We were up early, for what I would consider our first proper day of wandering through a major African city. Yes, South Africa is Africa, but it’s kinda Africa-lite in some ways. Walking through a major city like Maputo was going to be a bit of an adventure. Out the door, and down Vladimir Lenin Avenue, and soon we were at the Museum of Natural History.
Upon entering there was a giant full-wall mural explaining just how we all evolved from plankton. I feel so deprived in my U.S. education now – they never explained any of this to us!
The museum was full of schoolchildren, who kept saying hi to us. Unfortunately, my Portuguese doesn’t go much beyond yes/no/thank you, so we couldn’t chat with them. Just like in Venezuela, I was kinda bummed…kids aren’t afraid to ask anything and you do get a really unique insight into local culture. That said, the displays were absolutely…um, fascinating, lol!
From the museum, it was a 15 minute walk through the streets to the National Cathedral. It was a bit overcast which was nice because it kept the temperatures down a bit. The cathedral was nice, but certainly nothing special.
Just outside the cathedral was a statue of the national hero Samora Machel. He was a revolutionary fighter who let the fight against the Portuguese and liberated Mozambique. We were kinda surprised – usually freedom fighters turned dictators have very nice statues, but this one was run down and missing several letters. Maybe a commentary on what people currently think of him?
From there, it was on to the national money museum. It gave a pretty good story of the history of money in Mozambique. We were the only ones there, and by this point the humidity was awful. It was actually good just to get out of the sun…and play with a giant puzzle!
On the way out of the museum we ran into an incredibly bizarre statue/objet d’art – no clue what it was supposed to be!
We decided to head back to the hotel…and hopefully find lunch on the way. It was a nice walk down Robert Mugabe Street (I swear Maputo has the best street names anywhere…there was a Chairman Mao street, Karl Marx Street…) and along the water, but we got back near our hotel without finding anywhere that passed the cleanliness tests…so we ended up back at Mundo’s again – same place we had dinner the previous night.
We got a couple of awesome appetizers for lunch – wish I’d grabbed a picture. One was peri peri chicken livers, and the other was a calimari with peri peri dipping sauce. Absolutely awesome! We split a pizza, and had a few ice cold diet cokes (which were surprisingly hard to find here) and then went back to the hotel to relax a bit.
For dinner, we decided to check out Restaurant Zambi which was listed as one of the most amazing seafood restaurants in the area. We decided to brave it (seafood can be more than a little risky in the developing world), and were so glad we did!
Started out with an amazing Octopus Carpaccio, and some prawns. Was absolutely awesome.
For dinner, I decided to try out my new Portuguese word: “Lula” which meant squid. I had a grilled lula steak, which was absolutely amazing. Grilled and then covered in fresh butter, it was absolutely amazing. The manager was quite friendly (ahem) and came over and insisted we get dessert…which if we regretted it later would be on him. Ok, fine…awesome malva pudding with amarula ice cream and a glass of south african dessert wine…and nope, we loved it! Was amazing!
Back to the hotel, and off to bed for an early flight in the morning. Mozambique had made a really great impression on us!