The last few days have been spent in Goa’s capital Panjim. The city is much more heavily influenced with Portuguese architecture than anywhere else we have been to date and the various houses sit proud in their streets, boldly painted, often with plants hung outside or little gardens to the front.
Our accommodation has been a delightful place called the Alfonso Guest House run by a busy old lady called Jeannette. Although costing more than our usual lodgings – at a pricey £16 or RS1600 a night, the rooms are immaculately clean and the linen whiter than anything we have seen so far. All in all, after a few weeks of roughing it in Arambol, this is just the ticket for using as a base to explore the city.
Yesterday we took a stroll across the city to the municipal market. This large indoor market features fruit stands on the ground level and then, a level up – and running around the circumference of the large warehouse, are smaller shops selling electrical and plastic goods as well as clothes and DVDs.
On walking in to this large building we were struck by the huge piles of colourful fruit that spanned the floor. Everywhere we looked; mountains of fruit sat atop tables, so much more than you would ever see at home. In amongst this fruit sat the vendors (also on the tables) hawking their produce at anyone walking past.
What really surprised me was how many of these vendors were asleep though, snuggled up aside a mountain of melons, or dozing in a pile of coconuts. This was only 3pm and entire tables of merchants were cased out on the job!
We left bemused but thoroughly entertained.