Grenada's highlights & scenic drive

Trip Start Jan 22, 2009
Trip End Feb 08, 2009

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Blog,

This morning, the Caribbean Princess made its way to beautiful GRENADA.  We arrived at 12:00pm and had the luxury of sleeping in, of taking a relaxed breakfast plus having lunch on the ship before running to the disembarkation deck.

As the ship made its way to the port, my first impression of the island was the beauty of it.  Beautiful emerald hillsides and tropical forests were opening up in front of us . It was out of this world to put it mildly.  I kept thinking, King Kong would have loved to live here, in all of this green vegetation and mountains. It was entirely a different landscape than the islands previously visited the last two days. The colourful painted houses were built on the hillsides giving a tropical and exotic view.  Dark clouds could be seen in the centre of the island probably a rainforest, otherwise, the sky was quite blue everywhere else.

The island is 21 miles by 12 miles wide. St. George's is the capital.  Approximately 107,000 people live in Grenada, 27,000 in the capital.  English is the official language and an African-French patois is also spoken.  As well, Grenada is the Caribbean's "Isle of Spice" one of the world's major producers of nutmeg, mace clove, cinnamon and cocoa. 

As we disembarked the ship, we made our way to our guide who was holding up the tour sign.  We were first in line, therefore, the first to board the air-conditioned mini van.   I settled for a front seat, next to the driver while Mi, behind me.  Being seated in front, I had the advantage of admiring all of the wonderful vistas opening up ahead of me.
Off we went.  In Grenada, people drive on the left side of the road (being wrong side for us) and their cars, the driver on the right side.  The roads are quite narrowed and houses, often built right next to the roads.  The living conditions looked pififul, but the people looked proud and happy. 

We enjoyed the narrated drive through the picturesque capital of St. George's on our way to our first stop.  From my seat, it was quite scary at times seeing the cliffs next to me.  One bad move by the driver, and we would be going down those hills.  They were quite, and I quote, quite stiff and zig zagging along the mountains.  Everytime the driver would turn, he had to press the car's horn to announce to other cars coming down that he was coming up or vice versa.  Often, you wondered how two cars could pass one next to another one on those narrowed roads.  The driver, however, kept his cool and knew what he was doing.  He reassured us all by saying that the van's brakes were changed every 3 months.  Good stuff!

As we approached our first stop being the Annandale Falls, beautiful black women could be seen with their colourful fruit baskets on top of their heads up the road.  We got out of the van and proceeded to walk in their directions while enjoying the surroundings.   They greeted us with open arms and a few laughs were exchanged.  They were quite pleasant and gave us advice on a variety of spices being sold at the stands.  We purchased a few for souvenirs of the place.  We then continued our way by following a short but steep walk down a path to the Annandale Falls where the rushing water, framed by hanging ferns and a variety of flowering plants were simply picture perfect.  Pictures were taken and off we went for our next stop.

We travelled along the scenic east coast of the island to Greenville and then on to Grand Etang Lake in Grand Etang National Park passing along the way verdant grove of bananas, cocoa, nutmeg and other spices.   Once there, we enjoyed a complimentary beverage while taking the views of the lake which is located in the crater of an extinct volcano.  Cooool!

Along the way, we also stopped at a small fishermen's village near the ocean to admire the deep blue ocean, the beach and the palm trees.  The site was postcard beautiful.  With excitement, I kept running around here and there taking pictures since we only had a few minutes.  Once back in the van, we noticed that something was smelling terrible but we all kept our mouths shut thinking who was it.  Finally, the driver spotted the guilty person.  It was Mi.  Unknown to him, he had stepped on some dog's poo while walking on the beach.  Yurk!.  The driver had to stop the van, clean up Mi's shoes before proceeding down the road.  Everyone was laughing. 

Our next stop was Fort Frederick.  The fort was first constructed by the French in 1779 and completed by the English in 1791.  It offered a fantastic view of the town and the harbour below.  In the distance, the Caribbean Princess could be seen. 

After a wonderful tour which lasted 4 hours, we made our way back to the ship enjoying again the picturesque capital.  A policeman could be seen in his small wooden cubicle of a box directing with his hands the traffic.  Simple things are so special.  The ship left port at 7:00pm that evening.  We deeply enjoyed the culture and the people.  Grenada will remain a magical island in my mind where spices grow and everyone loves one another.

Thankful for spices. 


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