Saturday, 30 January 2010

Mombasa's Old City

I have mentioned in a previous post that the special charm of Mombasa’s old city can hardly be perceived instantly. My Jordanian colleagues from Kuwait and I had booked at the Whitesands Sarova Hotel north of the city. The view of the Indian Ocean just outside the hotel with camels on the beach was breathtaking. The constant breeze from the ocean made humidity and tropical temperatures very comfortable. In fact a place to die, I was thinking.

My friends are not the ideal company when exploring exotic places. On my request, we went to Mombasa, but it was hot and dusty and I was told “we know all of this” from home. When I became curious about the 16th century Mandhry mosque with its strange minaret, I was informed by my Muslim friends that it was not prayer time, so asking to enter was hopeless. Nobody was either interested in the vegetable and fruit market. Was that a bazaar? We rushed through the lanes. Souvenir shops sold beautiful collectibles at reasonable prices.


Intlxpatr said...

We love Mombasa. I am sorry your friends were not more interested in exploring, it is a fascinating place with interesting nooks and crannies. We also stayed up near Malindi, next to the Watamu Marine Life reserve. You have taken some wonderful photos, Fahad. :-)

Muller said...

Thanks a lot, Intlxpatr. I enjoyed the exotic place, but exotic people may indeed find it boring! ;-)

Nathaniel Mathews said...

Thanks for this! I have a website dedicated to East Africa and the Indian Ocean. I really enjoyed reading this blog piece about Mombasa's old city.