Friday, 31 January 2014

Travels In Goa Part 1 - Elegantly Wasted



Our trips to India aren't just non-stop bonanzas of beaches, bikinis, booze, bhajis and Bollywood tunes, you know. We love a bit of culture, too.


The South Goan countryside is littered with derelict Portuguese mansions which, due to complex inheritance laws passed back in the days of colonial rule, are often locked up and left to decay once the owner dies.


And in Goa, being the refreshingly laid back place we know and love, nobody bats an eyelash if we brave the snakes, wild pigs and greenery and explore. After prostrating ourselves on the beach to soak up 36° C of sunshine it is one of our favourite things to do.


These balcao seats are seen on houses built in the 18th and 19th centuries and allowed men and women to sit together and be seen from the street.


Introduced by the conquering Portuguese in 1510, Catholicism still remains the second-most popular religion in Goa despite the state becoming independent in 1961.


The old houses are a peculiar blend of Portuguese and Indian architecture. 


Unofficially only Catholic churches were allowed to remain white, residential houses were almost always painted in shockingly bright colours & redecorated annually after the monsoon. Maybe this grand residence was an abandoned convent?


The outdoor floors are often intricate mosaics, made from tiles imported from Europe.


The handcrafted country roof tiles were amazingly well preserved, unlike the beautiful stained glass.


Goan houses are built around wells. Even today the first step before constructing a house is consulting a water diviner who will direct the owners to the ideal spot for a well to be sited. 


We spotted this abandoned advocate's office in the centre of Margao, Goa's second city. The files and legal books remained eerily untouched. 


An ornate cast iron staircase was all that remained in this derelict, roofless building.

 

We can sit and fantasise about how we'd transform a house like this for hours. Ochre walls, oil drum planters, colonial-style cane chairs on the balcony, stained glass lanterns, mosaic tiled steps....a girl can dream.

If you're ever in Goa check out the Houses Of Goa Museum, a wonderful way to while away a few hours lusting over architecture and interior porn.



Talking of dreams, its hard to believe that this was my reality less than 36 hours ago. I'm bastard freezing now. At least I've got some glorious memories will keep me warm.

Krishna print tee shirt (Benaulim street trader, 350 rupees/£3.50), vintage paisley maxi (the glorious Helga), Art Deco suede belt (a hand-me-down), Suedette platforms (local market, £5)

Be warned, there's loads more photos to come (despite busting the camera during the third week). In the meantime I've 849 blog posts in Bloglovin' to catch up on which, with jetlag , is a most welcome distraction.


See you soon!

97 comments:

  1. Ohhh Welcome home i just logged on and there you were :-) Wow i always envy you your trips away and love seeing the photo's on your return. Those houses what a waste they look beautiful no wonder you were day dreaming of how you could restore them i think i would be to. It looks a truly beautiful, restful place to be. And yes its bloody freezing here get used to the rain now your home to its done nothing else since you left. Welcome home again lovely, dee xxx

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  2. oh vix what glorious photos. i love nothing more than wandering through old derelict buildings like this. they are so beautiful. i'm so glad you had a lovely trip and your killer abs made it home safely.

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  3. Looks like an amazing place - love abandoned buildings. Great to see some sunshine too! Hope you are not too cold!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  4. Welcome back! What beautiful photos. How sad that the houses are left to fall apart.

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  5. what lovely pics. I'm bastard freezing too, just got back from Tunisia although it was probably warmer where you where

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  6. Welcome back to soggy Britain, Vix! Hope it's not too much of a shock to the system after endless sunshine, beautiful beaches and fascinating old buildings like the ones you show so superbly in your post!

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  7. Welcome back Vix! I loved the pictures in this post and I hope the jet lag isn't too bad for you! xx

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  9. Welcome home you gorgeous woman ! Cant wait to the rest of your pics.
    xxx

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  10. My honey bunny bronze babe is back! I missed you more than everything combined! I had no idea that there were houses like this just left to rot. It's going to be like all the mansions in CA that no one can afford to buy or maintain and then the skater kids claim the empty pool in the back for a home made skate park.

    This one is a beauty even in its decay and I too could dream on how fun it would be to bring it back to life. Your stuff would look so at home here.

    Please give Jon a big hug from me too. I'm so happy you guys had a wonderful time and I can't wait to chat with you.

    LOVE YOU!!!!!!!XXXXXOOOOO

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  11. Oh those old buildings look fantastic - I'd been in there having a nosey too. The weather here's shite, but you look fabulous. Good to have you back!

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  12. you look amazing , Wow , i would love to get my hands on one of those beautiful houses , you haven't missed much either , charity shops, jumbles, indoor car boots not much good , roll on summer xxx

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  13. Me too....I'm already dreaming of how I would bring one of the mansions to life! Fascinating!

    Well, the armchair travel has been a pleasure, thanks, and I look forward to more installments. The sun is shining in the window, and although cold outside, I can imagine myself on a piece of beach in Goa. Of course I would be dreaming of my next simple, but probably very yummy, Indian meal. Gak! I'm so food driven.

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  14. welcome back my dear!
    lovely pics - looking forward for more beautiful impressions from india! what a tan! <3

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  15. Wwlcome back my lovely. I sooo want to see your photos!
    I hope you had a great time :)

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  16. Oh Vix.....I just love crumbling beautiful buildings. That first photo is such a stunner. As are you! Welcome back. You have been missed. <3

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  17. So glad you're back. Glad you had a fabulous time.

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  18. Welcome back both, you gave been missed, as for photos, bring them on!!

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  20. Oh oh welcome home Vix and Jon.........happy new year to you both.
    That house is amazing........,ah yes many dreams would follow a visit. So so beautiful.
    Looking forward to seeing more of your trip.
    Stay warm sweet.
    Love v
    PS great maxi skirt.

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  21. Welcome back Vix! These are amazing photos! I can't believe such gorgeous buildings are left to rot.
    And look at that amazing bikini bod of yours! Sounds like you and Jon had a wonderful time.
    I know it's frickin' freezing here compared to Goa but so glad you're back!

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  22. Welcome home Vix!
    It's sad to see the graffiti on the house, but at least it's still standing! How romantic they look. I'd love to have a look inside that lawyer's office.
    Can't wait to see hear and see more of your Goan life.

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  23. So very glad you are home, and have had another fabulous holiday. I cannot wait for all the posts you will serve up with stories and photos, it is like being on holiday with you! Welcome back to you and Jon.

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  24. My dearest Vix, how wonderful to have you back with this wonderful post. I have enjoyed every single pic and imagine what Goa is like.
    So glad to have you back.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  25. Hey, good to have you back, Vix
    :-D
    Those derelict mansions are fascinating, I wonder what they look like inside? That painting of a tree around the door is really lovely, I can so see why you and Jon fantasise about doing one up - I just love the one with the veranda, you can imagine it all lit up at night. Looking forward to seeing more photos soon.....and welcome back home! Keep warm (and dry) xxx

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  26. Oooh yes, I wonder what they look like inside too. Fabulous pics. India is so photogenic isn't it? Lovely to have you back. xx

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  27. Welcome home m'darling! Fab to see you and bastard cold and fecking wet it is here too! Beautiful photos, I do love elegant derelicts and faded mansions. Beautiful. Look forward to seeing more of your trip.
    Loves ya.
    xxxxxx

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  28. I loved your pictures of the derelict Goan houses, fabulous - have visited there myself but would never have dared step inside one - will be braver next time! can't wait for more photos - a welcome distraction from worry, stress and real world, I am finding your blog so very refreshing. Betty

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  29. Welcome back so happy to see you again! Time flies!
    Welcome as well to the Polar Vortex, it has been real cold in Montreal but we will have a break but more snow on the way -

    I love to see you photos, looking forward to them -
    These houses are fascinating, the abandoned lawyer office is fascinating a swell -

    Can't wait to see more

    Ariane

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  30. Darling Vix. You're home!!!! We missed you!!! Amazing photos and i look forward to more x

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  31. Welcome home! It's been so wet here that parts of the country are disolving. It's nice to think of 36 degrees and bikinis.
    That building is amazing. I'd be tempted to nick bits and stuff them in my suitcase. xxx

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  32. Huzzah! you're back. I'm looking forward to all the photos to try and block out the rain and the cold.

    I love looking at abandoned houses I also dream of what I would do with them if they were mine but I think that's because I would just like to have my own house!

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  33. lovely to see you back sharing all that colorful pics and sunny memories, you're really cheering.
    I'm so glad you're back, but also I'm sorry you've arrived in the bleak midwinter you hate so much!!
    besos & calor

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  34. Welcome back dear Vicky, it will take you some days...weeks even...to recover from such a beautiful holiday and to get used to these freezing temperatures no doubt.

    I do adore derelict buildings and share your dream of wanting to convert an abandoned property. It's quite sad to see them in such ruin. I have family in Portugal, where my daughter and I used to visit quite often, and there are so many ruins out there that no-one seems to own. Sad indeed.

    I look forward to seeing all your other photographs.

    Good luck reading all those blog posts by the way!

    xx

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  35. Welcome back dear Vix! Wonderful sharing bits of culture. I love mosaics. Beautiful images. xx/M

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  36. Amazing Vix, I'll pop round next week and you can fill me in on your travels and I 'd like to invite you guys out for a curry at The Five Rivers if your up for it :) Such a shame what a waste of beautiful buildings, looks fab Xxx welcome home sweetie xxx

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  37. Nice to see you back. Great photo's.

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  38. Glad you are back x I have a memory of Margao hurtling through on the back of a moped hired from the barman at our hotel, we were on the way to Palolem beach x

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  39. Welcome home Vix! Can't wait to see and hear more of your travels! x

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  40. Ahhh, such a pleasure seeing/ hearing that you're back, Vix! I swear, this is the winter that keeps on going. I've hardly left the house, but it's wonderful to see your Goa pictures. Keep 'em coming.

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  41. Wonderful photos and welcome back! I think that house or convent must have looked stunning in its day. I love the mix of styles. xxx

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  42. Welcome home!! How COOL is that old mansion?? The workmanship is amazing!!!

    I can't wait to revel in your travel photo's whilst freezing my tush off here!!

    LOVE the outfit--how appropriate for just back from Goa??

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  43. Welcome home. I have missed your posts.
    Look forward to the snapshot show.
    JaneX

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  44. You're back! I've missed you! the Goan adventure looks flaming wonderful, I think there is something eerily beautiful and sad about those abandoned buildings, I would have loved a nose round too - great shot of you on the beach! I can't believe it was 36 hours ago, no wonder you are so cold! good luck on the 849 blog catch up and I can't wait to see more pics x x x

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  45. So nice to see your tanned and glowing self - welcome back! You think it's cold over there - be glad you didn't come back to the freezing cold and piles of snow we have ;) I thought of you many times this month, and how wonderful it would be to be on a beach in Goa.

    Those old mansions are so beautiful - I love the architectural details. It would be so cool if you could fix one up to live in. It's such a shame to have such lovely buildings left to fall into disrepair.

    Good luck catching up with your blog reading, and acclimatizing yourself to the weather!

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  46. I love looking at old buildings, and these pictures are so dreamy! I think I would even brave the snakes to go snoop around some of these places.

    Glad you're back, but I hope you can keep the sunshine in your mind!

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  47. oooh we know where you are coming from....... my envy knows no bounds, good to have you home though....happy daze!!x

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  48. Welcome back and hope you had a glorious holiday. I love a wander and poke through old derelict buildings- could fritter away many lazy hours getting dirty and losing myself in the abandoned structures. Your pics let me have a little adventure from my couch, so thank you! Can't wait to see more. XXX

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  49. Looks amazing although the thought of snakes scares the hell out of me when ever I travel outside Europe! That Krishna print top is great.

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  50. Wahey you're back! Looking forward to hearing more about it, don't worry. You are SO knowledgeable about Goa and it's history, although I knew about the Portuguese history and that it is still mainly Catholic. That washboard stomach doesn't look to have suffered after a month of no exercise. 849 blog posts...phew! Good Luck. xxxxxxx

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  52. Hello my darling, how good to have you home and looking so beautiful! So a mere 36 hours ago, you were bikini-clad on a sun-drenched beach... And now? Layered up and watching the rain, endless rain! Still, looking at those beautiful old buildings, the exquisite details, the ruined grandeur, and imagining how they used to look, or how they could be transformed, is a welcome burst of Goan magic, taking us all away from this wet winter. So atmospheric and evocative, lovely photos and elegant descriptions too. Great to have you home; now get to it, those blogs won't read themselves! Looooove ya! xxxx

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  53. Love, love, love your vacation photos!!!

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  54. How utterly enchanting.
    Glad you're home safely.
    Sorry about the bastard weather:(

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  55. So great to see you back ... safe and sound.
    Something about abandoned houses makes me feel sad ... if only walls could talk.
    xx

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  56. Welcome home ... and yes it's cold and very wet ... at least you're not in sodden Somerset!
    What beautifully atmospheric photos. Looks beautiful ... looking forward to seeing more ...
    m xx

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  57. Welcome back!!!! I've been checking for posts from you the last few days, thinking, she must be back soon!

    Going away in January is a GOOD move. you missed lots of horrible weather (yeah it's still horrible though. sorry).

    Can't wait to see more photos!

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  58. Welcome home! So great to share in your fabulous journeys, Vix. And how beautiful you look, all aglow. Xox

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  59. gorgeous pictures!

    btw, a have a cute giveaway on my blog, you can win 100$ to spend on sheinside.com. I would be so happy is you joined HERE

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  60. What an intriguing change of pace and adventure! For being abandoned the derelict mansions in your photos have very interesting designs and look to be still relatively sound architecturally for having been abandoned for however long they were. Do they have executors or caretakers stop by every few years? The dress you wore while exploring is a beauty. Both you in your orangy-red bikini and the beach you were lying on both look fabulous. It looks like it was a wonderful vacation.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  61. Welcome back Vix! Such rich history, I can see why you return each year....sounds like a beautiful place.
    DeniseAngela

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  62. Welcome home Vix! I so enjoyed this post and look forward to all you have to show us about your exotic travels. That first photo is a work of art. So beautiful.

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  63. Sigh, those abandoned mansions are divine!! So is that beach!!

    At least I feel warmer for looking at your gorgeous pics.

    stay warm!!

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  64. Your return is heralded as a sign of spring! Do hope the cats soon forgive your absence and thaw enough to share warm furry welcome-home snuggles with you both. (Do you still have the tortoise?)

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  65. Missed you! Thanks for sharing the photos. I enjoy old buildings but the history behind it is more fascinating! Thank you!!

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  66. Nice to see you back, Vix, all pretty and glowing! Interesting photos of the abandoned mansion. I am always curious to see such places and imagine how life was there once, who lived there and so on.

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  67. What a lovely vacation! I look forward to all the pictures. :D

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  68. Great to see you back Vix! It was exciting to see you posting again. I hope that you had a marvelous little escape. I can't wait to see more pictures!

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  69. I'M SO FECKING THRILLED THAT YOU'RE HOME....even though you're freezing, my love. we're having a shitye Summer down here, so we're not much warmer.
    Gorgeous GORGEOUS pix!!!! Drool. I love to dream my way through interior design possibilities, an din such a gloriarse surrounding, I would be hallucinating joyously!!!
    I for one am gagging for more holiday pix. And MORE YOU!
    Love Helga XXXxxxXXX

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  70. Welcome home my dear! Guess you had an amazing time in Goa. Jealous of your lovely tan!
    Abandoned houses are so fascinating, aren't they?! The one you discovered is really pretty, imagine how beautiful it was in former times!
    Can't wait for more Goa posts and loads of pics!!!!!!!!!!!!
    xx Tani

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  71. Dear Vix, welcome home!!! You look fabulous!!! What a wonderful trip! I love finding old buildings abandoned with the things inside. Too bad you could not get in! Ma favorite was the advocate's office and the door with a big hanging lock on it! Gorgeous buildings -- I love how the grounds are covered with tall grass and trees around them. What fun you must have had exploring!
    Love,
    take care and can't wait to see more pictures of your trip.
    Masha

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  72. How could you abandon us , here we all are wet damp and mouldy , nearest to a tan is a dose of rust ...bit of a culture shock being back then?

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  73. Lovely to have you back, been looking every day for a week then today there you were in your feed. Never did say I loved the pictures in the previous post, those of you caught laughing.

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  74. Really missed your blog but glad you had such a fabulous holiday. Was very touched by the old, unloved houses with such craftsmanship going to waste. Would be so tempted to sneak some tiles and glassware home. Talking of which, welcome back to yours! Also a beautiful home.

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  75. Welcome home! How haunting those abandoned building photos are. If they were in other parts of the world, they'd be full of squatters. But there they remain untouched. There is something so alluring about abandoned spaces. I'm particularly attracted to abandoned theme parks in Japan, or old Olympic sites ....
    Looking forward to seeing more Goa pics. Xo

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  76. Welcome back you gorgeous creature. I like the way you slipped back in, almost unannounced, but lighting up the room with your exoticism and warmth. Just what we all needed. That house is exquisite and your ideas for revamping it are lovely. Wouldn't that be incredible. I love that cast iron staircase and those stone seats. I could pore over your holiday shots for hours. When are you going back?!! Xxxx

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  77. lovely to have you back, I've missed reading your blog it's a great way to get over a dull days work and at this time of year your photo's are just what I need to inject some warmth into this miserable month.

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  78. Great to have you back!

    It is so sad that those houses are left to decay. Lovely romantic photos.

    Look at you all hot and sexy on the beach. So jealous!

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  79. What a beautiful hidden history to Goa, it's amazing to see such a different culture, and a glimpse of your paradise. You are incredible Vix - never stop inspiring me xxx

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  80. wow! India is such an inspiring place. these shots! i loved this post so much! it´s such an interesting culture. missed you, doll! xoxo

    http://bohemiansbanquet.blogspot.com/

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  81. Welcome Home! These shots are gorgeous what a beautiful house - it would be amazing restored to its former glory but I'm also a fan of the dilapidated look xxx

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  82. Welcome home Vix! I cant wait to see the rest of the photos! The building so so amazing. all the little details, especially the stained glass and painted vine on the wall. I love to see how nature has started to reclaim the property. Its a shame it cant have a chance to be restored though!

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  83. Love the pics of the Portuguese-influenced architecture. Especially the roof and tiles!

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  84. It's so poignant to see those kinds of houses, once beautifully maintained but crumbling now, ephemeral and transient. I'm blown away by your pictures, and I'm glad you captured these moments.

    Glad to have you back, too!! You provide a touchstone of humor and glamor in this crazy world. :-) Love you!!!!!

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  85. Welcome home Vix !
    You look so lovely on the porch of mansions ~ sometimes dreams come true you know .
    And look at you there on the beach ~ amazing bod !
    Thanks so much for sharing your vakay pics with us ~ look forward to seeing many more !!
    Willow

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  86. YAH!! You're home! Missed your posts :) These photos are so beautiful, there is something so amazing about abandoned old homes. That lawyers/advocates office is pretty incredible too. I can't wait to see more photos of your adventures in India.

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  87. It looks like you had an amazing time in Goa as usual. Those buildings are beautiful but it's sad that they just sit there and decay because of archaic laws. I can't wait to see more photos of your adventures.

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  88. Oh these houses are amazing - I would love to steal those doors! I love the first pic of you wandering on the verandah. How heartbreaking that they sit empty and derelict.

    So glad you have had such a wonderful trip. I can't wait to see the rest of the pics.

    Love, Sarah xxxx

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  89. Can't wait to see what you've been up to. Welcome back
    Twiggy

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  90. your outfit at the end is gorgeous! it is my dream to go to goa just with my best friend before i turn 25. it's not possible before i get a job and fund for the trip. my parents think it is unsafe for 2 girls to go there alone.

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  91. Glad you're back safe and sound! I'm SO ready for more photos!

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  92. I'm glad you're back safe and sound. I am SO ready to see more photos!

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  93. Welcome back, I love these blog posts when you return from your Indian jaunts, I almost feel I'm there!

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  94. welcome back! you're already back to blogland for a week now ... where have i been?!
    thanks for the amazing collection of pictures from south of india.
    looked like you had a great time thee again ....

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  95. You have a little Krishna smile yourself! Amazing post ... thanks for letting us tag along.
    Time-travely, this place. Isn't it? You could write a novel about this house.

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  96. cool blog , enjoyed this . thanks rob [tharobster]

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  97. Another place I could happily lose a couple of hours in, it's lovely in it's derelict state but imagine how it looked in all it's glory!

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Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx