Carnival euphoria in Goa

February is a carnival time in Goa, as I have mentioned a few times over the years. The Goa Carnival parade can be seen in Goa on four different days in four different cities, which most often are Mapusa in North Goa, Panjim and Vasco in Central Goa and Margao in South Goa.

I blogged about the Viva Carnival -event for the first time in 2006 with authentic Nokia mobile pictures and you can still see those carnival pictures here.

As I recall, the same year 2006 I had also filmed a huge carnival parade in Panjim with a film camera, but because of some misfortune with my travels I lost all those stunning carnival images with the camera film roll.

Carnival parade and audience in Margao, Goa, India, 2013
Carnival parade and audience in Margao, Goa, India, 2013

In 2013 I again posted fresh carnival pictures from Goa and now, seven years later, it’s finally time for the video. You can watch the full 20 minute carnival video here!

The video shows how local children, young people and adults have gathered along the streets in Margao to watch the carnival parade including traditional fishermen and farmers from Goa with their respective outfits and also Goan folk dancers. In addition one can see for example young people demonstrating on behalf of local farmers, tiger protesting on behalf of Goa’s nature, local sex education, men dressed as oriental women, Smurfs, Indian and European cartoon characters and young girls and boys dancing with each other.

From this video I made you will get a little glance of what the carnival in Goa, India, looked like in February 2013:

Check out also my updated work INDIVUE – Trip to Goa!

Restless hotel experience in Amsterdam

Long time back when I visited Amsterdam, around in the middle of the previous decade, I chose myself a hotel from the center of Amsterdam, as close to the known attractions as possible.

I ended up booking my hotel room from The Albus Design Boutique hotel by the Vijzelstraat street, and the first impression outside the hotel and lobby was quite good.

Lobby of the Albus hotel in Amsterdam

But when I got into my hotel room, it was a room on the lowest, second floor, and there was a noisy street right outside my room window. Foam earplugs provided by the hotel were waiting for me by the bedside table.

While the view of the lively Amsterdam street was undoubtedly interesting, it did not compensate for the hotel’s thin window glasses, which did not keep the noise at night.

View from the second floor hotel room window in the Albus hotel
View from the hotel room window

During the weekend, the buzzing and partying people mumbled loudly on the street, and the noise continued almost till the morning. On top of that, some kind of a taxi station had been invented just under the hotel room window and there sure were enough customers there.

I did not eat breakfast nor other meals in the hotel restaurant, as there were several interesting places within walking distance, such as an Indian restaurant I wrote about earlier. In addition, there were plenty of lovely cafés in Amsterdam that served fresh and healthy food and had morning sun on their terraces.

The Albus Hotel seems to be receiving lots of four and five star reviews, but I think those reviewers have slept on the top floor of the hotel. My experience in that hotel was very restless even though the room was in good condition. Fortunately I didn’t have to spend many nights there, even though I otherwise like Amsterdam.

The Albus hotel in Amsterdam
The Albus hotel in Amsterdam

Find your own hotel in Amsterdam

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Read also other genuine hotel experiences around the world and see Amsterdam in one minute!

You can find this article about the hotel in Amsterdam also in Finnish with more photographs here.

Good Indian restaurants in Prague

Last summer in Prague I tested how Indian paneer cheese bends in Czech and tried four different Indian restaurants, even though the first one made me hesitate. However, vegetarian food was so rare over there that the Indian restaurants brought considerable relief. Here are 3 good Indian restaurants I found from Prague.

Golden Tikka

Golden Tikka restaurant in Prague
Golden Tikka restaurant in Prague

The Golden Tikka restaurant was located in a modest-looking residential area in Prague and one had to pass quite a few beer terraces on the way there. The entrance to the restaurant was quite unobtrusive and easily lost.

Golden Tikka was decorated in a modest and neat manner that fits the suburban area, and a few paintings delighted the customer on the orangish yellow walls.

The menu of the restaurant, in turn, delighted the customer with a rare restaurant option, chapati, which is a healthier alternative to naan bread.

Mangolassi was not found in the menu, so ordinary lassi, with a bit of salt, was there to extinguish the spices.

At the Golden Tikka restaurant I got to see for the first time papad breads rolled-up. Those were served as starters. However, the curvy look of the papad did not matter and the taste was ok.

Butter chicken, Golden Tikka restaurant, Prague
Butter chicken, Golden Tikka restaurant, Prague
Shahi Paneer in Prague
Shahi Paneer

The chicken and vegetable dishes at the Golden Tikka restaurant were excellent and well-seasoned. As a bonus one was able to enjoy them with the roti breads, as if one was eating at home, and because of this I did go to eat to this restaurant even for the second time during my trip to Prague. Having this kind of restaurant right around the corner one can consider herself really fortunate.

**** ½ star for food in Golden Tikka restaurant, *** for decoration

Indian Jewel

Another Indian restaurant I visited in Prague was called Indian Jewel. The moment I saw the almost full outdoor terrace of the restaurant, I thought I’m going to get some good food, and I wasn’t wrong.

Interior design of the restaurant Indian Jewel
Interior design of the restaurant Indian Jewel

The restaurant’s orange painted walls displayed Indian wood carvings, average quality paintings, and colorful sunshades and sheets familiar from Indian markets.

Kadhai Paneer, in the Indian restaurant Indian Jewel
Kadhai Paneer
Kadhai paneer and naan bread
Kadhai paneer and naan bread
Restaurant Indian Jewel outdoor terrace, Prague
Restaurant Indian Jewel outdoor terrace, Prague

Water and mangolassi were served in copper cups, which was new to me, and kadhai chicken and kadhai paneer were also served in similar beautiful copper dishes.

The food in the restaurant was routine tasty and filling with naan bread and rice, and to have the meal inside a quiet restaurant, when almost all other restaurant guests were sitting outside in the summer evening, was nice.

*** ½ star for Indian Jewel restaurant food and *** for decoration

Bombay Express

A surprise in the Indian restaurant world in Prague was the Bombay Express fast food restaurant, which I found in a mall next to the famous sight of Franz Kafka statue.

The Bombay Express’s Paneer wrap was a refreshing novelty for me. In simple terms, it was a rolled naan bread containing paneer cheese together with spicy sauce. It was sinfully good, almost addictive and embarrassingly easy to carry away. And yes, I did enjoy their paneer wraps on more than one occasion during my trip to Prague. The nearby moving Kafka sculpture became quite familiar to me. But more about that later.

Bombay Express Indian fast food restaurant in a Czech mall
Bombay Express Indian fast food restaurant in a Czech mall

The Bombay Express restaurant also served other take-away portions, such as Samosa with chole, which included small chunks of chickpeas, tomato onion salad and spicy sauces.

Paneer wrap was not aesthetically much, but so convenient to eat without hands getting dirty. I really hope that the delicious Paneer wrap finds its way to Finland and Helsinki, as it offers a perfect match for them Mc Donald’s and Hesburger hamburgers.

***** stars for Bombay Express restaurant food, ** for interior design

This is how Indian food in Prague and the Czech Republic was. Read more about Indian restaurants around the world in the INDIVUE blogs and find authentic experiences with guiding photos.

Read also INDIVUE – Trip to Europe and find this article with more photos in Finnish!