Our stop on Sunday, Jan. 27th is Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad. Trinidad, along with Tobago (our next port), and some other smaller islands, form the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Trinidad is closer to Venezuela (only about 7 miles) than Tobago (20 miles) and once was connected to South America. It is the southern most island of the West Indies and was first charted by Columbus on his third voyage in 1498. Trinidad and Tobago’s histories are almost the same. Both islands were controlled by many nations over the years, lastly being the English. Tobago is known as the Caribbean’s most ruled island, nations swapping control over 30 times before England “won” in 1814. The islands became a “British Crown Colony” in 1889. Independence came in 1962.
Trinidad and Tobago are known as the birthplace of “calypso”, “limbo”, and the steel-drum bands. The music stemmed from the African slaves and the bands grew from drummers using old used auto parts and cut-up old oil barrels because they couldn’t afford real drums. The population of Trinidad is about 1.2 million inhabitants on a rather large island (2000 sq. miles). We hit Trinidad on a Sunday, and it’s carnival time in all these islands right up until Ash-Wednesday, Feb. 12th.
We’ll start our tour of the port with a wide view:
Now looking to our right we see the only tall buildings on the island:
The ship’s port sign:
As we walked off the ship, this sign welcomed us to the port:
On checking in with the port information people we found that there was a steel-drum band competition in Queen’s Park Savannah, a huge park, a short taxi ride from the pier. We hooked up with one of our old on-board friends, Nancy Sciple, and off we went.
This is a look at the front of the park. Those small buildings along the street housed vendors (those that were open) and many were painted for Carnival.
The steel-drum band were placed on rolling platforms and drawn around a track in the park while they played and competed. Not wanting to pay a large entrance fee and stay only a little while, we found their staging area and were entertained to the hilt as they warmed up to go into the competition. Here’s a few photos of the area:
Here’s a fellow pushing one of the rolling carts to the area:
The music was fabulous and you couldn’t help but swing to the rhythms. Check Susy out:
Here’s Nancy and Susy on the edge of the park:
We walked around the park and I got these three photos of houses with the typical historic architecture.
It was mid-afternoon by this time and it’s really hot so we ran across a T.G.I. Friday’s and went in for lunch. After a great lunch we asked about getting a taxi back to the port. We were told they (T.G.I. management) would call us a cab. The manager came back and advised us that because of Carnival the traffic was so bad that taxi’s wouldn’t come up this way, but that she would be happy to give us a ride back to the ship. So with Susy’s luck on this hot day we got a nice ride back to the ship and, of coarse, you know what that meant. Susy had time to shop.
That’s it for Trinidad. It’s on to Tobago.
Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)