Since Monsieur S. is miles away, I decided why not take my mom for a nice Valentine's day treat. We have a new Honda active bike and it's super zippy for the Goan roads. We rode all the way to Panjim, had a lovely Goan lunch at Anoshka's. So a typical Goan lunch includes the staple rice, curry and friend fish. I ordered a beef dish to taste as well. After lunch, we rode across the Mandovi bridge towards the little town of Reis Magos to visit the Reis Magos Fort.
This was my first time ever visiting the Reis Magos Fort. It has recently been renovated with the gracious help of The Helen Hamlyn Trust. It's a shame that our Indian multi-millionaires couldn't care less for art and architecture. The Reis Magos fort is Goa's oldest fort. It was built between 1551-1554 by the Portuguese rulers. My mother last saw the fort in ruins and she was moved to see the new shining monument. I would recommend Goans and tourists to visit the place, not only for its history but also for the breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea.
The fort is also a museum and there is a permanent Mario Miranda exhibition in some halls. Moreover there are lecture halls that you can rent out for lectures, book releases etc. You can also rent the place for your wedding (which I frankly think will be the photo op of the century!)
It's essential to spend some time around the monument to get a sense of the ocean and it's importance to Reis Magos. It's a shame that so many hotels and private colonies/clubs have cropped up around this fishing town and the waters are slowly being polluted. I wouldn't recommend the area for swimming, just walks on the beach here.
In the evenings, you'll see fishermen, pulling their little boats to shore. Sometimes you find the odd trawler coming in with a catch. You can get a good bargain for a few kilos of fresh fish :)
The star of the village is of course the Reis Magos church. Built shortly after the completion of the fort, the church really comes to it full glory in the beginning of January. Every 6th of January, the town celebrates the Feast of the Three Kings. I sincerely wish they would keep the place open during the year for worshippers and admirers alike to get a gist of the interiors. According the the Goa Tourism website, the church holds the tombstones of two former Goan viceroys. One of them being Dom Luis de Ataide, known for his legendary defense skills. You can read more here in Portuguese if this character interests you.
The final sunset/dusk light on the way back from a tiring but eventful day.