I’m posting twice in one week because well I haven’t posted anything in a while, my bad. Anyway as the title says my sister turned 40 and here’s what we got up to in Paris, you know touristy things for me and shopping for everyone else. Amongst the touristy antics we got up to; we trekked up and down all 284 stairs of the Arc de Triomphe so I could get my perfect shot of Paris.
Trust I took a break walking up these stairs
My perfect shot of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe(I finally got it. YAY!!!)
I didn’t take many pictures of the crew shopping so instead I will gladly share more happy-clappy- touristy shots.
Arc de Triomphe
Jardins du Château de Versailles AKA Garden of Versailles
Since posting about my Mombasa trip I’ve been getting a bunch of questions from people so I figure I should use this post to address their queries.
Can you fly directly to Mombasa from SA? At the moment no airlines fly directly to Mombasa, I had to connect from Nairobi.
Where did you stay? We stayed at the Behari beach hotel which was quite pleasant and had friendly staff.
What can we do there? Ours was a short trip but here are some of the things you can do while you are there.
1. Also my favourite lay in the sun
2.Go on boat rides and swim in the ocean
3. Go shopping at the markets
4. For the adventurous types windsurfing and kite surfing
5. Go site seeing
6. Or enjoying some cocktails by the water
Would I recommend this trip to other people? YES over and over and over again, Mombasa is beautiful and the people are friendly.
Lets take it back to the beach
What is a holiday at the coast without spending time at the beach. Let me just say Bahari beach is a beautiful and eventful beach. You have everything from vendors selling fabric, paintings and wood carvings, then you have people offering camel rides. Everyone is trying to make a buck I was offered a massage and one dude tried to charge us for a tour of the beach he was like ” There are people selling paintings there, the water is over there…” people are such chancers.
The tide is high in the morning so you see no sand for while so the morning started up here and we worked our way down the stairs to explore some more.
Checking on the tide
Chillin’ like a villian
Tide’s low lets go
Camel rides at the beach
It started to rain on our walk back to the hotel
It started to rain as we walked back to our hotel, and it stopped when we reached the pool so we chilled some more.
I honestly could get used to life at the beach.
Day 2 was a more traditional tourist day and we checked out Fort Jesus, walked through Old Town and saw the Mombasa Tusks.
Fort Jesus is one of Mombasa’s tourist attractions. It was built by the Portuguese in 1593 to protect their sailing route back to Portugal. The Portuguese regarded themselves as representatives of christianity hence the name Fort Jesus. There is a constant stream of people coming in to see Fort Jesus both international tourists and locals (the cover charge is cheaper for Kenyans).
Walking through Old Town the buildings are beautiful but hella neglected, the different textures make for great backdrops though for our selfies and cheesy tourist shots, so we obliged.
Because it was a Sunday the street was not busy I managed to get the shot of the Mombasa Tusks uninterrupted.
Travelling drama aside I had finally made it to Mombasa and I was ready to soak up the sun. The rain and the sunshine kept alternating throughout the course of the days but the warmth stayed constant so no jackets and no long sleeves. Just what the doctor ordered.
The view from our room ❤
Our day started with us exploring our surroundings which on day 1 was the beach where we booked our ride on a glass boat and the shopping centre to get money to pay for boat ride and the likes (I didn’t exchange currency beforehand. You know me “rebel”).
And then the touristy fun began, be warned I get trigger happy with a camera so a photo overload is upon you.
Fish swimming beneath the boat
They are called glass boats because they have glass bottoms so you can see the fish once you sail deep enough (If you saw my insta-stories you heard how excited I was to see these buggers)
In the spirit of trying new things I got in the water with the fish swimming around my legs.
I’ll be the first to say I never understood traveling alone, I don’t even like the idea of going to the movies by myself. So to say I found the thought of going to another country all by my lonesome daunting would be the understatement of the year. When I was toying with the idea of going to Paris I tried to recruit everyone I knew. It soon became evident that the universe had other plans for me.
I said in the beginning of the year that I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and what better way for an introvert such as myself to be thrust out than traveling alone. In all of the excitement that I would be going to my dream destination I kinda forgot how scary this actually was. Landing in Paris on a cloudy and chilly morning was however a quick reminder. As I waited outside the airport for my late shuttle surrounded by chain smokers the voice inside my head was like “WTF Ofentse? What did you do? What were you thinking?” yo I was ready to get back on the plane and go home.
When my shuttle finally arrived I told that voice to shut up and suck it up because we’re here now. I tapped into my inner Shonda Rhimes on some “I can do this I’m badass“. Luckily I had a jolly and rather chatty shuttle driver and then we were joined by some nice and equally chatty old ladies suddenly things didn’t seem so bad. I was like “hey this isn’t so bad I can do this” the next part could’ve been my imagination but I swear the sky cleared and the sun came out and Paris was magic again.
I went exploring, chatting to strangers, asking people for directions and asking them to take my picture. It was quite liberating to do things without overthinking everything. I also realize that I sound like a cliche but it was liberating and a growing experience. I only realized it when I came home and started telling people stories about my trip. I never thought I would ever take a solo trip let alone enjoy one, but I did and I highly recommend it.
Afterwards I had N*E*R*D’s ” She’s badass” playing in my head as a soundtrack because I felt like I could do anything if I managed to navigate my way in a country where I only knew a handful of phrases in their language and still managed to have a good time. Also traveling alone means not having to compromise on anything really; you do what you feel like, when you feel like it. Selfish as that may sound it felt nice not to have to negotiate on what activities to do and when to do them. That alone should be reason enough to want to try it out, that and meeting new people and honing your selfie taking skills.
When I was in varsity this one dude asked me “how are you going to enjoy seeing the world with a camera stuck to your face?” that question always confused me. I love taking pictures everywhere I go, its like freezing a single moment and when you look back at that picture you have that same feeling over again. I’m happiest when I’m traveling and the pictures remind me of those happy moments and I honestly cannot wait to capture more happy moments. So I hope this answers old boy’s question.
Here are a few of my immortalized memories:
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And here’s to many more memories 😉