Tuesday 6 May 2014


Maseru is the capital of Lesotho, about a twenty minute drive from the airport (if you take the right turn from the airport, which we didn't, which is why road signs are an excellent idea) and just beyond the main border crossing with South Africa.  

Maseru is pretty much where it's at.  Here you'll find the Pioneer Mall (hooray for Pick 'n' Pay supermarket and off licence!); the Royal Palace;  the most charming fire station I've ever seen,

a handful of embassies including this one,

and the cafe at the Alliance Francaise, where, rumour has it, the croissants are flown in from Paris.  Or Senegal.  Or somewhere.  I can testify that they are very good, as is the coffee.

In the spirit of cooperation, the Alliance Francaise and the German Consulate share a building.

There is also the Besotho Hat Shop which a) is shaped like a Besotho hat and b) sells Besotho hats - but (and I'm kicking myself) I don't seem to have taken any photos.

I'll be honest: Maseru is not beautiful.  Lesotho is a poor country and the fact that (happily) there is no legacy of colonisation means that there are no grand buildings erected to evoke some far away European city, nor (also happily) have the country's leaders chosen to invest in vanity building projects.    But there is definitely a buzz about the place - don't be surprised if, in years to come, Maseru becomes a sought after place to be.

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