Mombasa is the 2nd largest city in Kenya, and its major port (and I do mean MAJOR). We had two days in port--on the first day, we took a tour of the city, and on the second day, we took a shuttle back into town and wandered around. As with the previous two ports, it was nice and hot.
|A welcome at the cruise port|
|Some lower class housing on the way into town|
We had expected there to be all sorts of Obama posters and souvenirs in Mombasa, but the poster below was the only one we saw in our two days there.
The major form of transportation in Mombasa appeared to be brightly decorated vans and "tuk-tuks", (3-wheeled covered scooters).
We made a brief stop at a Hindu temple, where we learned about the dangers of consuming alcohol.
A lot of the transportation vans had some unexplainable decor.
|A map of Africa in a park|
Next we went to Moi Avenue, the main street in Mombasa, and saw the city's most famous site--huge aluminum elephant tusks, erected for Princess Margaret's visit in 1956.
|Along Moi Avenue|
Our next stop was the entrance of Mombasa's "old town", which consisted of a lot of decrepit buildings dating from the 1900's. As we got of the bus, there was a soldier taking pictures of us, so I returned the favor. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I wasn't arrested.
|In Old Town|
|This was the only part of the fort that has been completely restored|
|Some school kids visiting the fort|
|A souvenir shop next to the fort|
|No racist stereotypes here....|
From the fort, we headed back to the ship, passing through some of the nicer areas, where the expatriates lived.
|A baobab tree|
|I don't think "integrated" means the same think in Kenya and the U.S.|
|Drinks (free) in the lobby bar before dinner|
|Inside La Dame|
|Dinner about to be served|
|A satisfied customer|
Day 15: Mombassa, Kenya (again)
On our second day in Mombasa, rather than booking a tour, we decided to take the ship's shuttle back into town, mostly so I could stop at a bank to get some Kenyan currency and coins for my collection.
|Back in central Mombasa|
|On the news stand|
When we arrived at the shuttle stop, we were immediately accosted by several local citizens who wanted to be our guides for a walking tour. We said we didn't need a guide, and started walking down the street. All of the would-be guides peeled off, except for one guy who followed us literally a half a mile, despite my continually telling him that we didn't want a guide.
|On Moi Avenue|
|Some government buildings|
|Another baobab tree|
|The guide is still with us|
Eventually, after almost a mile, we wound up at the entrance to Fort Jesus, the guide still with us. We told him that we wanted to take a tuk-tuk back to the shuttle bus, and he said the driver would charge us $20 (way too much), but he could get us a ride for $10 (still too much). He flagged down a tuk-tuk, and we thought we were free of him, but he then climbed in the back seat with us!
|In the tuk-tuk|
|Approaching the tusks|
Eventually, we arrived back at the shuttle stop, and we managed to get rid of our "guide" for $20. Well, at least it was an experience.
|More of Mombasa on the way back to the ship|
|Finally made it to the dock|
|On our balcony|
Tonight, we ate at another one of the ship's specialty restaurants--at night the convert the tables by the pool into tableside grills, where you can cook your own food on a (very) hot stone.
|View from the restaurant|
|Awaiting our stones|
We ended the evening with some star gazing.
Nothing happened. We were not attacked by pirates.
Day 17: Mahe, Seychelles
Our cruise ended when we disembarked at Victoria, Mahe in the Seychelles. (Seychelles is the country, Mahe is the island, and Victoria is the capital city).
|Departing the ship|
Our flight home was not until 11:50 PM, so we took a tour of Mahe that ended up at a hotel where we spent the rest of the day until we left for the airport at about 8:00 PM.
The Seychelles are relatively prosperous compared to the other stops on our itinerary and Victoria (population about 19,000) is a very pleasant town.
|A square in Victoria|
The first stop on our tour was the Botanical Gardens.
|Climate change exists in the Seychelles|
|Large (about 4 inches long) escargot|
|Giant tortoises at the garden|
|Breadfruit, I think|
The "national emblem" of the Seychelles appears to be the coco de mer, a type of coconut which unfortunately, looks like a human butt. It turned out to be very difficult to find a souvenir of Seychelles that was not a coco de mer.
|Coce de mer|
After leaving the gardens, we took a walking tour of central Victoria. Victoria is one of the most racially diverse cities I have visited. It turns out that 89% of the population is Creole, a mixture of African, Asian, and European.
|The center of town|
|The Victoria Clock Tower|
|St. Paul's (Anglican) Cathedral|
|A local shopping street|
|The local market|
|At the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke market|
|Not for sale|
|Back on the street|
|Immaculate Conception Cathedral|
|Inside the cathedral|
|Former priests residence, now a hotel|
From Victoria, we drover over the mountains to the other side of Mahe, and got some nice views.
|Central Victoria from above|
|Our ship is at the center left|
|A house in the countryside|
|A deserted beach on the west coast|
|A school on the west coast|
|The first line is in Creole|
|Eventually we arrived at the hotel (Avani Barborons Resort)|
|Tourist on the beach|
|At the pool|
|Overhead view from the pool|
|View from the hotel bar|
|The beach at sunset|
|The pool after dark|
At about 8:00 PM we headed to the airport. where we had to wait about an hour and a half to check in because the computer system was down. We then went to get dinner at the airport Burger King (the only real option), and enjoyed two double cheeseburgers and one coke for $29.95.
We flew from the Seychelles to Dubai and from Dubai to JFK on Emirates Airlines. The flight from Dubai to JFK was an an Airbus A380, which is a *huge* double-decker. If you ever have the choice between Air France and Emirates, go with Emirates. The only downside of the flight is that we were on the lower deck next to the wing, which arched up, so fro Dubai to New York, the only thing I could see out of the window was the wing.
|That's Dubai in the far background|
And thus concludes our African journey!