Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jamaica (I). Kingston

My holidays this year were in Jamaica. I went with Naoko to Jamaica for 8/9 days. We planned to go to Cuba as well, but it was expensive and we decided to visit all the island we were at. These are the places we visited (the ones with pins). As you can see we traveled all the island and mixed with locals quite a lot, unlike most tourists to Jamaica!

We flew into Kingston, the capital city. Kingston is the only real city in the island and one of the only in the Caribbean. It has around one million inhabitants. According to the statistics, it is the most dangerous city in the world!! 2 people killed here every single day. This is due to the fact that there are some dangerous shanty towns where drug wars and mafias are strong. As a tourist you have to stay out of that areas!! We passed by riding a bus and I tell you it is not the greatest place on Earth! I did not even dare to take any photos...

Kingston does not have much for tourist to see actually. The main places to visit are Bob Marley House and Devon House.

Before getting down to those, two photos:

1. People riding bikes and wearing this kind of clothes and hats made us realize we were really in Jamaica, home of reggae!

2. Streets in Kingston look really rural, very appropriate for a tropical island in the Caribbean!

Well, now, Bob Marley House. This is the house where the music legend lived in Kingston. Here, he composed and even recorded some of the greatest hits in music history. The house is well preserved and some rooms were left as he left them. It really makes you feel it is a special place. No photos allowed. The gardens were painted or decorated with his paintings and photos.

And there was a nice statue of him at the entrance of the house.

The other tourist attraction is Devon House, a colonial house built by the first rich black man in Jamaica. Quite a nice house!!

Night life in Kingston is quite intense, but it was difficult to find old-school reggae in the sense of Bob Marley. Current Jamaican music has its roots in reggae but it is closer to club music, with more aggressive lyrics and way of singing.

After one day and a half, we moved to the North East, to Port Antonio, perhaps the last undeveloped beach area in Jamaican North Shore. The way to get there, a tightly packed local bus!! More than 20 people in such a minibus... challenging!! We would have to get used to get squeeze beyond imagination!!! I would have never thought a car can bring up to 10 adult passengers!!!! before Jamaica...

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