In 1896, Mr. Mark Twain visited the island of Mauritius and he wrote about this trip. What would be in his travel report today?
„First Mauritius was created, then paradise. But Paradise was just a copy of Mauritius“ That‘s what Mark Twain should have said about the island in the Indian Ocean, and this quote has been used for the island marketing since that time. You can already find it on one of the first boards in exhibitions like the L‘Aventure du Sucre and almost every travel guide quotes it.
The explosiveness is, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, as Mark Twain was called by his real name, never said so. Actually, he wrote a resident gave him the idea „First, Mauritius was created and then the Paradise; and the Paradise after the example of Mauritius„.
Why Mark Twain visited Mauritius
Mark Twain was already a famous writer during his lifetime, he was known for that, but he was also a jack-of-all-trades, and in his life he worked in many professions. He was among others typesetter, pilot on a Mississippi steamship, newspaper editor and publisher. The participation in a publishing house was also a financial disaster for him, because the purchase of a faulty jig drove his company went bankrupt.
To repay his debts, he went on a world tour. An opportunity given by British Empire to recite from his works in many countries on earth. The rock star of American realism went on a world tour. As befits a rock star, the many foreign impressions inspired Mark Twain and let him create a new masterpiece of his humorous, sarcastic spelling. „Following the Equator“.
With his critical, ironic powers of observation, he drew a detailed picture of the island. At that time like today, Mr. Twain would find that the variety of cultures has survived to this day, only today the different nationalities are caused by tourists, the Mauritians are now an united nation.
By train you can not drive over the island for a while. Mark Twain would go by public transport, because in the old, adventurous-looking buses he could get a wonderful picture of the locals. You learn so much about people and their warm, restrained manner when you get to know them.
The beautiful, touching story of Paul and Virgine, who all literature interested people well knew also beyond the borders of the island, is the reason why the island of Mauritius is known. This is no longer the case today, the interest in the book on the island is still available but as a tourist you have to be attentive to find the clues to this pair of lovers. In world literature, the book does not matter much and is not very well known. The book is about the children Paul and Virginie, who grew up together as an inseparable couple. Virginie was sent to the old homeland of France to study at a high school for girls. But she consumed herself after her great love Paul and traveled back to Mauritius on the „St Géran“. It came to misfortune, the ship shattered on the cliffs in the northeast of the island. Paul had to witness the great disaster and finally died of a broken heart through the loss of his great love.
It is possible that the adventurous Mark Twain found information about the island, which is now famous as Honeymoon Island, on a travel blog on the Internet and just want to explore it by himself. The means of transport of his choice will no longer be the ship. He would complete the approximately 11-hour journey by plane.
His astute perceptions would not escape the fact that in Mauritius the people deal with the subject of garbage and waste separation a little differently.
You get the feeling, the many, mostly female employees of the garbage care with their brooms remove just filth such as leaves and needles of the trees instead of styrofoam packaging and plastic bottles.
Unfortunately, you can often find hidden places where plastic waste is disposed of. Here, there must be an awareness that a problem, just because it is not obvious, is still a problem.
So what would Mark Twain think about Mauritius today? He would find a form of paradise again with a great versatility and a friendliness that is not self-evident these days, but even this paradise is not perfect and has small cracks that can be dealt with by educating people and raising environmental awareness.«
Quite simply but delicious and really cheap for lunch you can eat at Blue Recif.
It is just across the street from the pretty post office in the town of Flic en Flac, not far from the beach. Here, the locals go out for lunch.