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Published: July 15th 2015
Statues of Columbus are in plazas throughout the Caribbean. He is always pointing.
HISTORIC SANTA DOMINGO
We decided to go to the Dominican Republic, on our way down to Puerto Rico, where Michael will be terminating his adventure in the Caribbean. We had two choices of airports in the Dominican Republic. We finally settled on flying into Santo Domingo, the capital city. Michael is very comfortable in big cities and likes to visit a country’s capital. I was happy to take advantage of his experience and broaden my travel skills.
We got a hotel right on a busy expressway. It was a comfortable hotel and featured a very nice complimentary breakfast. At my instigation we took a taxi to the university area looking for a vegetarian restaurant…big mistake. The restaurant didn’t exist any longer and the taxi driver, trying to please us, took us to another restaurant on the waterfront…an Italian restaurant. Not a good choice for either of us, expensive and wrong.
When we got back to the hotel we figured out that we had not done our usual “getting to know you” routine for a new place. Take a walk. Leave the hotel and
La Fortaleza de Santo Domingo
This fort has multitudes of stairs and hidey holes. I felt like a child again.
basically turn right (how we both would do it unless there was a sight we really wanted to see across the street or down to our left. After meandering for a while we would have a bit of the lay of the land and be able to find a market, a fast food place, an interesting restaurant, a pharmacy, etc. So the next day we set off, with the receptionist ‘s information that the Tour bus company depot was a few blocks down the street on our right, and an address for the Hop On – Hop Off bus tour in the old town. We walked, and walked, and walked. And it was hot. We did finally find the Tour Bus Depot and made reservations for Puerto Plata where Michaela, our Turks and Caicos divemaster, suggested we go for diving. We than caught a taxi for Zona Colonia and the bus tour.
When we got to the historic center we saw old stone walls, a fortress, and a lovely little park. Michael suggested we forgo the bus ride for a leisurely stroll through the old town. It was much more pleasant than listening to a canned history
At the Top
The highest turret of the fort, with the Dominican Republic flag proudly flying.
lesson and sitting in traffic. Traffic in Santo Domingo is even more snarled than downtown Seattle on a game day.
Our first stop was a park bench in a small plaza. We had already walked several miles and I needed time to rest and regroup. I bought a coconut candy from a vendor. It was dipped in red glaze, on a stick. It looked like an old fashioned candied apple, but much smaller. It was yummy and I wished I had bought more. Then we just started taking photos as we walked around. We visited the Cathedral, and I read all the information in each side chapel. It was quiet and peaceful inside the church, but we finally decided to pick up the pace. We went to the fortress and climbed all the stairs and looked in all the little cubbies. We sat out a pelting rain storm under a small gazebo. Then we strolled the avenue in a light rain, looking at the people and the shops, in equal proportion. When we realized the rain was not stopping we found a sidewalk café, where I got a hamburger and fries and Michael got a coffee... and
It isn't possible to get a good photo of the front of the church. We entered by a side door.
another order of fries. I liked being on our own schedule, staying as long as we wanted in each place.
When we got back to our hotel I immediately fell asleep. Michael braved the rain storm and went to the supermarket. It was a good day.
Our “Selfie” Tour was perfect.
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