Before We Head For Home - One Last Tour

Santo Domingo Travel Blog

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Santo Domingo from Deck 10

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.

The Guard at the National Panthon
  What they wanted to show us was a nice few blocks walk!  This was a nice surprise for my husband and I.  Again, our guide, who spoke very good English, told us all about the park, cathedral (with Sunday services scheduled, we could not go inside), and Diego Columbus' house.  Along the way, we saw the National Panthon where several important citizens of the Dominican Republic are entombed and the guard standing watch over the building and eternal flame.  We also saw the French Embassey, and a very nicely renovated old building now serving as a high class hotel.  A very old sundial was pointed out to us, and we were given a wonderful tour of the house built for Christopher Columbus.  Christopher did not live to see the completion of the house, so Diego and his family lived there.
Notice the beautiful painted ceiling
 

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.

The Eternal Flame Burns
  Of course, all five of us had to buy a bottle to reproduce the liquid "medicine" at home.  

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!) 

 

 

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Santo Domingo from Deck 10
Santo Domingo from Deck 10
The Guard at the National Panthon
The Guard at the National Panthon
Notice the beautiful painted ceili…
Notice the beautiful painted ceil…
The Eternal Flame Burns
The Eternal Flame Burns
Our Guide For The Tour
Our Guide For The Tour
The Ancient Way to Tell Time
The Ancient Way to Tell Time
Diego Columbus House
Diego Columbus' House
Inside Columbus House
Inside Columbus' House
Wouldnt You Love To Have A Porch …
Wouldn't You Love To Have A Porch…
Walls Around The City
Walls Around The City
The View From Columbus House
The View From Columbus' House
Santo Domingo From Legend of the S…
Santo Domingo From Legend of the …
Another picture of Santo Domingo
Another picture of Santo Domingo
A Very Busy Street in Old Town
A Very Busy Street in Old Town
A Very Old Cathedral In The Center…
A Very Old Cathedral In The Cente…
A Statue of Columbus
A Statue of Columbus
Beautiful Street Scene
Beautiful Street Scene
The Corner of the French Embassy
The Corner of the French Embassy
Welcome to the French Embassy
Welcome to the French Embassy
National Panthon
National Panthon
Santo Domingo
photo by: drsbabyface01