Jun 162013
 

It’s been a way long time since I last posted!  Sorry, sorry.  It’s been really busy at work lately so the last thing I want to do when I get home is sort through my photos and write.  So these photos are quite old, but still worth the update!

Since we’ve been in Nairobi, Mike and I are always on the hunt for outdoor spaces to go on walks.  We really miss walking around and while we have Karura Forest, we wanted to explore the Arboretum which is not far from us.  I had heard mixed reviews; people said it was actually quite busy and not very peaceful at all because of singing church groups (huh?).  But really how bad could it be?

You can get to the Arboretum off State House ride and then make a turn on Arboretum Drive.  There’s a small parking lot where you pay a small fee.  It’s free to walk in though.  There’s a paved path when you enter, but pretty soon it’s just dirt paths.  There are large fields scattered around and it’s less of an arboretum and more of a green public space.  Wow, but we were unprepared for what we experienced!!  It was actually super crowded, and sure enough, tons of church groups.  Mostly, they were doing team building activities–lots of holding hands in circles.  There was preaching, singing, jumping up and down, games, anything you could think of.  And the groups were literally all next to each other so you almost felt like you were at a very crowded church camp.  It was actually quite cool to see, but definitely not our idea of a peaceful garden walk.  Pretty chaotic.  Since there were so many groups, it was actually quite loud with all the singing and yelling in teams.

Kids About to Break a Tree Branch

Kids About to Break a Tree Branch

Team Building Mania

Team Building Mania

To escape the crowds, Mike and I tried to take the side paths around the park.  When we came upon this little guy!

Karma Chameleon

Karma Chameleon

I had never seen a chameleon in real life before.  It’s feet were the coolest.  Of course Mike had to pick it up and take a look.  It didn’t really flinch at all and just kind of settled on to his arm.  We’re glad we went to check out the arboretum, but honestly, I’d probably stick to Karura Forest if I’m looking a nice quiet place to walk around. =)

 June 16, 2013  Posted by at 9:17 pm Attractions, Kenya, Nairobi Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  1 Response »
Feb 082013
 

We’ve been meeting mutual friends in Nairobi to try to build up our friend network here.  It was really easy to get “adopted” into a group in Dar, but here it seems people are more spread out and do their own thing.  It’s also not very common to meet Americans.  We had brunch at Le Rustique in Westlands two weekends in a row to meet some new friends.  It’s a great courtyard restaurant we sat in the garden area.  It has a fun playground for kids, complete with trampoline and rope swing.  All the kids just run around barefoot.

Cute Le Rustique Creperie

Cute Le Rustique Creperie

Garden Tables Next to Playground

Garden Tables Next to Playground

Le Rustique is known for its crepes and the spicy sausage crepe is very good.  Decent eggs benedict with smoked salmon and nice cappuccinos.  It’s been great meeting at places close to our apartment while we don’t have a car since we were able to walk there in 20 minutes.  It’s located on General Mathenge Drive, one block behind Westgate mall.  These meet ups have been really nice because we’re able to get tips on a lot of things like where to buy x, and recommendations on cars and things like that.  It’s tough to find stuff online here (no Yelp here—I should start one) so everything’s by word of mouth.

 February 8, 2013  Posted by at 6:37 pm Food, Kenya, Nairobi Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »
Mar 132012
 

After lunch, we walked around Old City, which is kind of like an outdoor shopping mall with old Chinese style rooftops to make it look old.  It was really crowded and touristy.  I had warned Mike that the last time I was in China, I was surprised at how little foreign tourists there were, and that he probably would be the only white guy most places we went.  Definitely still true!

Old City

The main attraction in Old City (besides the food) is 400-year-old Yu Yuan garden.  It’s deceivingly larger than you think and inside are all these little alcoves and gardens that make for great wandering around.  I can only imagine how beautiful it is in late Spring with all the flowers blooming.  I had told Mike: see that huge rock with all the holes in them?  Chinese Emperors loved them and you’re going to see them all over the place!  He didn’t believe me until we went through the garden and they are literally on every corner.  The rocks are really distinct; they are all natural formations and usually excavated from a lake bottom and transported to the garden and given as gifts.  The formations take ages to erode, so they are valued for their natural beauty and age.

Yu Yuan Rockery

The garden was a nice break from the hubbub outside and you really felt removed from the city.  Entrance for two: $8.

Dragon Wall

 March 13, 2012  Posted by at 1:05 am Attractions, China, Shanghai Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »