Saturday, 7 February 2015
07.02.2015 - 07.02.2015
The Ruby Princess arrived with the sunrise in Port of Spain the capital of the two island country of Trinidad and Tobago. With a population of 128,000, Port of Spain is the most developed of the places visited to date. The presence of buildings taller than our ship created an interesting contrast. Another unexpected feature of our arrival was the absence of any other cruise ships in this busy commercial port.
With no shore excursions booked we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then watched the entertainment on the wharf for a while before setting out to explore the city. Easily identified guides were there along the way to advise, guide and assist us to the Brian Lara Promenade. This wide and tree-lined avenue was flanked by many tall office towers and public buildings.
We ventured off through some of the narrow bustling streets of shops and stalls selling mainly fresh produce and clothing. There were also a number of up-market arcades offering hi-tech products and fashion clothing. It was difficult to judge prices as most articles were price in the TT$. With an exchange rate of 6.2 TT$ = 1 US$ some prices were either ridiculously high or amazingly low. A direct enquiry would no doubt have provided an answer.
At one stage we must have drifted too far off the 'tourist track' as a local policeman suggested we go no further in the direction we were headed but instead take a left and visit the more historical precinct. Jenny is normally very sensitive to bad vibes but was quite comfortable both before and after the encounter. I, as always, was oblivious as long as there was something colourful and interesting to point the camera at.
We wandered past some of the grand structures around Woodford Square and found our way back to the waterfront. On our way out we had noticed the "Breakfast Shed" a crowded outdoor food court selling strange food items. On our way back I felt compelled to try something and selected a dish which appeared to be a combination of sliced fruits. With some sign language I selected the smaller of two containers and she spooned in a mixture. Then completely surprised me by asking "Chicken, Pork, Beef or Lamb?". I had no ready answer but said "Chicken". She proceeded to ladle pieces of braised chicken on top of the "fruit". Then completely floored me by adding shredded lettuce.
I paid the 5 US$ and proceeded to investigate the dish. The "fruit" was in fact cooked green banana and three other starchy vegetables like yams, potato or gourds. The vegetable component was not very tasty but the chicken and gravy provided an interesting flavour to the whole.
We walked past a Dutch flagged patrol vessel that appeared to be 'on show' with placards describing the various attributes. She looked very sleek and futuristic with large flat surfaces and no visible protrusions, I thought about trying my limited Dutch language skills but decided against it.
Inside the dock area Jenny found some lovely Tee shirts of good quality and reasonable price. Back aboard the ship we were thankful of the air-conditioned comfort. After my unusual snack I didn't have much need for food. Decided to 'take a nap' and woke up about 1600 as the ship was leaving the port.
Mary and Donald were in the dining rood this evening and surprisingly our assistant waiter has been replaced. Apparently Jessica, our assistant for the past week has left to attend to a domestic emergency in Mexico. Hopefully we will have the same pair for the remainder of the cruise. Makes for a more enjoyable experience when we get to know each-other.
Tonight's entertainment is a 'Production Show'. We haven't been keen to attend these over-rated shows that appear to appeal to many others. We find them loud and somewhat boring with only minor variation from cruise to cruise. The 'shows' are all choreographed centrally at Princess HQ and are intended to be staged uniformly on all ships. No doubt an uplifting experience during the first or second cruise.
With no viable alternative I'm using the time to write and upload this drivle.
Tomorrow is the first of five 'at sea' days as we make our way south across the equator.
If you want to look at what I've been up to you can view my latest photo by following this link to the image for Today
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony