Saint-Louis, Senegal

Saint-Louis, Senegal

AKA my preferred city in West Africa.

Why?

For the soft colors of sky, sand, and water that make the brilliantly painted pirogues pop.

For the colonial architecture on the little island that consists of the old town. The structures are silenced and used down in best consistency with the surrounding environment.

For the Sahelian architecture that is simply as spectacular.

For the creative spirit of the city, from the gorgeous Museum of Photography (whose owner remains in the procedure of refurbishing a number of other structures to produce brand-new museums and guesthouses), to the documentary celebration that occurred to be on while I remained in town this previous December, to the metal artist, Meissa Fall, whose studio was best next door to my hotel.

For the spirit of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of my preferred book, The Little Prince. He and Jean Mermoz would remain at Hotel de la Poste when flying their Aeropostale path from Buenos Aires to Saint-Louis and back. Both males vanished at sea throughout unfortunate flights– Mermoz in 1936 on an air mail objective and Saint-Exupéry in 1944 on a French war objective. Mermoz obviously constantly remained in the hotel’s corner space, and it stays a shrine to his memory. I might not get a clear response whether the space devoted to Saint-Exupéry was certainly one he in fact remained in, however it still felt unique. (The hotel supervisor enthusiastically revealed me around both spaces.) I got chills when I watched out over the veranda to the yard and understood that the individual who composed the most significant words on earth to me frequently shared that exact same view.

For Au Fil Du Fleuve, the stunning guesthouse where I remained. It is hosted by a vibrant lady who did a lovely task refurbishing the area and does a much more gorgeous task running it. The breakfast spread appeared like a Caravaggio still life, just with Senegalese fruits and spices and homemade yogurt– and even lakh!— which is substantial if you’re gluten intolerant and unfortunate that you never ever get enough carbohydrates from hotel breakfasts.

For the renowned bridge, created by Gustave Eiffel, that connects the island to the mainland. It’s a beaut.

And for numerous other intangible things that defy simple photography, since their energy requires to be felt instead of seen. Like the 4 males drumming their method down the corniche one day, or the crowds of uniformed kids taking control of the roadways when school blurts, or the no-frills luncheonette that serves the exact same dependably tasty number of meals every day, or the sundown hum of activity as males fill the mosques …

It hurts publishing these images, since I was expected to return to Saint-Louis this previous June and once again this coming December for work, however undoubtedly, those journeys got cancelled.

I do not miss out on travel per se– I believe I accumulated enough of that over the previous couple of years to last me through this COVID-era hibernation– however I do miss out on particular locations a fair bit. Saint-Louis is among them.