Wednesday, June 14, 2006

St. Georges, Grenada


Grenada has a very interesting history, most recently with their transition to full independence in 1974. Grenada was under the rule of Sir Eric Gairy, a controversial figure who seemed to divide the country. This resulted in a a left-wing coup in 1979 by Maurice Bishop, who greatly admired Fidel Castro. Bishop tried to turn Grenada into a socialist state, improving medical care and education, but he did this at the cost of freedom. Anyone who opposed him was thrown in jail, an all indepedent newspapers were banned. His own ranks, second in command, Bernard Coard and his wife Phyllis and members of the army took Bishop prisoner. After a massive crowd freed him, an army group executed him along with half his cabinet. At this point (1983), the US, along with Grenada's easter Caribbean negihbors, launched a rescue mission and were welcomed with open arms. Twenty years later, Grenada is an independent county, democratic and productive. They are some of the nicest people we have met in the Caribbean.

St. Georges is built on a ridge, with the sea on one side and the Carenage on the other. It has many historic buildings that have been devasted with the storms and time. Many are now under reconstruction. We met up with Ken and Roberta on Second Wind here and toured the City of St. George on foot. It was a Sunday, so there was no one in the streets. There is a street called Church Street and their is a reason for that...every building is just about a church. The streets in St. George are very steep and windy - it is the Capital of Grenada a very busy and crowded. The old brik buildings are capped with antique fish scale tile roof - that long ago would arrive in as ballast of bricks and tiles. This is Government house in downtown. The next photos are panoramics of the Harbour.
This house was for sale - it would of made a very nice bed and breakfast - maybe. We found the building that housed the office of the Leader of the Opposition Do they oppose any Leader???? We had hoped they were in to discuss this - but they were out somewhere opposing someone. A view down the streets. We ended the tour with a visit to Fort George. on the hilltop at the west side of the Carenage. It is Grenada's oldest fort, established by the french in 1705. The national police now occupy most of the grounds - but took our own tour and found some interesting underground tunnels. The inner fort, just below the row of cannons, is the courtyard where Maurice Bishop was executed. You can see the bullet holes in the basketball poles made by the fireing squad.

That is all from Grenada. We will leave here around the 23rd - 24th of this month and head to Venezuela. We will stop and Los Testigos and Isla Margarita before making landfall in Puerta La Cruz, Venezuela. We will update when we have settled in. Until then - Cheers Mike and Kim

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