Howdy everybody, it has been some time hasn’t it? Nicely Glad New Yr and God Bless. In my first Article for the New Yr I’ve determined to share with you an expertise from my current journey to the Dominican Republic. Sure, I went to the DR 😄.
My brother and I deliberate a visit to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and we stayed at an All Inclusive Lodge for nearly every week. Whereas there we determined we wished to go on just a few excursions, two to be precise as a result of we solely had just a few days; the Journey Boogies which included ATV using and A day journey to Santo Domingo. I’m positive from the title you already know which one I can be speaking about on this article 😊.
A Little Background
Santa Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and is without doubt one of the oldest cities within the Caribbean. It was based by Bartholomew Columbus the brother of Christopher Columbus in 1496. It sits on the Southeastern a part of the Island of Hispaniola ( a Caribbean island made up of each Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and holds among the oldest Cathedrals in historical past. It has a inhabitants of over 3 million folks and it’s a metropolis stuffed with historical past and tradition.
The journey to Santo Domingo was an all day occasion. We needed to get to the pickup up level by 6:30 a.m. so we have been principally up at about 4:00 a.m. to ensure we had sufficient time to prepare and have breakfast earlier than the bus arrived. We have been informed it might be a 2 hour drive but it surely turned out to be about 3 hours. A part of the explanation, nevertheless, was as a result of the bus stopped at one other resort to select up passengers, however that wasn’t till after a great 90 minutes or so of driving.
The drive was okay, we have been on an air conditioned motorcoach with just some folks. We had a tour information who narrated and was capable of give us loads of details about the nation, like, for instance, how the nation is linked to Haiti and Haitians would come over to hunt work. Whereas driving we might see loads of them by the aspect of the highway ready to be picked up for work and the information suggested that some would get jobs to work in building or on the sugar cane factories.
Additionally, whereas using alongside there was loads of sightseeing, we have been capable of see different cities, rivers, universities, sugar cane factories and extra. The tour information was very informative and supplied the knowledge to us in 3 completely different languages; Spanish, English, and what I consider to be French.
Locations We Visited
As soon as in Santa Domingo we have been guided to completely different vital places. The primary place we stopped was the Columbus Lighthouse.
The Columbus Lighthouse or Faro a Colon in Spanish, is just not like all lighthouse you have got seen. It’s a mausoleum monument in Santa Domingo devoted to Christopher Columbus. The constructing is formed right into a cross which is difficult to note standing on the bottom however will be seen from an aerial view. As soon as inside one can find that it isn’t solely a mausoleum, but in addition a museum and It’s mentioned that the stays of Christopher Columbus are there within the mausoleum. So why is it referred to as a lighthouse? my guess is as a result of it has 150 lamps on the higher a part of the monument which might mission a big illuminated cross throughout the sky at night time.
We didn’t keep lengthy there as a result of the tour information solely gave us a couple of minutes to take footage and return to the bus, however in case you are planning a self guided tour of town you should have the chance to go inside and observe extra carefully.
Afterwards, we have been again on the bus the place we continued our journey. Our subsequent cease was Columbus Palace or Alcazar de Colon which was as soon as the house of Christopher Columbus’ son Diego Columbus and his spouse Maria de Toledo. It is without doubt one of the most notable museums in Santo Domingo. The design of the Palace is a mix of each gothic and renaissance aptitude. From the palace you may view the Plaze de Espana and the Ozama River with the Terminal Don Diego proper throughout the road.
While you arrive you’re damaged up into teams based mostly on what language you converse, so there was a bunch for English, Spanish, and there might have been one for Portuguese I consider or French (that one I’m not positive of). The information then gave us a tour of every a part of the museum and spoke about its historical past. Throughout the tour you’ll uncover unique furnishings, artwork and extra from the sixteenth century.
By the way in which this was the place our bus left us and for the remainder of the tour we needed to go on foot.
Museum of the Royal Homes
Only a quick stroll from the Columbus Palace is the Museum of the Royal Homes or Museo de las Casas Reales. This was as soon as the Royal Courtroom of the Governor of Spain. Immediately on the museum you may study concerning the historical past of the Dominican Republic as you journey by means of completely different intervals of the previous with reveals of slavery, replicas of the ships used throughout Columbus’ many voyages, historic transportation, and weapons and armory of the previous and likewise study concerning the tools utilized in sugar manufacturing.
On the Museum of the Royal Homes, we have been additionally damaged up into teams and had a tour information, however I obtained left behind as a result of I used to be so caught up in observing the completely different artifacts. I couldn’t discover my group and many of the workers standing round couldn’t converse English very effectively, so I did the remainder of the tour of the museum on my own.
Pantheon Of the Fatherland
After leaving the Museum of the Royal Homes we have been lead on a tour down the streets of the Colonial Zone or Zona Colonial additionally referred to as Cuidad Colonial that means Colonial Metropolis. So named as a result of that is the place Columbus Settled within the New World. We walked down historic streets, considered notable buildings and visited main church buildings.
The primary church we visited was the Pantheon de La Patria or in English Pantheon of the Fatherland, it’s really a mausoleum that was as soon as a Jesuit Church. Inside has the look of a church, however additionally, you will discover tombs on both sides. Don’t fear there aren’t any our bodies in them however there are names written on them of serious individuals who performed a component within the constructing of the Dominican Republic. It turned the DR’s nationwide Mausoleum in 1956.
First Cathedral of the Americas
The subsequent place we went was to the oldest church, the First Cathedral of the Americas or in Spanish Catedral Primada de las Americas and that’s simply one among its names. It goes by just a few different names and longer names. Though over 500 years previous, this cathedral continues to be a distinguished place of worship within the metropolis of Santo Domingo. It’s believed to be the oldest church within the Western Hemisphere. The primary stone was laid by Diego Columbus in 1514, however resulting from delays it was not accomplished till 1541.
Exterior of the Cathedral you’re given small transmitter units, some in English and a few in Spanish. The units are for while you enter to relate concerning the completely different objects and sections one can find inside. As you tour the within of the church one can find, smaller chapels off to the aspect, photographs of Jesus, tombs, artwork work and you’ll’t assist however gasp on the design of the constructing itself particularly the ceiling. Women are usually not allowed to go inside with with shorts or minis, you probably have that on, one of many attendants will provide you with a bit of fabric to wrap round your waist.
The constructing has three doorways, one among which opens as much as Columbus Park or Parque Colon the place one can find a statue of Christopher Columbus pointing into yonder.
Buche Perico Restaurant
The spotlight of the journey for me was the lunch that was included. We went to a small restaurant referred to as Buche Perico positioned across the nook from Columbus Park. Whereas the meals was first rate the ambiance of the restaurant was even higher. It was as if we have been sitting and consuming in a backyard, with the sounds of water cascading down the rocks. I even picked up a brand new recipe.
After having fun with a lunch of rice, rooster, with a aspect of salad and dessert, the tour information informed us we have been going to “the market” which I assumed can be a giant place with a number of distributors promoting completely different objects, however was simply an enormous retailer the place you should buy all of the presents and souvenirs you possibly can discover.
As soon as we have been completed buying we walked for a bit extra to attend for our bus. As soon as we have been again on, we drove some extra round Santo Domingo till we arrived on the Nationwide Palace or Palacio Nacional. The Nationwide Palace is the governmental seat of the Dominican Republic. The home of the President, nevertheless, per the tour information, the president doesn’t stay there however goes there for normal affairs. We weren’t capable of go inside, however needed to observe from exterior the gates, the property was closely guarded.
Once we have been completed taking our footage we headed again into the course of our resort, besides we had one final place to go to. We visited Mabel Chocolate – Choco Punto in La Ramona the place we obtained to pattern chocolate and somebody got here in and informed us about the different sorts and the way they’re processed. There you can also make purchases of the completely different kind of cacao merchandise accessible. In one other part of the shop it’s also possible to discover pure merchandise for hair and physique and simply subsequent door in the identical plaza there’s a Vega Fina Cigar Manufacturing facility. The Vega Fina Cigar model is definitely made within the Dominican Republic.
So that’s how we spent our day in Santo Domingo, studying concerning the historical past whereas we toured the Colonial Metropolis on foot. Whereas touring we additionally obtained to see what the folks have been like. We got here throughout distributors that wished to make some cash, simply hold and eye on them as a result of they’ll come off a bit aggressive. We additionally noticed faculty kids on discipline journeys, noticed a Pizza Hut and realized that they ship their pizzas on bikes in contrast to right here within the U.S. and we additionally noticed the attractive ocean. Whereas there aren’t any seashores in Santo Domingo the closest seashore in Boca Chica is just not very distant, it’s roughly 19 miles east of the middle of Santo Domingo.
The nation does have some advantageous chocolate and their nationwide drink is the Mama Juana – an alcoholic beverage made by infusing spirits with herbs, tree bark, and honey. Additionally in all places we went somebody was promoting a bit of knickknack with the DR’s nationwide stone referred to as Larimar.