On leaving the airport en route to the hotel (the same one Obama stayed in a week earlier) I caught site of no less than 8 giraffe in the Nairobi National Park which borders the city – only one in the world I believe. I learnt later that it costs USD 50 (±ZAR 650) per person to get into the national park – madness!
The hotel, Kempinski, Villa Rosa – pure opulence – pucker 5 star! Thousands of roses everywhere! The room heavenly; including gown and slippers and for those inclined an iron and ironing board – not doing any of that while I am visiting, even an umbrella! 3 telephones to boot – heaven forbid you have to move to answer the phone. 🙂
As we always do on our first evening away, we ordered room service. Well! Room service has never been this good, the dining table which was rolled into the room even had a fresh rose with our dinns staying warm in the warming drawer underneath the tray. Pete ordered a hamburger and I ordered the green thai curry. Both were outstanding – restaurant quality. I could get used to 7 days a week room service, especially when you eat in your housecoat and slippers. 🙂
The cloakrooms in the gym have a hot spa bath, sauna room and sauna and all the conveniences available for your convenience, even down to slip slops and individually packaged combs and shaving kits. It was quite cool running in the same gym where Obama did his workouts for a couple of days.
The second nights sleep was non existent. We arrived on a Sunday so guess traffic was at its quietest. Not so for the remaining part of the week. 24 hour seriously noisy seemingly permanent peek hour traffic and you can’t get away from it being in the city. I was later told the roads are never quiet. Might explain why they are in such bad condition.
We went to the Westgate Mall which has just reopened after the 4 day terrorist attack and bombing 2 years ago. It was quite surreal being there after watching the horror on the telly. So sad what happens in our world every day.
More seriously, our trip was a look-see about the possibility of a move to Nairobi for a couple of years for Pete to head up the start up of a sister company as he did when we lived in Mauritius. Pete was given a housing allowance which clearly was extremely unrealistic, he then doubled it and off we went to the estate agents. Haa. Well that budget didn’t turn up anything particularly worthwhile either, plus everything in the budget amount is unfurnished. It is frightfully expensive to live in the city and close surrounds with neighbours right on top of you, a garden, even teeny tiny is a luxury and majority of the buildings are very old, think 70’s with lots of layers of lacquered paint and parquet flooring and avo or pink bathrooms. We shall take our time until the right place comes along if it must and I shall have to get used to a non village, no space and little freedom. I have put a spreadsheet together of the costs involved in living in Kenya and it is extremely expensive from start to finish! We could live palatially for the same cost here at home!
Nairobi in a nutshell – like all other African countries, the city is loud, dirty, busy with drivers hell-bent on going as fast and as dangerously as they can on roads which are in dire need of repair and everything is scarily expensive. I will say though, they are not aggressive like our local drivers. The people are lovely and friendly and the further you go out of the city, the more beautiful it becomes. My favourite was the makeshift nurseries on the side of the road – wish I could have taken a photo.
All the museums and the like are also expensive to visit but guess majority of the tourists are coming from first world countries so doesn’t dent their pockets like it does ours. As a lot of you know, I always joke and say I want a giraffe and a squirrel to complete our family so Pete took me to the Giraffe Orphanage in Karen and I got to feed a lovely fellow named Eddy. I am not one for animals in captivity but there is sometimes the need as with the Giraffe Centre, which was established to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe.
We also visited the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) Museum which I loved. What a life she lived! It was wonderful being able to put my hands on her very bed and jewellery cabinet amongst other goodies which she sold to a friend, Lady McMillan after the farm went bankrupt and was later retrieved from the library the friend donated it to. Sadly you aren’t allowed to take photo’s inside the house. Apologies about the quality of the (phone) photos but my camera died when it fell out of my camera bag. I am still sick to my stomach about it and not ready to talk about it. 😦