Port Louis, a melting pot of cultures, is a city and is also Mauritius’s economic and political powerhouse.
As I nip up to Fort Adelaide, perched on Petite Montagne in Port Louis, Mauritius’s capital city, a chiaroscuro of landscapes open out before me. To my left sprawls the Caudan waterfront, brimming with elegant white cruisers moored on the Indian Ocean. To my right loom the brooding Moka mountains containing two of the island’s highest peaks: the bare-faced Pieter Both, and the knuckle-shaped Le Pouce whose forested foothills shield the rare screw pine.
The fort — now designated a national monument — was once the lookout point for all sea vessels coming into the island, while its secret tunnel helped the Mauritian army vanquish intruding enemies. “The fort was built by Indian and African slaves and is named after King William II’s wife,” the guide tells me as I perambulate its stony ramparts, accented by Moorish horseshoe arches and knobby surfaces blackened with time. An extensive renovation has infused new life into the building, making it a popular venue for concerts and plays.
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