Arriving on the Osprey boat from Carriacou island, we had seen the very green west coast of Grenada from the upper deck when we finally reduced speed and we saw houses sprawling over a hill on our left hand. We were about to arrive in St. George's, the capital of Grenada. Fort George on top of the hill around which we had to sail before reaching the cosy inner harbour where we saw many smaller boats docked. Cruise-ships are too big for this port and dock at the western side of the city. The very pretty setting of the mostly white, red-roofed houses on the slopes of the hills that started right off the water of the harbour in the early morning light made us like the place immediately. It turned out to be quite difficult to find a place to stay or have a decent meal; as is often the case in the east Caribbean, most visitors arrive on a cruise ship or their own yacht.
The days that followed, we used St. George's as the base for exploring the attractive island with its many different, interesting parts. Before and after our trips to other parts of the island, we walked around the city with its many different parts. The obvious place to start exploring is the Carenage, the waterfront road in the horseshoe bay of the inner harbour which offers constantly changing views of the city. From the western end of the Carenage, where most old warehouses and bigger ships can be found, you can either take a steep street up the hill, or reach the other side using a tunnel. Right on top of the hill separating the inner harbour from the western one, you can find the three main churches whose bell towers define the skyline of the city: the Presbyterian, Anglican, and Catholic church. Even if seven years have already passed since hurricane Ivan destroyed much of the city in 2004, there still is quite a lot of rubble, houses and buildings in ruins; even two of the main churches lack a roof.
On the other side of the hill, you can find the market area, as well as the bus station and a shopping mall; this is the more bustling side of St. George's even though it lacks the pretty setting of the Carenage area. A short walk up takes you to Fort George, the fort that was constructed in the early 18th century by the French, and has turned into a police complex now. Surprisingly, visitors are still welcome on its ramparts, which is fortunate as this is a great place to watch the sun set. While you hear policemen exercise in the fitness centre on top of the fort, just a few steps from the courtyard where former prime minister Bishop was executed after he was overthrown; the fort was also bombed during the US invasion in 1983. That is history: nowadays, St. George's is a mostly calm, attractive capital city with an extensive waterfront, surrounded by hills which are the remains of an old volcanic crater.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from St. George's (Grenada). 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 St. George's.
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