Monument to Samuel Sharpe, a slave leader whose uprising directly influenced the abolition of slavery, can be see in National Heroes Park in Kingston, Jamaica.
Caribbean girl, Jacklyn who now lives in London, just returned to Ocho Rios after a whirlwind weekend in our capital city, Kingston.
A childhood dream come true!
I booked her on the early Knutsford Express bus and there began her city tour. We started with a drive-through of New Kingston, a brief stop at Tastee for a Jamaican Beef Patty and cherry juice, then a welcome stretch as we walked around Emancipation Park - a lush oasis in the middle of the business district. Joggers jogged while park benches provided the pause that refreshes; all this against the backdrop of the many mountain ranges that surround the Liguanea Plains on which our city lies.
On to Downtown Kingston, the original city centre, but not before we visit the National Heroes Park where the story of modern Jamaica unfolds as we stop at the monuments to each of our National Heroes, Prime Ministers past, as well as icons in the field of politics, sports, music and theatre. Along the way, we passed statues of Simon Bolivar, Queen Victoria, Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley, Bob Marley, and Negro Aroused, a monument to the 1938 labour struggles; all weaved a story of who we are. The tour of Downtown Kingston ended with a visit to the National Gallery before heading off along the harbour's edge and the palisdoes to the Norman Manley International Airport and to Port Royal. Once the home of pirates, and sporting the reputation of being the wickedest city in the world, Port Royal is now just a sleepy fishing village aching to tell the story of the other half of the city buried under the sea by the 1692 earthquake.
Jacklyn opted for Fish and Festival at Neita's Nest instead of the famed Gloria's Restaurant, as we had a play to take in that evening. She was not disappointed.
A late Sunday morning brunch prepared us for a full day which began with a drive-through tour of the Hope Botanical Gardens and the University of the West Indies, starting at the Mona Bowl where the special Regupol Track was laid for Usain Bolt to train. A long meandering drive through the Blue Mountains on the way up to the Jamaica Defence Force training grounds in New Castle and Greenwich, took us past waterfalls and wayside lilies, coffee farms and country houses, the ultra fabulous Strawberry Hill Hotel and the idyllic EITS Cafe, before joining the Uletts for a typical Sunday family dinner at their home overlooking the city.
A visit to the Bob Marley Museum ended the tour of Kingston the following morning. The drive back to Ocho Rios via Stony Hill and Port Maria provided a peak into another side of our beautiful island, Jamaica.
Thanks for visiting Jacklyn. We hope you enjoyed visiting as much as we enjoyed sharing.
As it was then, so it is now... Cascading waterfalls along the road to Newcastle in the Blue Mountains. A scenic Sunday afternoon drive.
Valdez Collection - Image from the National Library