Santo Domingo City Tour

Trip Start Jan 15, 2008
Trip End Jan 27, 2008

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008
Santo Domingo City Tour
Dear Readers:
A huge cruise ship is parked across the street from my hotel, startling me when I throw open the curtains this morning! We start our city tour on foot, following some of the same routes I walked earlier. After visiting Diego Colon's house, we see the Amber Museum. It has a really excellent explanation of the various types of amber found around the world, and many examples of different kinds of insects entombed in amber. The shop is very expensive!
One disappointment today is that the First Cathedral is closed to tourists and tomorrow is some sort of National Holiday, so we won't get to see inside. No one in the group seems devastated by the news. Once we realize we won't be entering a church, a group member suggests we change into shorts, so we take a quick break in the midst of the tour for a quick costume change since we are just a couple of blocks from our hotel.
After the walk in the Colonial quarter, we drive to the more modern sections of the city. Some areas are quite depressed, but on the whole the areas we see are well maintained and somewhat modern. I think it is a prettier capital than in Costa Rica, for example, but they don't have the same classical flair for the National Theatre. It is a relatively plain modern building. The National Palace is in a neoclassical style, designed by an Italian architect.
We have lunch at a restaurant serving a buffet of typical Dominican Republic food, which is very tasty! A brief dance performance sends me running for the street because the music is cranked up to what is for me an intolerable level. I shoot video of the dancers from the street.
The tour concludes, we say farewell to our guide and driver, and break for a free afternoon. So far we've had a nice, relaxed pace, which I really enjoy!
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