Kampala is a crazy city. I don’t mean that in a judgmental way, just in a “this is fact” kind of way. Kampala IS crazy. At least to me & especially as a foreigner (I assume). I’ve talked about it on Twitter before, but there is just so much going on: cars all over the place, people all over the place, vendors on the street, people talking to me & talking to me, boda bodas bustling… it’s busy. In a great way, but still. Very busy.
A few days into my adventure here in Uganda I may have possibly needed a break. Not from the exploring (of course not!) & not from Uganda or Africa or any of the newness, but from the BUSTLE. I love cities, but even in ones I know like the back of my hand (read: San Francisco), I am still not a city girl. Sam & I talk about this fairly often: I’ve decided that I LOVE me some cities, but I want to visit them, not live in them. I like open spaces. National parks. Gardens.
So I looked for that in Kampala.
There isn’t much. It’s something I had heard from Delanie before – there’s not much green space here, not many places to relax & “get away from it all” here. But not much doesn’t mean NONE, so I ventured out to her favorite place to relax. &, spoiler alert, I LOVED it. 🙂
The Baha’i Temple is located on a hill. There are supposedly seven hills that make up Kampala, but no matter. This is at the top of one of those hills & it’s lovely. You can see so much of the city & the gardens are big & extensive & beautiful, which is really nice. It’s quiet & pretty empty. It was lovely having the place almost to myself (although I also went on a weekday, so I can’t speak for the weekend).
The temple itself is small. It’s a lovely, simple building, but it’s just one room & fairly plainly decorated. The Baha’i faith is pretty simple, too, & I believe the room is “decorated” in keeping with this faith. Less worldly distractions & a focus on God, not icons. I believe.
The clouds were rolling in & a thunderstorm was brewing. The winds were picking up on the top of the hill & amid all the flowers & trees I felt like I was nice & cool for the first time in days. I love heat, but maaaan I am not used to it. People here keep saying it’s finally the right temperature now that we’ve entered the rainy season, but that just leads me to believe that I would melt into a literal puddle in the dry season. I try to wear the lightest, simplest clothes I’ve got.
Plus, these sandals. I wear my Saltwaters pretty much every single day. I fit right in, too. Sandals are definitely the shoe of choice here. Definitely. 🙂
The gardens are well kept & I was definitely impressed by the variety & beauty of the gardens. So many bougainvilleas & this red one really impressed me.
This was the walkway up to the temple. You get dropped off down by the front gate & then walk up this path. It felt like walking into a sanctuary. Which I guess is what it is… haha. 😉
VISIT / Take a boda boda to the Baha’i Temple. They will know where it is. I paid about 4-5,000 Ugandan shillings for the trip, but it depends on where you come from. Alternately, take a special hire (like an American taxi here). I would ask for about 15-20,000 Ugandan shillings, depending on where you are coming from. There is not much in the way of public transport here & if you walk, you will be walking for a long time.
*All photos in this post by Simone Anne. Please do not reproduce without permission. Thanks! 🙂