Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 1 Reunion

Our first day in St Denis dawns grey, wet and thundery! Breakfast in the hotel dining room is a lavish spread washed down with coffee and tea. We have free access to a WiFi connection so check out some maps of Reunion over breakfast.
We obtained a small map from reception of St Denis and the young man pointed out the best way to get into town from the hotel. We drove down the steep hill, starting to appreciate now why we had had trouble finding the place last night. The city is built on the hillside which is scarred with ravines hence following a straight line from A to B requires you to go up, down and around to get to your destination.

We found a multilevel carpark with an incredibly narrow entrance so I drove around the block again to check it out a second time before entering! I managed to negotiate the driveway and parked safely...phew.
First stop was the Grande Marche...which was full of souvenirs most of which we would have been unable to bring back into Australia as they were wooden or of natural fibres. The only thing we purchased was a large bottle of water. It is extremely humid and we were dehydrating rapidly. While we were wandering around it started to rain heavily. Down Rue Marcechal Leclerc one of the major shopping streets.

Come midday and everything closes up for a couple of hours so we wandered around stopping to look at the main Mosque Noor-e-Islam, a couple of Chinese temples, a Hindu temple then later the catholic Cathederal St Sauveur.

We found the local Petite Marche much like Queen Vic market back in Melbourne, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, live poultry, spices, flowers etc. Tropical fruits and vegetables we did not recognise alongside familiar ones were the order of the day.
We walked down to the waters edge along Boulevard de l'Ocean. Lots of rocks no sand here.
We walked up Avenue de Victorie passed the war memorial and Ancien Hotel de Ville back to the car and home to our hotel to put our feet up for a while before dinner.

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