Wedged between the Indian Ocean and some impossible looking peaks, Port Louis (pronounced Louie by the locals) is Mauritius’s capital city. The town has about 150,000 residents. The Caudan waterfront, on a peninsula, is where Zuiderdam’s shuttle dropped off passengers. It is a highly developed shopping, dining and entertainment center. Umbrella Square, along with the Blue Penny Museum (dedicated to a rare stamp) are the photographic centers of the district. Spreading out from Caudan the streets become narrow and funky as busy streets end in mountain walls.
Our taxi dropped us off near the Blue Penny Museum and gave us his phone number to call when we were done wandering. I skipped the museum because I didn’t feel up to taking the stairs to the exhibits but we did wander around the district a little and stopped at a waterfront café for a coke. The big find for me was an English Language bookstore where I got some books that entertained me on the long flight home. I was not supposed to sleep more than an hour or so at a time because I needed to keep my legs moving so the books I bought and the movies on the plane got me home. I also got a combination guidebook, history of Mauritius that helped me decide where to go next and to interpret what we had already seen.
Within walking distance of Caudan is what the taxi driver called “the fish place,” an aquarium. The drive there is considerably longer than the walk but by the time he picked us up in Caudan I was ready to sit in an airconditioned car. I enjoyed the aquarium, largely because of the patterns and reflections of the water on the walls and floors. The interpretation was in French so I enjoyed looking at some pretty fish, every once and a while saying, “Hey that is a shark” or “An eel.” We lunch at the outdoor café, in the shade, of the aquarium.
Before driving home, the taxi took us up to the Fort Adelaide Citadel and Marie Reine de la Paix monument for views over the city.
Our clinic was in a Moslem district of the city along a park strip, and while we drove in and out of the city several times I never really figured out the lay of the city, except I knew when we approached our clinic.
We were in the country on their Independence Day (March 12) and there were decorations celebrating 55 years of independence.