Hiya everybody, it has been some time hasn’t it? Properly Blissful New Yr and God Bless. In my first Article for the New Yr I’ve determined to share with you an expertise from my latest 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 a couple of excursions, two to be actual as a result of we solely had a couple of 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 will probably be speaking about on this article 😊.
A Little Background
Santa Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and is among 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 a number of 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 instructed it could be a 2 hour drive however it turned out to be about 3 hours. A part of the rationale, nevertheless, was as a result of the bus stopped at one other lodge to select up passengers, however that wasn’t till after a superb 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 lots 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 may see lots 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 lots of sightseeing, we have been capable of see different cities, rivers, universities, sugar cane factories and extra. The tour information was very informative and offered the data to us in 3 totally 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 totally different important places. The primary place we stopped was the Columbus Lighthouse.
The Columbus Lighthouse or Faro a Colon in Spanish, just isn’t like several lighthouse you may have 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 may be seen from an aerial view. As soon as inside you will see that that it’s not solely a mausoleum, but additionally a museum and It’s stated that the stays of Christopher Columbus are there within the mausoleum. So why is it known as a lighthouse? my guess is as a result of it has 150 lamps on the higher a part of the monument which may challenge 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 photos and return to the bus, however in case you are planning a self guided tour of the 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 among the most notable museums in Santo Domingo. The design of the Palace is a mixture of each gothic and renaissance aptitude. From the palace you possibly can view the Plaze de Espana and the Ozama River with the Terminal Don Diego proper throughout the road.
Whenever you arrive you might be damaged up into teams primarily based on what language you communicate, so there was a bunch for English, Spanish, and there could 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 authentic furnishings, artwork and extra from the sixteenth century.
By the best way 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 brief 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 Court docket of the Governor of Spain. At the moment on the museum you possibly can study concerning the historical past of the Dominican Republic as you journey by totally different durations 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 gear 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 acquired left behind as a result of I used to be so caught up in observing the totally different artifacts. I couldn’t discover my group and a lot of the employees standing round couldn’t communicate English very nicely, 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 known 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, seen 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 an element within the constructing of the Dominican Republic. It turned the DR’s nationwide Mausoleum in 1956.
First Cathedral of the Americas
The following 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 in every of its names. It goes by a couple of different names and longer names. Though over 500 years outdated, this cathedral remains to be a outstanding 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 on account of delays it was not accomplished till 1541.
Exterior of the Cathedral you might be given small transmitter units, some in English and a few in Spanish. The units are for once you enter to relate concerning the totally different objects and sections you will see that inside. As you tour the within of the church you will see that, smaller chapels off to the aspect, pictures of Jesus, tombs, artwork work and you may’t assist however gasp on the design of the constructing itself particularly the ceiling. Girls aren’t allowed to go inside with with shorts or minis, in case you have that on, one of many attendants gives you a bit of material to wrap round your waist.
The constructing has three doorways, one in every of which opens as much as Columbus Park or Parque Colon the place you will see that 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 known as Buche Perico positioned across the nook from Columbus Park. Whereas the meals was respectable 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 instructed us we have been going to “the market” which I believed could be a giant place with a number of distributors promoting totally different gadgets, however was simply an enormous retailer the place you should purchase all of the items and souvenirs you may 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 dwell 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.
After we have been completed taking our photos we headed again into the path of our lodge, besides we had one final place to go to. We visited Mabel Chocolate – Choco Punto in La Ramona the place we acquired to pattern chocolate and somebody got here in and instructed us about the different sorts and the way they’re processed. There you may make purchases of the totally different kind of cacao merchandise obtainable. In one other part of the shop you can too 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 acquired 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 area 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 just isn’t very far-off, it’s roughly 19 miles east of the middle of Santo Domingo.
The nation does have some tremendous 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 bijou with the DR’s nationwide stone known as Larimar.