Friday 2 October 2015

Two weeks spent island hopping in the Seychelles!

The tropical islands of the Seychelles have long been a dream destination of ours but one we always thought would be outside our travel budget.

But in the first week of July this year, when we were back in Scotland for the month, and after a week of catching up with our much-missed families, we saw a last minute bargain flying to the Seychelles from Glasgow with Emirate airlines.

We are subscribed to lots of different airline and travel agency lists and when we were emailed with Emirate’s ‘24 hour flash sale’ – it seemed that a trip to the Seychelles might actually be affordable to us if we acted quickly and made our travel plans independently.

It didn’t take us long to agree and press a few buttons!

The Seychelles are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean consisting of more than one hundred and fifteen islands that are made up of ancient granite and corals. Famous for its beaches and nature reserves, island hopping is an absolute must and we planned to visit all the main islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue, and Curieuse, during our 14 day trip.

My husband Trav was excited about the scuba diving – the Seychelles are said to be one the world’s top ten dive locations. I was excited about seeing some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I was also looking forward to seeing the famous ‘coco-de-mer’ nut - the largest coconut in the world that is only found on these islands. The largest tortoises in the world can also be found here: they have a lifespan of around one hundred and fifty years and the breeding group on the Seychelles remains the only chance to save the species from complete extinction. I was really looking forward to meeting some of these giant gentle creatures.

To say that I had huge expectations for this trip was an understatement!

We flew out of Glasgow and left the rain and grey skies behind us – heading for Dubai and a change of airplane before flying onto Mahe, the main island. A total flying time of around thirteen hours plus airport waiting time.

The view from our room at a Glasgow airport hotel on the morning we flew to the Seychelles!

But all the travelling was all totally worth it! We landed in Mahe around 6am and having used several internet travel sites like Expedia, and, to find affordable hotels, we took a taxi to our hotel of choice.

We planned to be on Mahe for our first three nights before taking an inter-island ferry over to Praslin, the island that we would use as a base for a week of island hopping over to Le Digue and Curieuse. Then we planned to return to Mahe for our last few nights before flying back to Glasgow.

These are just some of my favourite photo memories of those amazing two weeks!

First day - exploring the beach on Mahe Island, Seychelles
Island hopping is easy to do in the Seychelles using the inter-island ferry service

There are no cars on La Digue so we hired bicycles to explore the island

One of the world's most beautiful beaches... Anse Source D'Argent on La Digue Island, Seychelles
Impressively large beach boulders on Pralin Island
Hotel pool on Praslin

We visited a black pearl farm on the island of Praslin
The coco-de-mer nut!

Island hopping over to La Digue
Exploring Praslin on foot with Trav
Trav on a Praslin beach
Walking on the softest whitest sand in the world...
Meeting a giant tortoise on Curieous Island

An amazing sunset from our hotel on Praslin

Once back in Glasgow, on the last weekend of July, we headed up to the university town of St Andrews to attend our good friends daughter’s wedding. St Andrews is also known as the 'home' of golf course, of course. We were thrilled to be invited to share in such a special day and also excited to be meeting up with friends and to be staying overnight in such fabulous surroundings.

Trav and I don’t actually carry ‘best clothes’ in our suitcases while we are travelling, so we had to first head to Princes Street, Edinburgh, where I bought a lovely summery dress from Monsoon (half price in the sale - yay!) and Trav hired a very nice suit from a menswear department.

On Princes Street, Edinburgh, shopping for our St Andrews wedding attire!

The weather on the Saturday, for the wedding, having started out a bit grey and rainy, brightened up beautifully as we came out of the chapel and the sun came out just as we all enjoyed having champagne and nibbles outside on the famous grass quadrangle. While a string quartet was playing, and the wedding party were having the official photographs taken, we got to chat with our lovely much-missed friends and take lots of photographs. It was a fabulous day. Congratulations to the bride and groom, Leanne and Danny!

The day after the wedding, we drove back to Edinburgh, handed over Trav’s hired suit and stayed overnight at our eldest son Ben’s apartment in Edinburgh. 

In the morning, we planned to be up early to travel to Glasgow with Ben where we would meet our youngest son Iain.

We were all traveling together to South Korea to visit our middle son James, his lovely wife Sujeong, and our baby grandson Aaron – whom none of us had yet met!

We were also meeting Sujeong’s family for the first time and I was worried how we would communicate, as they don’t speak any English and we don’t speak any Korean. But I needn’t have worried - as we had an interpreter for our words - but the immediate love and warmth between us all needed no interpretation at all. One week wasn’t enough with our Korean family and we now miss them all dreadfully.

With our lovely Korean family!

So my next blog post will be about of our time, our experiences, and our travels in South Korea. It was wonderful, exciting and emotional trip – and I did get lots of photographs!

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Love, Janice xx