On a recent Seabourn cruise, I acted as Virtuoso Voyageur Club host with my colleague, Ms. Alex Yates. We had an amazing experience. The most unexpected pleasure came when we had the opportunity to visit Dominica for the first time.
What a treat! I was really taken by this little piece of paradise that reminded me of Hawaii. It was rich, and lush in vegetation; and had volcanos, black sand beaches, Banyan trees, and coral beaches as well.
My colleague and I did a shore excursion to tour the island, and we were not disappointed. The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus on a Sunday, hence the name Dominica. (Our tour guide told us that Christopher Columbus’ cousin discovered the Dominican Republic, also on a Sunday.) Like many islands in the Caribbean, the English and French fought over Dominica over the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Dominica ended up being English, but the island won its independence in November 1978. Unfortunately, many hurricanes hit the island over the next couple of years, but the island rebuilt and endured.
They say the island is known for its 3 R’s: rivers, rainbows, and romance. Apparently, there are 365 rivers, and we saw many on the drive. We also saw evidence of the rainbows, with a double rainbow to start the tour. And while our husbands didn’t join us on this trip, but my colleague, Ms Alex, and I could understand how romance would definitely be inspired by this gorgeous island with its rugged beauty and its constant mist. (We did hear “liquid sunshine” many times during the day.)
The ship docked in the capital and main port Rouseau, known for its reeds (used for point-tip arrows and now basket weaving). There’s a hodge podge of small colourful buildings.
We started our tour by visiting Morne Bruce, the peak overlooking Rouseau, and got to see our double-rainbow from this vantage point. We saw Banyan trees, begonias, flame trees, orchids, tiger lilies and more in the Botanic Gardens. And then drove to the Morne Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. See here for more info http://www.avirtualdominica.com/worldheritagesite.cfm and http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/
We visited Emerald Pool as well. It is a great grotto, and it is said that you will drop 10 years off your age if you swim in its waters. I didn’t bring a bathing suit, but I had to get in the water. Now, my feet up to my knees appear 10 years younger.
Dominica is known for its hiking trails. Moderate to more active trails are available (and there are some 2-3 days hikes, with spots to sleep along the way.)
We also were treated to a musical show by locals who sang and danced for us.
Visit Dominica. See the Pitons. Hike the trails. Cross another UNESCO world heritage site off your list. And go for a dip in Emerald Pool.
Call me to arrange a visit. Sheila Gallant-Halloran Sheila.firstname.lastname@example.org 613-837-0699