I'm northernfi from Gateshead. I've been Qyping since 18-01-2009
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This is definitely worth visiting but be warned, the streets are like rabbit warrens so easy to get lost! We got a guide who also took us to Fort Jesus which is right beside this. The old town has been preserved and some of the buildings restored. Lots of interesting architecture, both very old and from the 1900s. It was good having a guide because we did get a few reactions to taking photographs - some places it is absolutely fine and then others not ok. Of course there are the tourist shops wanting you to go in and offering special prices, but mostly there are markets - veg, meat, general stores - and the local people are shopping. We felt there was a lack of places like coffee shops or even a place to sit at a table outside - Mombasa is definitely not making the most of this as a tourist attraction. There are some signs for walking tours, so probably possible to go round by yourself. We bought some spices which are already making my suitcase smell very nice!
Old Town, Mombasa
This fort next to the old town, Mombasa, was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese. It’s an impressive building with lots to see including some wall paintings and carved doors, as well as a small museum. As you approach, the guides will spot you and offer to take you round. Ours offered a two hour tour of the Fort and old town and it was quite good value, definitely adding to our understanding of the history. Some of the buildings are labelled with a lot of information but it was helpful to learn more. There is a little cafe where you can get soft drinks and snacks. It is 800 Kenyan shillings entrance fee for foreign visitors. Some good photo opportunities of the fort and also the views across the bay.
PO Box 90581 80100 GPO, Mombasa
This must have been fantastic when it was first opened in the 1940s - the first beach hotel - but now it is a little tired and so empty when I visited. For a place this big that doesn’t add to a good atmosphere. It’s a venue for Virgin and Thomson holidays, among others, but seemed to have some business people and a few families staying. It is a true beach resort with everything you need for a holiday - selection of restaurants, beach and water activities, pools, variety of days out available but unless it picks up in high season, you will be rattling around. There is a little parade of shops including a beauty salon but I never saw anyone in shopping. The internet cafe is a complete rip-off so unless you need to use it, avoid. The signal is also very weak and variable.
Food was ok, the Mvita grill on the beach front was by far the best and also had live music on the Saturday. Staff also very friendly and helpful. Rooms in need of a make-over and the over-use of wicker meant that every time I entered my room I felt I’d put my head in an old laundry basket - very musty and damp. Don’t leave your balcony door open as there are monkeys around!
Private Bag, 7400 Robben Insel
A very moving experience visiting here. As well as seeing the prison and the quarry where prisoners like Nelson Mandela used to work, the tour of the island with its other buildings, church, shipwrecks etc is very interesting. Our guide on the bus made the history really come alive in a way we could all relate to. The view of Table Mountain on the way back in the later afternoon was beautiful and gave an opportunity for lovely photographs. A word of warning though, it may feel very warm when you are on land but when I last went (February) it was very cold and windy sitting on deck once we were out of the sun so make sure you take a sweatshirt or an extra layer. The exhibition in the entrance hall where you get the boat is also very interesting so make sure you allow enough time to visit there and of course the gift shop.
Wolmunster Road 11, Upper Rosebank, 7700 Cape Town
I only stayed here one night but wished it was for longer. it is a beautiful old house, lovingly preserved with original floors, beautiful windows and high ceilings, but with all the facilities you would expect in a good guest house. My room was so spacious and with an enormous bathroom with both a bath and separate shower. There was also a little sitting room with a desk - I got up early so I could spend a little time enjoying the early morning and the lovely view of the garden. There was tea/coffee in the room plus TV and in the entrance hall there is a computer if you need to use the internet.
Everywhere you look there is something new to see. The breakfast room had a lovely display of old tins and containers. The breakfast selection was very good and you feel very welcome throughout your stay. We also asked if we could leave our luggage to collect in the afternoon and this was no problem. The area is lovely too and quite convenient for driving to the city, airport or out of town.
Second Ngong Avenue, Nairobi
This lodge is like a Holiday Inn only better. Very new, clean and very friendly staff. Also very security conscious - from the gate to my room it’s four swipes of my hotel card. The rooms are lovely and very good for business travellers. Nice showers, firm beds, TV in room plus mineral water, kettle, tea/coffee etc. There is a vending machine on the ground floor and a mini office guests can use. The reception area is pleasant and spacious. It leads to a small garden with seating. There is also a mini gym with a treadmill, cycling machine and a treadmill, plus two TVs (the machines face different ways, so you can always have a screen to watch!) On the first floor is the breakfast room and the selection is excellent. Fresh fruit, juice, eggs, bacon, sausage etc plus croissants, toast, cereal, yoghurt and the coffee is also nice. For eating at night you can walk to the neighbouring Fairview Hotel where there is a choice of 5 restaurants. There is also a little shop that sells sweets, souvenirs, maps etc.
Oh, rooms at the lodge also have free wifi which is what I’m using to type up this review. Would definitely recommend staying here.
Sawai Jai Singh Highway, Jaipur
This guest house is classed as mid market but it is really good value. The rooms are great - although if you need wifi in your room then ask for one beside the pool which is the main area for receiving it. beautiful green areas around and very friendly staff. They rang round to help me find a stockist of an IPL cricket top for my son. Also arranged a good value sightseeing taxi for us too. Food is nice but you need to let them know in advance if you are going to be having dinner which is an Indian buffet (soup, main, sweet, tea/coffee). A real home from home and most beautifully decorated.
9 John Street, Montrose, Scotland DD10 8LY
This shop is no longer trading. Used to be Helen Carnegie’s so the site has a long history of dressing local people but in the last few years it went downmarket. Not sure what wil end up here.
39 High Street, Montrose, Scotland DD10 8LR
Not at the top end of fashion and even although the clothes in the window often look tempting, they are sometimes not as good as they look. Having said that, it’s possible to get some good basic items here and they often have some very good value reductions. Got some nice very reasonable gloves before Christmas.
82 High Street, Montrose, Scotland DD10 8JE
Often sale racks and bargains displayed on the street outside and in the entrance. A good range, much as you would expect, and helpful staff. Not sure if they still have the rocking horse upstairs that generations of kids sat on when they visited to get their new shoes!
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