Before We Head For Home - One Last Tour
Santo Domingo Travel Blog› entry 10 of 11 › view all entries
Our flight from Santo Domingo was late in the afternoon, so our group decided to do the ship's tour of the city. By taking this tour, we not only got to see some sights, but also transfers to the airport, and early disembarkation from the ship. Around 9:00 am, we met in the ship's theater and traveled as a group off the ship, claimed our luggage, and boarded buses for the tour. For the first part of the tour, our guide along with the bus driver who drove us around parts of the old town, shared important history of the area.
Just outside a park and an very old cathedral, we unload the bus for a walking tour of the area. You see, the streets are so narrow that negotiating a motor coach is not practical.
From there, we walked to a building housing little shops. Our stop there included a very nice place to purchase amber and larimar jewelry (from $10 USD on up to several hundred dollars), other tourist trinkets, clothing, and a chance to purchase refreshments. The tradition behind mamjuana, the island cure-all, was explained, and we were allowed to partake in a sample. This concoction is made from local plants, honey, rum, and if you so desire, red wine. The natives truly believe that a little each day will cure what ails you!
Our walk then took us to the bus for the ride to the airport. We had plenty of time to check luggage, get boarding passes, and try to find something to eat before our trip to the States. In the airport near the duty free shop, we found bottles of the dried plants packaged for mamajuana.
This tour was pretty neat! It was a great chance to learn more about Santo Domingo, a wonderful walk through parts of the old city, and just one more chance to purchase those "have to have" items! The people of Santo Domingo are very proud of their heritage, and Christopher Columbus is a "hero" for his discovery of the island.
Advice for those traveling to Santo Domingo - brush up on your Spanish! You will need it as most people only understand that language. My hand gestures, which I thought was a universal language, need work when trying to communicate! Having a member of your travel party interpret for you is the best way to go. If it weren't for our daughter, who knows! We might still be there! (Hum, not a bad idea!)