Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Away from Amman: The Blue Penny and the Waterfront

The Caudan Waterfront has become over the years a tourist hot spot in Port Louis. It is a large shopping area, with restaurants, cafes, a cinema and even a casino. Obviously it is located by the water so it makes it perfect just to take a walk as well.


The shopping area is very large with both international brands and more local things. Pardon, a brand from Reunion Island is worth the visit. There is also a nice crafts market on 2 floors.

There are a few historical things to look at, as the Postal Museum or The Observatory.

The Observatory was built in the beginning of the 1830's and was the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean, used mainly for cyclone warnings and astronomic views helping the weather forecast in the harbour. It had a short life as it stopped operating in 1866 and the tower was brought down in 1880. The main building is still there, showing the architecture of the time and of course the evolution of the Caudan.

In the Caudan, you will also find the Blue Penny Museum - the museum is named after the legendary and very rare 2 pence blue stamp. There are the first stamps of the British Empire to be printed outside the United Kingdom, in 1847. One of these can be seen in this small museum.

Blue Penny Museum
The particularity of this stamp is that it says "Post Office" instead of "Post Paid" and about 240 pieces were sold before the mistake was noticed. The little story says that most of these stamps were used to send out  invitations to the Mauritian Governor's wife ball. 

The museum displays a collection of boat models, the postal story of Mauritius as well as a whole section on "Paul & Virginie", the famous book by Bernardin de St Pierre. It is the story of 2 young people who know each other since birth, fall in love and die on the wreckage of the Saint Geran. For those interested it is possible to dive and see the wreck. 

Opposite the museum there is a small art gallery, where we bought some lovely prints from Mauritian artists, worth a visit if one is looking for a small souvenir. 

Some more pictures of the Caudan...

No comments:

Others To Read:

Related Posts with Thumbnails