It is not just a quiet beach destination. From the ‘smallest’ to the ‘biggest’, ‘oldest’ to the ‘rarest’, Seychelles adds a lot of superlatives to your travel journal.
Seychelles is a county comprising 115 coralline islands that are considered one of the oldest on earth. ——— There is also a big, fat, brown Aldabra tortoise, the world’s largest land tortoise. Their home : Aldabra Island, the world’s largest “raised coral atoll” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The biggest and fattest among them all is Esmeralda (it weighs 304kg).
It might seem like an “oxymoron”, but all these large, big things live and grow in a small country. A really small country. At the last count, Seychelles has 90,000 inhabitants of which 90% live in Mahe —– the largest island.
However, nothing beats the “tininess of Victoria”, the capital. Walk into the world’s smallest capital and before you know where to start sightseeing —— it ends. You could walk it in 10mins and been-there-seen-it-all in another 15. An old Church stands like a relic of the colonial age. A Hindu Temple shimmers in vibrant colours by the arcade. A cinema resembles a refurbished pigeon-hole. The monotony broken by Victoria market, where the air is redolent with the whiff of fresh soursop, cassava, mangoes, vegetables, cinnamon, vanilla and a green leaf that carries the aroma of four spices in one.
The crown jewel is the Big Ben. The Little Big Ben, actually. A tiny silver replica of London’s Vauxhall Clock Tower that was erected in the central roundabout to mark Seychelles’ new status as the Crown Colony.
PARADISE is the permanent suffix of this island. The superlatives —– smallest, largest, biggest, rarest and oldest certainly live here.