Monday, June 27

Madagascar, Day Four: Antananarivo

Despite our research back in the UK suggested that there wasn't really much to do in Tana we made the decision to arrive here a night early, choosing to take the opportunity to slow down the pace of the trip.

After a lazy start we headed out to shop for gifts and souvenirs. After a few false starts we found an excellent market with just what we wanted - you know arts and crafts and all that. Our bartering skills (or lack thereof) were put to the test and I feel that I did well if not amazingly. To be honest the thing we overspent on was our time rather than money; we wanted to do more than just shop that day.

Skipping lunch to save time, we headed to Ambohimanga, an old palace where we spent an hour or so being guided around.

It was surprisingly better than I thought it would be, and turned out to be quite the quick win, if only for the views:

Heading back to the hotel, I decided to take up the offer to dine with the jamatees I met at the mosque yesterday. As I sat there communally eating, I was taken back to my own jamaat days; I really enjoyed the hour or so long demonstration of Ummah power, and the prawn pilau didn't hurt either.

My trip to the mosque meant that I had to walk to and from my hotel after dark, something many sources had advised against. My deliberately left empty pockets didn't console me much, but overall I suspect my unease was more in my head than based on reality.

Overall I think my time in Tana was a success.

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