Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Escape 2014: Mombasa, Kenya

During my childhood, my parents took us to the Coast of Kenya for holidays. We spent most of our time in Malindi. We always took the train journey to Mombasa where we stayed for a few days and then took the ferry to Malindi for the rest of our vacation. Today, and 40+ years later, we only visit Mombasa.

Nyali Beach Hotel
We check in the Nyali Beach Hotel of colonial architecture. It is well maintained with excellent service. We stroll along the soft, white sands of Nyali Beach and have our meals on the deck of the restaurant overlooking the beach. In the past and under the moonlit sky there were many after dinner dances on this deck.
Nyali Beach

My childhood memories come alive as we drive along the road that has replica structures of elephant tusks straddled across the street. Today, they still stand.
Replica Structures of Elephant Tusks

In Mombasa Old Town

We drive on to tour Mombasa Old Town and Fort Jesus that brought back many childhood memories. We walk through Mombasa Old town. The shops and boutiques have a variety of wares to sell. We visit a fish market and notice the modern dhows docked nearby.

We then explore Fort Jesus.

This historic site captures the history of the Portuguese era in Kenya. Today there is a modern Museum built within the grounds. It tells many stories of the days gone by.
Exterior of Fort Jesus
Entrance to Fort Jesus
Inside Fort Jesus
Remains of Portuguese Chapel inside the grounds of Fort Jesus
As I walk through these grounds, I think of my parents telling us stories of the Portuguese exploration of this part of Kenya. I was too young to appreciate this historical significance. Today, I am engrossed. We spend a few hours walking through this sprawling historic site. It is well maintained.

As we drive back to our hotel, we hear the "call for prayer" from each Mosque located about 2km apart. Mombasa is known for its Somali population who have invested in the town and the Port. We arrive at our hotel for our early evening dinner at the restaurant overlooking the ocean as we quietly take in the gentle ocean breezes coming our way. After dinner, we stroll, one last time, along the beach before we leave Kenya the next day.

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