Although this is a bit late but I’d like to start this post by wishing you all a very Happy New Year and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families and friends. As promised from my previous post, I will talk about my visit to Port Louis; the Island’s largest city but also the Capital. Port Louis is home to some of the Island’s most historical museums containing precious memories ranging from the early 1600’s Dodo bird to the world’s rarest stamps. If there is one thing that you need to know about Port-Louis is that no matter what season it is, be it Winter or Summer, you’ll always find that the city will hold the highest temperature in the Island. Hence, I can definitely give you all an early advise,always have your sun cream and sun hat on you or else you shall be roasting under the scorching sun! I did the mistake of not checking the temperature before we left, naively thinking since it is Winter here, it might be a bit chilly- oh how wrong I was! I wore a long sleeve sweatshirt and black jeans hence you can imagine how baking hot it was for me, especially after walking all around Port- Louis. The mountainous view is something I found peculiar in Mauritius, especially now living in London where the view is mainly open air aside from some skyscrapers. Anyway, since we visited a couple of place in Port Louis, I decided to break it down starting with…
Le Caudan Waterfront
The Caudan Waterfront has plenty to offer from boutiques to restaurants and casinos to cinemas. Otherwise, the marina itself is a wonderful sight to look out for. The market (known as Bazaar in Creole) which is literally opposite Caudan, sells everything you could possibly have in mind, from vegetables and fruits to clothes and kitchen utensils. During the day you’ll find the market buzzing however as soon as dusk hits, everyone starts to clear out. This doesn’t mean the fun is over as Caudan Waterfront is open till late and you still have the chance to indulge yourself in the fun things for your night time entertainment.
Mauritius Natural History Museum
Did you know that this is the oldest Museum in Mauritius? Well, it is has been around since the 1800s and is split in 5 parts; The World of the Dodo, Meteorology, Insects, Fauna Gallery, Marine Life Gallery and Giant Tortoise Gallery. My favourite section was the Marine Life Gallery (I have a love for the ocean and its species) and The World of the Dodo (I felt a bit patriotic knowing that The Dodo originated from my little island hence I was very interested in its history!).
I thought this museum was very informative in terms of its species and I definitely learnt things I didn’t originally know. There is also The Blue Penny Museum which is more modern. You can discover the art and culture of Mauritius if you’d like to learn more of the island’s earlier history to the world’s rarest stamps. Unfortunately we were tight on time and didn’t get the chance to visit The Blue Penny Museum but I hope you do visit because I’ve heard it’s wonderful! The Blue Penny Museum is definitely on my ‘To-Do List’ when I next visit!
Sable Noir Public Beach
This is the closest beach to Port-Louis, it is only a 10 minute drive from Caudan Waterfront. This isn’t a well known beach by tourists but I’d certainly recommend it because it’s the only Black Sand Beach in Mauritius! When we arrived there, least to say I was surprised by what laid in front of me…
This is the type of beach you can go for a picnic as picnic benches are provided on the greenery, whilst you enjoy the view. Though I would definitely not recommend a swim unless you want to get muddy and dirty! I still remember, I was curious what the water was like hence I decided to dip my feet in it. When I withdrew my feet, it was covered in little black sands… let’s say it took a while to take it all off before I got into the car!
Chapel and Shrine of Marie Reine De La Paix This is a stunning place to go and pray. Not only is it peaceful, away from all the hustle and bustle of the city but you’re also at a height where it’s not polluted despite still being in the city! The most amazing part of Mauritius is the mixture of diversity and culture. Being a Hindu myself, from a young age I’ve never felt restricted in my religion instead I was encouraged to learn about other religions and share their festivities; be it with neighbours or classmates. Similarly, for us it was a pleasure to be able to go there and pray. As I mentioned earlier, as this shrine is located on a peak, you can literally observe the city from above. Port-Louis Harbour can also be seen in the horizon. It is such a spectacular sight. This chapel is also known for its landscape greenery. Try it and let me know!
- Alooda- This is a cold, milky drink that has tapioca/ basil seeds (exactly like Bubble Tea), a little bit of ice cream in it and flavoured with syrup; vanilla, strawberry, rose or almond. I personally loved the vanilla one! I bought it in Port-Louis’s Central Market at a stall called Pillay’s Wonder- which is the place to buy it! When you order it, you only have to wait for a bit until it’s served in a glass with a straw. If you find yourself liking it more than originally planned to (just like I did), you can always buy one of their ready-made alooda in a bottle. This is the perfect beverage to buy when the weather starts getting hot and humid.
- Fried Snacks (Gajacks)- You’ll find stalls or at the back of a motorbike that sells fried snacks everywhere in Mauritius (at the beach, on the street or near markets) which pretty much signifies its popularity. I’d like to mention gateaux piment first (which literally translates to spicy cakes), I love to eat this wrapped in a baguette with chilli sauce over it- YUM! Next up is battered and fried aubergine and potato and samosas filled with vegetable curry.
- Confi- Tropical Fruits infused with spices… You must have realised that chilli is accompanied by literally any food by now, hence why not fruits?! I’ve got to admit, this is my favourite and I definitely bought it a couple of times. It is usually pickled unripe fruit, such as mango, pineapple, star fruit, cucumber and olives. Chunks of green mango are soaked in vinegar and sold in packets with powdered red chilli and salt- you don’t realise how mouth-watering it is until you’ve tried it!
- Mine Frite (Fried Noodles)- You’ll find these delicious authentic fried noodles by stalls. It is once again served with chilli sauce over it as that’s what makes it more appetizing! If you find it too hot, you’ can buy black mousse which is meant to cool it down.
For now, that’s all but for my next update I’ll be talking about Casela and Île aux Cerf. Thank you for visiting my blog again!
Till next time,