa, I will bet it is being fixed up. Strange to see it here – since I have been on that boat several times.
On to Mumbai!