Santo Domingo, una vida caliente

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A trip to Santo Domingo, a must do if you want to experience the real life and soul of the Dominican Republic. Remember, it is hotter in the capital, so bring lots of water, hats, sun lotion and headache pills!

The Dominican Republic in the West Indies occupies the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. The Dominican Republic was explored by Columbus on his first voyage in 1492. Santo Domingo became the site of the first cathedral, hospital, customs house and university in the Americas. This Ciudad Colonial, was founded in 1498 and was laid out on a grid pattern that became the model for almost all town planners in the New World.

The old colonial part of the city has been incredibly well preserved and renovated -All the streets clean, the buildings immaculate. The Ozama Fortress and Tower of Homage are said to be oldest formal military outposts still standing in the Americas.The whole area felt very safe, although apparently it was necessary to be accompanied by a security guard throughout the trip to the capital.

Among the Colonial City’s most outstanding buildings is the cathedral, constructed between 1514 and 1542. It is the oldest in the Americas.

The Panteon National. An Honor Guard stands at attention remaining absolutely still and is only allowed to move for two minutes every three hours. The task is arduous and physically draining.

Lunch A la Dominicana 😉

We drove along the promenade, and visited the newer regions of the city, including the Presidential Palace. The city was vibrant and full of life.

 

Sat behind the coach glass, cool and refreshed from the air-con, for our security, we could not explore deeper into Santo Domingo’s heart. For me the glass windows were too much of a barrier, and although I really enjoyed walking around the colonial part of the city, we were not really allowed a real experience or introduction into the everyday life of the people. As everything seemed very poor though, I think that it is understandable for proud Dominicans to prefer to show the us their beautiful buildings and world famous heritage.

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