“Why are you going to Malawi? For work?”
People were shocked I was there for tourism. I actually liked Blantyre, but I learned later that there’s supposed to be an amazing national park I didn’t get out to.
I arrived at the “is this all of it???” airport in Blantyre, went through the quite disorganized Visa On Arrival process, and met the hotel van.
The Marriott in Blantyre clearly hadn’t seen any rewards members in a while, because they knew my name already when I walked in the door, and they got the manager to show me around, just for having silver status (comes automatically with having a Marriott points credit card). Wow!
They upgraded me to a corner room and gave me free breakfast for the next morning, which was fantastic.
Blantyre is the financial center of Malawi, so I went by the nearby stock exchange. Apparently, no one walks around in Blantyre. The hotel was quite surprised I declined the taxi to get there.
From here, I went to Veg Delight for dinner. It was deeeeelicious. It wasn’t dirt cheap like some of the spots I’d eaten recently, but it was a decent price, very filling, and I was happy.
The next morning, I had my awesome free breakfast and was pleasantly surprised by the “ask if you need soymilk” sign at the buffet. I had a huuuuge latte.
I walked up to the Hindu temple, which was small but cool.
This is in the center of Blantyre. I really want to know the story of this. I have so many questions!
I got a taxi from here (finding one was harder than expected) up to the St. Michael’s & All Angels Church. I’d heard it was cool, also features an art community springing up around it, and wanted to have a look.
What I hadn’t heard was that it also includes a school, and that the little kids would be on recess at the time I arrived. Between getting stared at by little kids and avoiding dodgeball games, it wasn’t the best time to be visiting, so I didn’t stay long.
I hadn’t realized how easy it was to get there when I got the taxi, so I just caught a minibus on the way back. They were on the verge of laughing when I signaled for a ride, I paid my 40 cents for a ride, and I was definitely the center of silent attention for the next 20min.
Back in the center, I walked around some more and thought about how interesting it is finding signs that obviously mean something else than where you come from. Take this hardware store…
Late in the afternoon, I got the hotel van back up to the airport and was really surprised by the operations there. They don’t have bag scanners or metal detectors. You just open your suitcase and submit to a search + patdown. There’s an ‘international gate’ and ‘domestic gate’, but they’re just 2 doors next to each other leading to the same spot.
Since this flight was connected as the 3rd leg on my reservation via United, I was able to get this for 0 points and ride in business class again. The ‘excursionist’ offering on United is so fantastic.
Next up: Mozambique.This entry was posted in Africa, Blantyre, Malawi