«The Mauritian Sun is very Sociable», said Kamlesh and smiled his beautiful smile while serving us delicious sparkling wine from Nederburg in the Bayview Bar, Le Méridien, where we were enjoying the gorgeous views of the sunset over the Indian Ocean. And Kamlesh is exactly right – the Mauritian sun is very sociable 🙂
Even when it rains on Mauritius, you feel like the sun is there with you. It`s simply in the air and in the people! And it´s not that it cannot rain on Mauritius in February and March, it really can rain, and it does it good, but it does not last long and it feels delicious liberating from the blazing sun that you know will come out to bless you every moment. That´s just how it is!
But so, this was the reasons why we came in the first place; to enjoy the lovely sun, the beautiful green nature, the wonderful beaches, the good food and not to mention the nice people that yes – are also very sociable:-)
To get to Mauritius from Norway, we traveled by Emirates, an airline with ambition to do more than take you from A to Z – the Emirates give you a nice experience, you can relax with plenty of room for your legs, and you can choose from more than 500 movies that makes time go by for sure. The staff is extremely service minded, kind and attentive – and the food is served along with free drinks. It can really be recommended for any destinations.
Mauritius, also called Ilé Maurice in French, is an island located in the Indian Ocean. The beautiful island is a tropical paradise and by this, of course, it attracts tourists from all around the world. The capital of Mauritius is called Port Louis. The port is a nice mix of everything, from luxury to very easy going.
Caudan Waterfront is the main shopping and entertainment centre, and believe me, if you want to go here, go when the sun is sleeping, because it`s hot, hot, hot, to damn hot in the daytime. A visit to the Post Office Museum is also recommended. There you can see the famous ‘Blue Mauritius’ stamp, which is the first stamp issued. It shows Queen Victoria on a blue background – for those who are interested in such things:-).
Some facts; The population of Mauritius was around 1.3 million in 2006. The known history of Mauritius begins with its discovery by Arabs, followed by Europeans and its appearance on maps in the early 16th century. Mauritius was successively colonized by the Dutch, the French and the British, and became independent and a Republic in 1968.
The Mauritian flag has 4 colours, and the island gained the flag during its independence on the 12th of March 1968. Each colour on the flag has a meaning. Red means freedom. Blue is the colour of the Indian Ocean, yellow represents the sunshine and green the agriculture of Mauritius – a perfect description in my opinion.
The total area of Mauritius is around 2000 sq. kilometers with 330 km of coastline mostly surrounded by coral reefs that protects the island from big waves and keep the water warm. But be aware – I don´t like to say so because I always prefer going barefoot, but you should buy something to protect your feet, otherwise you will cut them on the corals, and it does indeed hurt – long!
We stayed at LE MÉRIDIEN ILE MAURICE, a very nice resort with all that you can wish for. The pictures below speak for themselves. The only thing they have to work on, is their booking system. We booked a Nirvana Premium room, but got a Deluxe room and a bit of trouble.
To fix this easily, they simply should have told us the following at arrival; -We got you a very nice room close to the Nirvana section and will make sure that you get all the extras you’ve paid for, which by the way is a free welcome bottle of wine and free daily fruit plate, and also complimentary soft and hot drinks from 11h00 to 18h00 in the entire Nirvana area, not to mention the free daily sunset cocktail. And of course you will get free access to the facilities that you have paid for. And to accommodate that we could not offer the Nirvana room that you have ordered, we offer you a free romantic dinner with wine, on the house – or a free treatment in our lovely spa department.
If they had done this at arrival – everything would have been great and the vacation would have been smoooooth and lovely. But instead, we had to «fight» and spent to many hours waiting and waiting at the reception to get what we had paid for – which we did not get. This is not acceptable! The management of this hotel failed totally!
Having said that – without this, the Le Méridien was a perfect place to stay, looking great with wonderful people and good food. I strongly recommend the buffet at 180, and if you go – please say hello to Kamlesh, Harsh, Mehfoozah, Nadine, Nitish and Andy at the beach that sells boat-trips that we recommend, and Anand who sells jewelry and shells, and of course Khavee at 180, who also liked to be called Ravee, because that means Happy in French:-) You see? We are all happy at Mauritius!
Mauritius is known for its lush, tropical vegetation, sugar cane plantations, dramatic mountains, sugar-white beaches, aquamarine lagoons and exotic mix of Indian, African, British, French and Chinese cultural influence. The Mauritian folk dance is the sega dance. It has many influences from the Indian dance style, where the whole body moves with the music, interestingly however, the feet never leave the ground. The sega dance is also popular on the Seychelles islands and La Reunion.
What to do: The island was created by volcanic activity more than 8 million years ago. The green nature, the mountains, the beaches, the ocean – it`s all simply amazing. Here are some suggestions for things to do:
- There are many scenic waterfalls especially in the south west of the island.
- Admire the ‘Seven Coloured Earths’ in the Chamarel plains
- Go swimming with dolphins in Tamarin Bay
- Cap Malheureux: Explore the fishing village in the north
- Walk with lions or go horseback riding at the beach
- Visit the Hindu temples: Hinduism is the main religion on the island with almost half of the population of Mauritians belonging to this religion
- Visit the food market in the major towns such as Port Louis or Flaqc. Here you will find farmers selling his colourful harvest at a typical market in Mauritius
- Take a catamaran somewhere, like we did, to wonderful ToIle Aux Cerfs – the pictures under is from this funny trip, and here we meet a lot of nice people, like Jaco & Renee fra South Africa!
Mark Twain has been quoted as saying, “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.” And I must agree, but I would also like to add Seychelles that we visited last year, that you can read about here, and of course Norway that you can learn a bit about here.
And by the way, did you know that Mauritius does not maintain a standing army? That is very respectful and I love it. Please read We need to stop war now! And we also learned that in Mauritius people live together in peace and harmony – the island is multicultural and has many religions. The people here are primarily, and first of all people, then comes faith that is respected by anyone regardless of direction. In my opinion, the international community should learn a lot from Mauritius!
At last I have to inform you not to anywhere by car the week they are celebrating Shiva in February/March. My love Hans-Jacob and I simply got stuck a whole day and could not get out of the traffic jam that all the pilgrims created on their way to Ganga Talao, a deep crater lake and Shiva temple in the south west of the island, where they gather to worship, chant, meditate and make offerings of leaves from the sacred Bael (or Bilva) tree. So stay put at the resort – or go exploring by sea:-)
Well, but you know what? You always have to look at the bright side of life, find the positive in the things that happen to you, and in this case with the pilgrims – this means that we have to go back to Mauritius to explore more of this beautiful country with all it´s wonderful people – and next time we will bring the children! They will LOVE it!!
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