We had another early morning today - got the wake-up call at 6:45am. The Caribbean Princess arrived in Grenada at 7:00am - we got ready and had our usual buffet breakfast. We disembarked at 8:00am and got "held up" by two sets of pirates for a photo op. The first pirate guy was CRAZY and very energetic! We ended up purchasing this photograph at the end of our trip at the photo centre on board!
We waited for our tour outside on the dock and Poolie got props from a local dude. He was pretty happy about that and said that Kris would be jealous. Nice to see that the locals are so friendly! :)
We boarded a small van and met our tour guide, Louise, who is a super sweet and positive-minded lady. Many of her stories related back to her own personal experiences of the events, such as their war in 1983 and Hurricane Ike in 2004 - she lost the roof of her house! Still, she was very positive when recalling these devastating experiences. The tour was about 4 1/2 hours long and they gave us a very detailed description of the nature and buildings around the island.
Our ship was in port in one of the main towns, St. George's. From there, we drove around the winding roads up the mountains towards the Dougaldston Estate, where the spices are harvested. Along the way, Louise told us all about the areas we drove through, including the fishing town of Gouyave near Dougaldston Estate. Grenada is mostly English speaking, but there are both English and French names for places dating back to when the English and French both wanted control of the island.
At one point, we stopped along a main road near the ocean to admire and study some carvings in the side of the mountain. There are many different carvings of faces right in the side of the mountain! These carvings were from many, many years ago and were produced by the original Carib Indians of the island. It is amazing that this art still exists, and that it can be viewed in plain sight while driving down a main road!
We saw many buildings along the way that had no roofs, collapsed buildings, or ones that were overgrown with plants - devastated by the hurricane. The island is very green with the widest variety of spices grown in such a small area in the whole world.
At Dougaldston Estate, we were shown the various parts of nutmeg (the outer shell, the nutmeg inside, and the mace that lines it - smells great!), how cocoa is processed, the various leaves and their wonderful scents - bay leaves, cinnamon (amazing how the leaves even smell!), and the loofah - which actually comes from a tree! It grows from a tree, and you break the outer layer off for the loofah inside - I had no idea that's how it grows!
Also, lots of bananas growing everywhere, mangos, breadfruit, coconut, papaya, coffee (many were lost in the hurricane) and so many more plants! We saw beautiful poinsettias and other flowers in bloom. It was nice because on many occasions, they stopped along the road to show us many various plants and spices growing naturally.
After our spice tour, we drove to Grand Etang Lake - the national park where we saw a lake that formed in an extinct volcano crater. They had a cute information centre there as well as some vendors. We picked up a few local spices - saffron, curry, chili powder, and cocoa beans for some Grenadian hot chocolate. Poolie also bought me a Grenada dark chocolate bar and some postcards.
From there, a quick drive to Annandale Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall amongst lush green plants and trees. There were some local men there who dive off the top of the waterfall into the water below. They make their living from the tips that tourists give to see them jump from the top of the waterfall. I know that I wouldn't be able to jump off the edge from that high up, but that must be a fun job for them!
After viewing the waterfall, we drove to Fort Frederick for a breathtaking view of the island. The tour was fantastic! "Grenada Explorer" offered through the cruise ship allowed us to learn so much about the island and see its beauty.
When we got back on board the ship, we went to the Cafe Caribe buffet for their Mexican-themed buffet and it was awesome! I still enjoyed a big salad but there were also cheese quesadillas, nacho chips with all of the toppings including a fresh salsa, Mexican rice, and these delicious potatoes. Yum!
Right now, I'm just chilling out on our balcony as we set sail from Grenada - we left early today from the island at 2:00pm, most likely because Bonaire is farther away and there is a greater amount of travel time. It is a great opportunity to listen to the crashing waves, soak up a little sun, and look out into the deep blue ocean. How relaxing! There is a great breeze off the water to balance the warm temperature - just perfect weather!
* * *
Another fun day comes to an end. We had an afternoon snooze for about an hour and got ready for dinner. For dinner in the dining room tonight, Poolie had the eggplant parmigiana, we both had a nice salad, and Poolie had stuffed zucchini with braised white beans while I had the predictable and tasty fettuccine alfredo. Pool said his dinner was outstanding! For dessert, I had the tiramisu and Poolie had the cheesecake. It was Italian night in the dining room so the waiters were all dressed up in the red/white or green/white striped shirts - fun! We didn't have the limoncello this time around but it was an option - Princess makes their own homemade limoncello and offers an unlimited amount with a shot glass that you can purchase. We tried it last time and while it wasn't really my thing, Poolie really enjoyed it!
We went into the shops and found out where the one with the sunglasses and stuff was after asking an employee on board. I found a nice cheap watch and a really nice not-so-cheap handbag - a crochet brown bag by The Sak
. It is sooo my style :) Poolie is gonna go back and buy some sunglasses tomorrow.
We went to the Explorer's Lounge for a classical concert performance and there was a violinist, a pianist, and then a duo comprised of a violinist and a pianist. The first violinist played concertos that relied on a backing track, which unfortunately compromised his performance a bit. I also didn't care for the electric pick-up on the violin. The pianist didn't have a very interesting setlist and the performance was rather uninspiring and even a tad sloppy. However, the final pair were great, especially the violinist. They played a great variety of songs - a good selection of Brahms, Schubert, among others. The last piece was especially fantastic - it highlighted their skill, both independently and as a duo. It was all in all a great show and inspired me to brush up a bit on my own piano playing when I get home!
Tonight was the Tropical Deck Party night, which was unfortunately rained out as we passed through a few light rain showers out at sea. The party moved to Club Fusion where we watched a huge group of people do the Chicken Dance. We must have just missed the Macarena, haha :) Then, they started a conga line and as soon as it began to approach us, we promptly fled the scene.
Now, we're back all comfy in our pjs back in the room! Alvin, our room steward left us an awesome swan towel creation made out of two different towels. He's the best!
The following video is from our day in Grenada: you will see a view of the island from our cruise ship balcony, you will see a local group who jump off the edge of the waterfall at Annandale Falls, and you will see another view of Grenada from up at the top of the fort.