I am used to the sight of billboards along the highways that advertise a range of products. In Mauritius, however, there are no highways as are seen in large countries. Instead billboards are placed in most unusual settings. On top of walls that separate neighbouring houses:
In the space between the road and a house:
On the side of 3 storey buildings:
On the roof of a home:
Or the roof of an abandoned building:
On the roof of a store:
And, of course, at the entrance into the city:
The small island of Mauritius has made efficient use of its space in order to advertise its products. As a visitor, I found it interesting and innovative.
Have you seen innovative ways of placing billboards?
The colours in Mauritius seem to be brighter and richer – and this is certainly the case when it comes to the fruit that has been ripened by the warm sun. We were spending the day in Port Louis when we came across this hawker selling a brightly coloured fruit that instantly attracted my eye.
“That looks delicious,” I told my husband. I had to stop and look closer.
The vendor was very gracious as he allowed us to snap pictures of his wares.
After taking the pictures, my husband searched in his pockets for some rupees so that we could taste the richly-coloured fruit.
I did not take any of the sugar the vendor offered to sprinkle on top of the fruit. Instead I savoured the tangy taste of sun-ripened fruit. Eating the fruit on the side of the road was definitely a treat.
Are you tempted to buy fruit from sidewalk vendors?
During our trip to Mauritius, my husband took many opportunities to eat a favourite meal of his childhood: Dahl Pourri. On my first trip with him to this tropical island, he had converted me to this delicious treat so I was willing to eat this meal whenever we could. The roti-like food has dahl within it, and has been rolled until it is fine. You eat “une paire” with a yummy vegetarian curry within it.
We have tried to recreate this food at home but have not been successful. Making them is definitely an art that requires plenty of practice. I know that the next time we go to Mauritius, we are sure to go buy many of these and eat our fill.
The windows we have looking out onto the world can be made to look interesting: the fabric we choose to surround them with can be rich and colourful; flowers can be placed near them to enhance the look; sofas can be placed near them to encourage one to look out and daydream.
The type of window I do admire the most, though, is the stained glass window made in years gone by. The aim of the window is not to encourage one to look out; instead it encourages one to reflect on the scene being presented. In the big cathedrals, many stories are told by the artist within the glass. When we visited some of the churches in Mauritius, I was surprised to see that even some of the smaller churches have these colourful windows. At the one church in particular, I admired the windows that surround the Virgin Mary.
The light shining through the glass enhanced the spirituality the artist had focused on.
Do you enjoy looking at stained glass windows in churches?
The best form of escape from the day to day routine of our lives is to escape to a tropical island for a couple of weeks. I do not need the excitement of bungee jumping, or the adventures of painting the town red. What I enjoy escaping to is the beauty and calmness one can get from soaking up the atmosphere of a tropical beach.
Relaxing in the warm air and listening to the sound of the surf is one of my favourite ways to escape to relaxation. I close my eyes and my soul absorbs the tranquillity of nature.
On our trip to Mauritius, we came across a number of beaches that tempted us to enjoy the beauty of the beach and the hypnotic sound of the waves crashing on the shore. Not all beaches were postcard perfect; but the rocky ones had a beauty all of the own.
The tropical beach is the perfect escape not only during the day, but also when the sun is setting. The oranges of the sunset give the sand and water a beauty you wish you could capture and hold within you for a long time.
Walking on the beaches at dusk certainly add another dimension to your escape from the rat race.
I enjoyed my last escape to a tropical island – and I know I will enjoy the next one.
Do you ever escape to island beaches?
(This post was inspired by the prompt Weekly Photo Challenge prompt: Escape)
During our visit to Mauritius, my husband and I had to take our children to Chamerel to see the seven coloured earths. This tourist attraction is found in the Riviere Noire District in the south-western part of Mauritius. Seven distinct colours of sand can be seen in this area:red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.
The area has changed and become more of a tourist attraction site since my last visit. In addition to the fee that is now charged, people are kept off of the sands. I recall standing on the dunes during my first visit and being able to touch the sands. Now it is all fenced off to prevent people from digging into the sands.
If one looks carefully, one can see some sign of soil erosion near the roots of the trees – probably one of the reasons why the area is now more protected.
We found that when we looked at the sands from a shady area, the colours of the sands were more evident.
We could see the different hues and the almost striped effect of the sands.
I like the contrast between the uncovered sands and the dense forest area that surrounds the dunes.
It was an interesting trip – and our children enjoyed seeing something that they had not known existed. As for myself, it was interesting to notice the changes that had occured since my last visit.
Have you been to see the seven coloured earths?
(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Attraction)
When visiting Port Louis in Mauritius, one of the “must-see” places to go to is the market. In a previous post, I shared with you our experience when we visited the meat market. Our visit to the building opposite the meat market was a lot more colourful. And, as my daughter remarked, it smelled a lot better!
One of the first colours we noticed when we entered the fruit and vegetable market was the red of the tomato display. They looked ripe and appealing as we passed, and would surely tempt us if we were planning to buy any vegetables that day.
The fruit was certainly tempting, the sweet scent tempting us to buy some to snack on.
Even the green vegetables looked bright and fresh. The vegetables were not refrigerated and must have been picked early that morning. The leafy greens were not wilted, however, as the building was cool and a sharp contrast to the warm weather outside.
When weighing the produce, the seller used these old fashioned scales – scales that are not seen in the stores I normally frequent.
We had to, of course, stop and buy some bananas. A quick, sweet snack which was enjoyed by us all.
Patty Pans were a vegetable I had not eaten in a while (I do not see them on sale in the Northern Hemisphere). What amazed me was the size of them as they lay in the basket.
They looked delicious and firm lying there, and I knew I had to have a taste before I headed back to the north.
The array of green produce available was astounding, each leaf fresh-looking. By the number of people milling in the market, I am sure many of these leaves were cooked in the evening.
Amongst the fruit, a seller was offering small cakes to eat. I did not find these as tempting as the fruit lying in front.
As we exited the market, I looked back and knew I had enjoyed this walk through more than I had the one at the meat market.
Do you visit fruit and vegetable markets?
(This post was inspired by the folks at WordPress.com. The prompt this week is colour)
When visiting Mauritius, we spent a few nights in Roches Noires, on the north-east side of the island. We could not do any swimming from the beach in front of us, but the view was stunning.
Looking out onto the bay, I enjoyed the view of the black rocks jutting out of the water – a far cry from the sandy beaches that are normally advertised for this island.
Those rocks had many hidey-holes in which my children found shells and saw some wriggling sea life.
The fishing boats were anchored, ready for use by the early morning fishermen.
The grey clouds were reflected in the water: water which felt cold as we dipped our toes in.
Not much sand could be found on the beach in front of the bungalow we were staying in. To swim, we would have to take a quick walk to the public beach.
A little further along we found a small stretch of beach on which to sit and enjoy the view. I found the time we had there calming and rejuvenating. Another special moment in a holiday crammed with special moments.
Have you visited a rocky bay? Where was it?
(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Bay. Head on over to his site to see links to more interpretations)