Travel Postcard: 24 Hours in Victoria, Seychelles

Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:57am EDT
 
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VICTORIA (Reuters Life!) - Not many people would struggle to spend 24 hours in the Seychelles: Beach, beer, beach, cocktail...repeat until sun, sea and alcohol blend into a perfect state of relaxation.

But if you have had enough of the archipelago's white sand between your toes, if you are bored of diving into the topaz waters, then here is how to spend 24 hours in Victoria, the Seychelles' slow-paced capital.

Friday

6 p.m. - Start your tropical evening with a rum punch. There's only one meeting place to choose from, aptly called "Le Rendez-Vous'. Sit on the breezy first floor balcony, and watch city life wind up for the day down the palm-lined Independence Avenue.

The Seychellois gained independence in 1976, later than most African nations. A year later, a nearly bloodless coup d'etat saw Albert Rene install himself as President. Rene proved a shrewd politician, cozying up to both the Soviet Union and America at the height of the Cold War. It is fair to say the Soviets left the greater mark on what is now a deeply socialist society.

The atmosphere at Le Rendez-Vous tends to match the city vibe: quiet. Eat here by all means, there should be no complaints about the Franco-fusion cuisine. But if you want a place with a pulse, there's only one option

8 p.m. - The Pirates Arms. There is no other place for dinner. Not because the Crab in Ginger Sauce is so out of this world, but because there literally is no other place for dinner...at least not if you want company. Pirates throngs from the moment it opens its doors for breakfast.

You won't write home about the food. Despite being only a couple of hundred meters from the sea the fish can taste a bit on the frozen side of fresh. But it is served quickly and with a genuine Creole smile. Enjoy the local beer Seybrew to wash-down the rather functional food.

11 p.m. - For those looking to shake a limb, head to the "Lovenut', so named after the ubiquitous Coco-de-Mer nut, one of six species of palm tree found only in the Seychelles. Weighing-in at over 30 kg, the Coco-de-Mer nut is the largest in the plant kingdom. 17th century sailors found them rather appealing, and wrote about the nut resembling the buttocks of a woman. The male plant grows on a separate tree with a decidedly phallic meter (yard) long appendage!   Continued...

 
<p>Tourists frolick on the sandy beaches outside Victoria in this January 17, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Richard Lough</p>