After three relaxing days at sea, we reached St George’s, Grenada. And it wasn’t a tender port, Yay!! I don’t know who was happier, the passengers or the exhausted tender boat drivers.
St George’s, pop 34,000, is the capital city of Grenada. With a picturesque horseshoe shaped harbor, the town is surrounded by the hillside of an old volcano crater. Grenada (pop 125,000) and its smaller surrounding islands are known as the spice islands with nutmeg being the main crop along with cocoa, mace, cloves, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.
Grenada achieved independence from Britain in 1974. After a leftist coup in 1983, U.S. troops invaded the island and a pro USA government was reinstated. In 2004, the island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan with 90% of the homes damaged or destroyed. Nutmeg trees, the key to their economy, were destroyed. With help from the United States, Canada, China, Venezuela, European Union, Trinidad and Tobego, the country has made significant progress in rebuilding their country and economy.
It was a sunny, hot and humid day as we made our way off the ship. Instead of an excursion, we had decided to walk around and explore on our own. We quickly discovered that St George’s is severely lacking in sidewalks, making for potential hazardous conditions for pedestrians. There were lots of people milling around since there were two cruise ships in port. It has been many days since we had the company of another cruise ship. They were parked right next to us so they couldn’t be missed.
Our map took us through the 350 foot Sendall Tunnel which was an experience in itself with no pedestrain walkways. We also found they drive on the left side of the road like the United Kingdom.
We continued climbing up steep streets to reach St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. There was quite a view from the top.
We continued back down to the harbor where the water was so clear we could see tiny minnows in the water. Next was their open air market where we didn’t see anything of interest. We checked into buying tickets to ride their little town trolley but there was over a two hour wait so we passed. By now we were really hot and decided to head back to the ship. We spent the afternoon working on blogs, using the first cell phone signal we have had in many days.
We noticed some of the crew bringing a small truckload of palm fronds onto the ship in St George’s. The next morning at breakfast we noticed the entire buffet area had been magically transformed overnight into a Caribbean setting with palm fronds and shells. All done to prepare for our upcoming time in the Caribbean. The crew is always finding ways to surprise us!
That evening the captain told us to watch out for Pico Naiguata, the summit of a mountain near Caracas, Venezuela. Around 6:00 p.m. we could make it out in the distance from our balcony using binoculars. It was impossible to get a good picture because of the sea mist.
Next up: Willemstad, Curacao