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August 10, 2003

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Our last day in Madagascar we spend in Antananarivo, the capital. This place is like many other Asian or African capitals: crowded, noisy, full of character. We stay in Haute-Ville (Upper Town), near the presidential house, the main post office, several banks, restaurants and nightclubs. Down the street from our hotel people dance and listen to an outdoor rock concert. The music carries a strong African beat, the lyrics vary from French to Malagasy. Uphill, narrow streets lead past churches and other former royal buildings to the ruins of the Rova, the former Queen's palace. Beneath this lies the lower town along Araben ny Fahaleovantena (commonly known as Avenue de l'Indépendance). At one end is the railway station and at the other is Hôtel Glacier. This district is known as Analakely and is packed with permanent street markets. Even without a map it's not hard to find our way and we take a sunday stroll for some last scenes and memories of Madagascar.