Easter 2009. Hubby and I travelled to Seychelles on an absolute whim. This was well before celebrities made it fashionable to honeymoon there.
Our aircraft approached Mahe (the largest island in the Seychelles), in the wee hours of morning. Silhouetted against the pale golden light of dawn, the Seychellois islands began to slowly appear. Our tropical paradise holiday was just minutes away!
At Mahe airport, I was thoroughly amused by the visa stamp on my passport. To my jet-lagged eyes, it looked like a pair of shapely buttocks!
Hubby explained it was the outline of the coco-de-mer nut, a plant endemic to Seychelles. Ingenious! I don’t know about you but it’s the most exotic visa stamp I’ve ever seen.
Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, consisting of over 100 granitic and coralline islands. Situated about 1,500km from mainland Africa, it is endowed with phenomenal natural beauty, from picture-postcard beaches to stunning biodiversity.
We rented a car and headed to Victoria, the capital of Mahe. Along the way, we were greeted by unspoilt beaches and inviting blue-green waters. Such a welcome change from the frantic pace of city life we had just left behind.
We got to the town centre and a familiar sight awaited us. At the heart of Victoria is Lorloz, a much smaller version of the Big Ben. Erected in 1903, this clock tower is a reminder of the British rule in Seychelles and today, a tourist landmark. We walked around admiring the Victorian architecture of the nearby buildings.
At lunch time, we headed to The Pirates Arms. Over glasses of local beer, we chatted about the laidback vibe and rustic beauty of the island. We were smitten!
We spent the rest of the day at the idyllic Beau Vallon beach. The turquoise waters were calm and despite Beau Vallon’s popularity, the beach was relatively empty.
As we lay down in the powder-soft sand, we realized just how tired we were from the flight and jet-lag. We splashed around in the warm waters of Beau Vallon and our exhaustion slowly began to fade away. So therapeutic!
Dusk approached and the sky turned into an incredible mosaic of colors. We watched the sundown spectacle in awe!
This was just a prelude to what the fortnight ahead had in store for us – island hopping, creole cuisine, coco-de-mer, Aldabra giant tortoises….
Curious about the island of Praslin? Head to my post, Of naughty nuts & giant tortoises.
For now, I’ll let a few pictures from Day 1 do the talking.