For about one year we were talking about going to Madagascar together with Frank and Dagi. Now the 6th. Of October 2018 it was all happening.
As the most affordable flight tickets were from Paris, we agreed that we will meet in Paris. With 30 minutes delay we left Amsterdam Centraal station by Thalys. After we arrived at Gare du Nord station we had to wait for an hour when Frank and Dagi would arrive from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.
From Gare du Nord airport we walked towards the Sacre Coeur for having an overview over the city before we walked into the tourist mass around Place du Tertre and going down through Montmartre for having a pizza for dinner.
As we had to catch a flight this evening, time for visiting Paris already ran out so we searched for an underground station heading for Charles de Gaulle airport.
The 8 hour flight from Paris to Nairobi went straightforward. After watching a movie or 2 and dinner, we opened our eyes again just before breakfast was served. The worst part of this outbound flight with Antananarivo as destination was that we had to kill 5 hours at boring Nairobi airport. Even if we were just transfering here, it took a while until we got through customs, but soon after we saw ourselves sitting and drinking coffee for a couple of hours.
The good part of this last stretch from Nairobi to Antananarivo (Tana how locals would call the capital) was that we passed the highest mountain of Africa, Kilimanjaro. The bad part was that we could already prepare ourselves for some rough and bumpy roads in Madagascar as we had to deal with quite some turbulence on the way.
Right after arriving at the airport you will find out that you have landed in a less developed country.
Everyone is asked to fill out a document of good health declaration, but nobody had thought about how we should organize it all ending with a messy situation where everybody is filling out their documents sitting behind desks where normally the employee should have been sitting…
If you continue to the next desk, three people watching, checking and stamping your passport where in Europe just one guy would do the job…Then the last part was to collect your luggage and wait in line to put the bags through an old machine which was probably capable of x-raying the bags 20 years ago…Welcome to Madagascar…
Our driver picked us up and after driving from traffic jam to traffic jam we arrived at Chalet the Roses center Antananarivo. Hotel prima de luxe within walking distance of several eateries where we enjoyed the first dinner of this holiday. After dark we got back to the hotel after a curious walk bothered by some beggars asking for money. Something you have to deal with we think.