First morning on Maldives.. and we are loving it! The sun is ever so brilliant even at 6a.m., it’s hard to stay indoors for long even though our cosy Ocean Villa at the Sheraton Maldives Fullmoon Resort and Spa is luxuriously comfortable. Imagine our surprise at the contemporary Maldivian-themed beach house tucked in the eastern end of the island, where you can watch the sun rise in the morning, over the Indian Ocean. Yes, we will be looking forward to exploring in great depth, this idyllic paradise of the Southern Atolls over the next week or so.
Maldives that has in the past, been hit by a series of disasters e.g. coral bleaching due to el Niño and then the devastation brought about by the 2004 tsunami, looks so perfect – you would have no idea it once suffered so much at the hand of natural disasters. It has powder white beaches and cobalt blue and green waters.. its waters so pristine, it can only be called ‘paradise’ by honeymooners and sun worshippers alike.
Later this evening we will get to head out to Malé, which is the capital and most populous city in the Republic of Maldives and is located at the southern edge of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll). I was so surprised to hear from one of the managers at our hotel that Maldives has in total, only a population of around 300,000 (2010) out of which the foreigners make up 100,000! Also, the country’s capital and largest city Malé has only a population of 150,000 (2011) people. It was also interesting to note that, despite the island’s deep Muslim faith, non-Muslims actually have a lot of freedom to have a good holiday without making many compromises. The other thing we learnt was that no idols, nor talisman, nor any other religious artifacts (apart from Islamic) are allowed to be displayed anywhere, in Maldives.
At our spanking new Ocean Villa, the private deck has a really cool plunge pool with a daybed and an outdoor rain shower. Trying to get on the hammock to catch some sun, proved harder for some than others – but we have had time, to perfect our technique for hammock swinging:p I am also loving the complimentary wireless High Speed Internet Access – so zippy! I’m going to post this post, then head out to breakfast.. but first, off for a quick run.. !
Stay tuned as our next vacation location is the fabulous lifestyle retreat and spa, known simply as, W !