After a long day of exploring the nature island of Dominica, we arrived on the west, leeward side, just in time to see a spectacular sunset with gigantic clouds in the sky. When we arrived in Roseau, the capital of the country, it was almost completely dark. It proved very difficult to find a place to stay; not only because we visited off-season, and on a Sunday, but also because, like other capital cities in the region, most visitors are cruise ship passengers who do not need accommodation. A guard proved very helpful in finding the owner of a family guest house; the next challenge was to find a place to eat. All restaurants we saw were closed, and like in other places in the region, people advised us to go to a well-known US chain of chicken restaurants. Fortunately, we eventually found a local restaurant where we had a nice dinner.
The next morning, we woke up early, and walked the streets of Roseau. There were more people around now than the evening before, and the livelier state of the town gave it a much better atmosphere. We could now finally see the narrow streets and the old colonial style houses with early sunlight, and almost instantly felt attracted to it. The colourful houses, most of them built from wood, looked very nice in the warm light; every house is unique, and any street in Roseau therefore looks like a collection of houses lacking any uniformity. Some houses are only one floor high, while others have two or even three. Some are constructed from stone, others are wooden. Some have balconies, others do not. Most are old, but you can also find new buildings. Overall, a seemingly haphazard mix of styles and bright colours, all in a compact area on the waterfront which you can cross from one side to the other in a matter of ten minutes.
On the river side of Roseau, we found a small market with stalls made of wooden poles. After exploring more of the island during the day, we returned to the town again in the late afternoon. Things looked different now: a torrential rain was falling mercilessly on the streets of the town. When the sun returned half an hour later, a great soft, warm light was shining through the streets, setting the town on fire. Named Roseau by the early French settlers in the 16th century, after the reeds found in the river which made the spot attractive to found a settlement in the first place, only the name and the French style of many of the houses that are packed together in a very compressed manner. Besides its pleasant appearance, we also found the inhabitants of Roseau very friendly, and deservedly proud of their city.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Roseau (Dominica). 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 Roseau. Read more about this site.