Let me take you for a walk. A heritage walk. In the narrow winding streets of Old Goa (Velha Goa). This place- the Latin Quarters (Fontainhas) is one of the most ‘Instagram-able’ places around and it is unique for a variety of reasons. As you walk down the Latin Quarters, remember these narrow cobbled paths and the painted Portuguese heritage houses also hold two distinct chunks of history together. The boundaries of ‘time’ almost blur here for there are two roads — 31st January road (Rua 31 de Janeira) that marks when Portugal got independence from Spain in 1640 and 18th June road that marked the beginning of the end of Portuguese rule in the country and Goa became part of India!
So, let’s just take a walk and observe the heritage houses, grab a bite at small local café and sip tea in verandah restaurant established in one of the heritage houses.. The narrow streets and the overall ambience that will make you feel as if you are walking down streets in quaint towns of Europe. Take your time. There is no hurry.
Just opposite to this mint, is the post office. It is said letters to/ from Antarctica Expeditions come to this post office first before they go elsewhere since Goa is the HQ of National Institute of Oceanography.
This- Latin Quarter- Fontainhas- is the only place in India, probably, where Portuguese is the main spoken language. Like William Dalrymple says “Fontainhas is a small chunk of Portugal washed up on the shores of the Indian Ocean”.
So next time, you visit Goa, take some time to look around as well.