On my way to Georgetown, locals warned me to be very careful here. Since this only added to the warnings I had read elsewhere, I was on my guard after I arrived. Quite soon, though, my perception was shaped by my own experience, and that became more favourable the longer I stayed here. The first charm I found in Georgetown is the low buildings which strongly define a village atmosphere. I later learned that, because of the bland soil, it is not allowed to build structures higher than 4 floors here; with a special permit, you can make it 5. However, most buildings are wooden two-storey houses; furthermore, they all stand separately, constantly giving you a sense of spaciousness while walking around Georgetown.
Initially, Georgetown was a small village, until the French decided to move the capital here in the 1780s. When the Dutch took over shortly afterwards, they called it Stabroek, until the British ended up dominating Guyana, and renamed the capital Georgetown, in honour of King George III. Still now, it is easy to see the history of Georgetown by just looking at names of the streets and wards: some have English or Dutch names, some have been renamed in honour of Guyanese heroes. A nickname for the city has been the Garden City of the Caribbean - even though it geographically does not belong to the Caribbean, a suitable name. It anyway is hard to put Georgetown on a par with the million-plus metropoles that are capitals of most other South American countries: even though it holds almost one third of all Guyanese, that does not mean it is an overpopulated city with far less than a million Guyanese around.
Walking in Georgetown is the best way to explore the major landmark sights, such as St. George Cathedral, one of the tallest wooden churches in the world, Stabroek market with its unique cast-iron clock tower, and the Cuffy monument for the slave rebellion of 1763. But it is probably even more rewarding to surprise yourself and stumble upon casual encounters: boys playing cricket on a quiet street, girls in bright school uniforms walking the walking path in the middle of a street, the beauty of a dilapidated wooden building, the Guyanese offering you a piece of art which turns out a present instead of something to sell... Another reason that might keep you in Georgetown is that it holds the best restaurants of the country with a colourful selection of restaurants.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Georgetown (Guyana). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Georgetown. Read more about this site.