Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

From Francophone “Establishment” to the Creole Capital of Seychelles

"If you can"
Reflection of Victoria's life in a city van.
Victoria Cathedral
Students walk at the base of Victoria Cathedral.
Golden Boy Marcus
Marcus Hollanda, in a semi-golden style of dress.
Jivan Imports
Resident walks in front of Jivan Imports store.
Victoria saleswomen next to the children's clothing store.
Way to Victoria Market
Sign indicates Sir Selwyn Selwyn Clarke market.
Capital Life
Passersby wait for a green light in historic downtown Victoria.
Rastafarian Fruit
Seller dressed in Jamaican fashion at Selwyn Selwyn Clarke Market
Silver Clock Tower
Silver replica of the existing Clock Tower at Vauxhall, London.
egg seller
Customers stock up on eggs from a street vendor.
Islamic seller takes care of a stall of spices and other Seychellois specialties.
Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar Temple
Gopuram tower of the largest Hindu temple in the capital of Seychelles.
Priests & Go Pro
Hindu priests examine an action camera.
Hindu Deities
Detail of the gopuram of the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar Temple temple.
Offering Board
Flame of faith on a board of the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar temple.
The French populated their “Etablissement” with European, African and Indian settlers. Two centuries later, British rivals took over the archipelago and renamed the city in honor of their Queen Victoria. When we visit it, the Seychelles capital remains as multiethnic as it is tiny.

The fact that it is one of the smallest capitals in the world is often underlined.

If so, it should only surprise anyone who does not know that, even spread across 115 islands of the western Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is the smallest country in Africa.

Still, in its 20km2, Victoria is home to upwards of twenty thousand inhabitants, a third of the nation's population. It's enough to see you fall victim to one or another bottling sample. We see the first example around the local Clock Tower, a gleaming silver replica of the one that dictates time over London's Vauxhall Bridge.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles islands, Mahé, Clock TowerDeciding to photograph the centuries-old monument, we crossed Independence Avenue. About. One time. Other. And another one. We abused and stopped on the middle of the asphalt, among drivers eager to get out of there, albeit without the almost angry eagerness of other parts.

For some time, the signalman on duty tolerates the crossings he considers to be extemporaneous. Moments later, fed up with seeing us spoiling his work, he leaves the post, decomposes us and warns us that if we repeat the shuttles again, he will fine us.

We submit to authority. We installed ourselves on one side of the avenue. We admire the ethnic and religious diversity of pedestrians, for some reason, especially women, plump, with assorted and uncompromising clothes that reveal different golden skins.

And, clumsily, a young mother who almost drags her daughter, outraged by our photographic approach.

The girl's indisposition, in keeping with her mother's elegant, much more reserved Muslim look, molded into a long hijab, partially covered by a pale red blouse.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles islands, Mahé, Clock Tower, passerbySir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke and the Market Economy of Victoria

We continued to wander. We walk to Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, the city's central market, named after the military doctor and colonial governor of the Seychelles from 1947 to 1951.

At that hour, we found him in great hustle.

Those who don't have a place inside work next to the railing, as does Jeffe, an egg trader who sells them to boxes from the box of his truck.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles Islands, Mahé, egg seller

We give market entry. We confirm the coexistence of the expected areas. Fruit, fish, drinks, spices and other regional products. In each of them, once again, an ethnic assortment of vendors.

Christopher, a fruit seller, is distinguished by his Rastafarian fashion, the pointed beard and the red, green and yellow tones of the striped bonnet, the strap t-shirt and the necklace around the neck.

Nearby, Bah Dalanda, with origins in Guinea Conakry, treat us with sympathy and open-mindedness for the portraits we ask of you.

Not that it was necessary, but in exchange we bought a kilo of their grapes. Already in the fishmonger, with a shy smile, Marcel Santache tries to foist us a scarlet grouper.

Admiral Vasco da Gama's Ignored Islands and Navigators That Followed

South of the Seychelles, the Reunion Island it bears the name that best reflects the meeting of peoples in the Indian Ocean. The Seychelles and Victoria in particular are not far behind.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles islands, Mahé, fruit seller

In 1502, during the second expedition to India, Vasco de Gama passed through the archipelago. He named it the Admiral Islands.

Despite the honor (their own honor), neither the navigator nor the Portuguese Crown considered them a priority.

Throughout the XNUMXth century, they remained unclaimed for the European colonial powers that already disputed the world.

In 1609, a disoriented English ship docked for a few days on the North Island. Once again, the Admirals continued to complain. Only Indian pirates considered them theirs and from there attacked the wealthy European ships that traveled between Africa and Asia.

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, the French, who had already colonized the neighbors Mauritius (then Île de France), landed on the island that navigator Lazare Picault called Île de L'Abundance (now Mahe). From that base, they explored the surrounding archipelago.

Shortly thereafter, the Admirals finally complained. As a tribute to the Minister of Finance of Louis XV, Jean Moreau de Séchelles, they were called Séchelles.

Finally, the Pioneer Seychelles Settlement Attempt

In 1770, Brayer du Barré, an entrepreneur validated by the French Crown, set sail from the Île de France at the head of a retinue of fifteen white settlers, seven African slaves, five Indians, and a black woman.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles islands, Mahé, Capital LifeBarré left the settlers on the island of St. Anne, opposite the present city of Victoria, in charge of consolidating the settlement and returned to the Île de France with the mission of obtaining more funds.

In vain. In the meantime, the island's authorities had concluded that it would be impossible to supply the new colony with the necessary regularity or obtain provisions from it.

Barré returned to St. Anne. In desperation, he tried to resolve the Crown's blockade. Frustrated, he decided to abandon the project. He left for India, where, shortly thereafter, he died.

The people who landed in St. Anne, these, were left for two years to their fate.

In 1772, a part had left the island. Another had moved to the coast opposite St. Anne, to the northeast coast of the largest of the Seychelles islands, Mahe.

Etablissement  Repopulated with Slaves from Mauritius

Informed that, despite the abandonment, the colony survived, emerging colonialists took up Brayer du Barré's project. They arrived with ships laden with Creole slaves from the Île de France and consolidated what they would come to call the Etablissement.

The newly arrived slaves became the genesis of the present almost one hundred thousand Seychellois, gradually anglicized from 1798, when the English took over the almost defenseless archipelago.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles Islands, Mahé,

Today, more than 90% of the population of Seychelles remains Creole or creole.

Even if the natives abhor the term they consider pejorative and do everything to make them consider them only and only Seychellois (Seychellois). The rest are British, French, Chinese and Indian migrants.

Instead of Seychelles or Séchelles, the natives call their nation Sesel.

Since 1976, Citizens of the vast Commonwealth of nations but independent, they express themselves in the dialect seselwa, a prolific mix of French, English, Swahili, Indian and even Malagasy.

Even aware of the colonial hardships suffered by their ancestors, they have an untouchable esteem for their tropical and paradisiacal nation.

The Francophone Anthem of the Band “Dezil”

That's how we felt when, a few years ago, we were dazzled by an almost artisanal and unpretentious video clip on the French music channel MCM. It was “Sans Ou (La Riviere)” by the band, at the time, little more than a teenager, Dezil, who is like saying “from the islands”.

The theme, which has a French refrain, sung with a thick accent kreol

“One minute je suis à la rivière
Une heure et je pleure la mer
Un jour sans toi baby c'est trop beaucoup
Je will pleurer un ocean
Toi que j'aime infiniment "

it can apply both to any flirtation and to the relationship of the Seychelles with your homeland. Oddly enough, the heart of the Seychelles is in the tiny and peculiar capital that the British were quick to rename Victoria.

We stayed there, wandering its streets and alleys, discovering a little of everything, places and characters, some of which were unlikely.

Through the streets and alleys of Diminuta Victoria

In the vicinity of the garish colonial building, almost made of Lego, which houses the Jivan Imports business, we come across a native taken from some cartoon: Marcus Hollanda long ago, with his leg bent back, against a wall crowned by a Refreshing hedge.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles islands, Mahé, golden

It has one of the smoothest black skins we've found in Victoria.

His complexion highlights the gold of the cap and the yellow of the polo that he wears to match, with a thick Argentine thread hanging from his neck.

At first intimidated by our sudden interest, Marcus quickly assimilates the reasons we explain to him. Poses proud, haughty to match. For some reason, we still call him Golden Boy.

Temples Serving the Faiths of the Seychelles Capital

Also nearby, Victoria Cathedral fulfills its functions of Christian evangelization, reinforced by an Anglican ally. Despite their imposing architecture, both temples lack the tropical and Indian exoticism we were looking for.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles Islands, Mahé, Victoria Cathedral

We walked, from one end to the other, to the Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar Hindu temple, the unavoidable and unmistakable place of worship for the Hindu inhabitants of Victoria and the surrounding area of ​​Mahé.

Built in Dravidian style, its ornate tower (gopuram) groups dozens of figures of deities in a bright communion, above the faithful in sari and other typical costumes of the Subcontinent.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles Islands, Mahe, Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar Temple

We took off our shoes. We entered.

We examined the distinct details of faith inside, under the gaze of two priests clad in orange dhotis with bare trunks, one with his chest, arms, and forehead adorned with a white-streaked sacred painting.

Welcome us. They invite us to sit down to talk and examine some of the equipment we were carrying. Ten minutes later, armed with a small action camera that we lent them, they rehearse rounded selfies.

They discuss the benefits and artifices of the device.

Victoria, capital, Seychelles Islands, Mahe, Arul Mihu Navasakthi Vinaygar Temple, priests

When we return to them, still on the fringes of any expected spirituality, they ask us technical questions that we have fun clarifying.

We took pictures together.

Again, as it had been for days, in the multi-ethnic coziness of Victoria and the Seychelles.

Praslin, Seychelles


The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.
Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles

Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
Cilaos, Reunion Island

Refuge under the roof of the Indian Ocean

Cilaos appears in one of the old green boilers on the island of Réunion. It was initially inhabited by outlaw slaves who believed they were safe at that end of the world. Once made accessible, nor did the remote location of the crater prevent the shelter of a village that is now peculiar and flattered.
Zanzibar, Tanzania

The African Spice Islands

Vasco da Gama opened the Indian Ocean to the Portuguese empire. In the XNUMXth century, the Zanzibar archipelago became the largest producer of cloves and the available spices diversified, as did the people who disputed them.
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Morondava, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar

The Malagasy Way to Dazzle

Out of nowhere, a colony of baobab trees 30 meters high and 800 years old flanks a section of the clayey and ocher road parallel to the Mozambique Channel and the fishing coast of Morondava. The natives consider these colossal trees the mothers of their forest. Travelers venerate them as a kind of initiatory corridor.
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Felicité Island and Curieuse Island, Seychelles

From Leprosarium to Giant Turtles Home

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, it remained uninhabited and ignored by Europeans. The French Ship Expedition “La Curieuse” revealed it and inspired his baptism. The British kept it a leper colony until 1968. Today, Île Curieuse is home to hundreds of Aldabra tortoises, the longest-lived land animal.
Lion, Elephants, PN Hwange, Zimbabwe
PN Hwange, Zimbabwe

The Legacy of the Late Cecil Lion

On July 1, 2015, Walter Palmer, a dentist and trophy hunter from Minnesota killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion. The slaughter generated a viral wave of outrage. As we saw in PN Hwange, nearly two years later, Cecil's descendants thrive.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Camel Racing, Desert Festival, Sam Sam Dunes, Rajasthan, India
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jaisalmer, India

There's a Feast in the Thar Desert

As soon as the short winter breaks, Jaisalmer indulges in parades, camel races, and turban and mustache competitions. Its walls, alleys and surrounding dunes take on more color than ever. During the three days of the event, natives and outsiders watch, dazzled, as the vast and inhospitable Thar finally shines through.
Ribeira Grande, Santo Antao
Ribeira Grande, Santo AntãoCape Verde

Santo Antão, Up the Ribeira Grande

Originally a tiny village, Ribeira Grande followed the course of its history. It became the village, later the city. It has become an eccentric and unavoidable junction on the island of Santo Antão.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Kiomizudera, Kyoto, a Millennial Japan almost lost
Kyoto, Japan

An Almost Lost Millennial Japan

Kyoto was on the US atomic bomb target list and it was more than a whim of fate that preserved it. Saved by an American Secretary of War in love with its historical and cultural richness and oriental sumptuousness, the city was replaced at the last minute by Nagasaki in the atrocious sacrifice of the second nuclear cataclysm.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
cheap flights, buy cheap flights, cheap airline tickets,
Travel does not cost

Buy Flights Before Prices Take Off

Getting cheap flights has become almost a science. Stay on top of the basics why the airline fares market governs and avoid the financial discomfort of buying at a bad time.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Mdina, Malta, Silent City, architecture
Mdina, Malta

The Silent and Remarkable City of Malta

Mdina was Malta's capital until 1530. Even after the Knights Hospitaller demoted it, it was attacked and fortified accordingly. Today, it's the coastal and overlooking Valletta that drives the island's destinies. Mdina has the tranquility of its monumentality.
East side of the volcano, Fogo Island, Cape Verde
Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Around the Fogo Island

Time and the laws of geomorphology dictated that the volcano-island of Fogo rounded off like no other in Cape Verde. Discovering this exuberant Macaronesian archipelago, we circled around it against the clock. We are dazzled in the same direction.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Winter White
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
UNESCO World Heritage
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
female and cub, grizzly footsteps, katmai national park, alaska
PN Katmai, Alaska

In the Footsteps of the Grizzly Man

Timothy Treadwell spent summers on end with the bears of Katmai. Traveling through Alaska, we followed some of its trails, but unlike the species' crazy protector, we never went too far.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
China's occupation of Tibet, Roof of the World, The occupying forces
Lhasa, Tibet

The Sino-Demolition of the Roof of the World

Any debate about sovereignty is incidental and a waste of time. Anyone who wants to be dazzled by the purity, affability and exoticism of Tibetan culture should visit the territory as soon as possible. The Han civilizational greed that moves China will soon bury millenary Tibet.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Erika Mother

The Philippine Road Lords

With the end of World War II, the Filipinos transformed thousands of abandoned American jeeps and created the national transportation system. Today, the exuberant jeepneys are for the curves.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Meares glacier
Prince William Sound, Alaska

Journey through a Glacial Alaska

Nestled against the Chugach Mountains, Prince William Sound is home to some of Alaska's stunning scenery. Neither powerful earthquakes nor a devastating oil spill affected its natural splendor.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.