I woke up this morning to yet another beautiful day. Really, can one person have too many beautiful days? “Not at all,” I thought and just stood quietly on the balcony enjoying the sun rising over the mountains as the ship slipped into port.
Today our port-of-call is Roseau, Dominica. According to what I read, Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea. As of the 2014 census the population of the island is 72,301. The economy of the island depends on agriculture and tourism.
The island has a very interesting history originally inhabited by the Kalinago/Arawak and later colonized by the Europeans, predominately by the French, who arrived at the island on November 1493. Great Britain took it over in 1763 after the Seven Years’ War and gradually established English as the official language. The island republic gained independence in 1978.
I knew there were many wonderful sights to see on this small island in the Caribbean nicknamed ‘The ‘Nature Isle of the Caribbean’ for its unspoiled natural beauty. Evidently touring the island you can find, “The second-largest hot spring, lush mountainous rainforest, waterfalls, many rare plants, animals and bird species”. But today, Randy just wanted to get off the ship and walk around the town.
We met our friends for breakfast and Bob, Sandy, Marty and Caryn said they were just going for a walk around town so we agreed to meet on the pier and go together. Dennis and Connie wanted to spend the day relaxing poolside.
From the distance of our 8th deck balcony, the town looked wonderful but once we crossed the bridge from the pier to the town it was apparent that this was a port city that was in real need of infrastructure repairs.
The street just beyond the entrance to the city off the port was Dame Mary Eugenia Charles Blvd. To the right was the Old Market Plaza a cobblestoned street lined with little shops offering a variety of souvenirs, clothing, jewelry, handicrafts, fresh fruit and more. According to its history, the Old Market was once a slave auction, public meeting and punishment area that had been converted to a craft and souvenir plaza.
We decided to bypass the market in favor of strolling down some of the streets. Walking was interesting as you had to look down watching for broken sidewalks, sometimes stepping into the street to avoid complete blocks of missing sidewalk. We were all amazed at the amount of wires hanging over the street and draped from building to building.
One building caught my interest as we walked along. The architecture reminded me of a small castle and it was obvious it had suffered a fire at some point in its history. I had to walk over to see what the building was being used for.
The outside of the Ruins Rock Café was in stark contrast to its inside. The inside, while a bit dark, was colorful and inviting. We all made a mental note that we would consider stopping by the café after we finished our walk.
After walking for several blocks, we decided to return to the port area. At the corner of one street it was difficult to proceed. There was no stop sign or traffic light and the cars would not stop. A very nice gentleman jumped into the street stopping the cars and invited us to continue our journey. I thought that was very nice and thanked him for his kindness.
We finally, after a few stops looking for sunglass for Randy, made it to the market walking through the many little shops with Sandy and Caryn stopping here and there looking for little gifts for grandchildren. Caryn eventually purchased several pieces of handmade jewelry by a local artist. They were very pretty. Sandy bought a hat for Bob to add to his collection of souvenir hats. Randy visited several shops in a continuing search of new sunglasses with no success. We did notice as we shopped that prices were quite high in this particular area.
After a while Marty and Caryn decided to return to the ship while the rest of us decided to stop at a local café for a cold drink. We passed an interesting little café only a short walk from the pier called the Cocorico Bar-Restaurant & Café.
The restaurant and sidewalk café were small, colorful and inviting. I enjoyed looking at all the artwork by local artists displayed inside the restaurant. It was too early for lunch so we decided to order a local brew. The server suggested we try a local brew called Kubuli.
In looking for a link that would tell you a little about the beer I came across a blog on a site called Uncommon Caribbean written by Steve Bennett that gives a wonderful history and description of this refreshing brew. We all agreed that it was very, very good.
We headed back to the ship to spend our afternoon relaxing poolside. That is, some of us were relaxing. On this trip Marty and Caryn reminded me of Randy and I when we first started to cruise. Randy and I would peruse of daily Cruise Compass circling all the activities we wanted to participate in. Over time the number of circles lessened and we spend more and more time poolside.
As we sat poolside, Marty stopped by on his way from one activity to another to say, “Hi” and tell us he had just won a gold medal playing miniature golf. A little later Caryn stopped by and showed off her gold medal in a darts competition. How wonderful is that?
Before we knew it, it was time to prepare for cocktails and dinner. We met Dennis, Connie, Bob and Sandy on deck 6 for cocktails. I had a marvelous chocolate martini. Yummy.
Dinner was fun as always as we sat around the table talking about our adventures on shore, relaxing poolside and Marty and Caryn’s athletic prowess. Fun, fun, fun.
I was not particularly hungry this evening so I chose appetizer-size Arugula and Bosc Pear Salad with walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and Carbernet dressing and a sweet backed potato. While I was not very hungry I absolutely could not pass on the Cherries Jubilee with warm Kirschwasser cherries and vanilla ice cream for dessert. My mouth sings whenever I see this on the dessert menu.
Tomorrow we dock in St. John’s, Antigua.