We were curious to see San Juan again. The 2017 Hurricane season was very damaging to Puerto Rico and the repairs are on-going! Ironically, just a few days ago, a contractor managed to knock down a critical power-line and wipe out the electricity! Happily, power was restored by the time we arrived and Old Town San Juan looked as lovely as ever! The buildings had been cleaned and many were newly painted. Although lots of street signs were missing, the overhead electric wires were firmly replaced and in working order; the roofs were repaired; everything was neat and clean!
This was our last port-of-call for the 2018 HAL World Cruise! We’ll be home in a few days and must now get busy packing up for the disembarkation! Thank you for joining us on this adventure. We love to hear from you as we travel; and it is our sincere hope you find these destinations as interesting as we do!
It was the Portuguese who settled the island of Santiago in 1462. Antonio da Noli discovered the island and built a garrison in what is now Cidade Velha (Old Town) but was known then as Ribeira Grande. It was transcontinental slavery that made Ribeira Grande the second richest city in the Portuguese realm. Praia, which means “beach” was a coastal community about 9 miles away. So, when French pirates attacked Ribeira Grande in 1712, the inhabitants moved to the plateau above Praia. Today, Praia is the capital of Cape Verde.
We found Praia to be charming and more Mediterranean than African. Many of the buildings date to the Portuguese era, the sidewalks are decorated with the signature Portuguese designs, and although U.S. dollars are accepted and English is widely spoken, the music is exotic and reminds you there is an African influence.
We took the ship’s shuttle up to the plateau and spent the entire day walking around, shopping, visiting the sites and enjoying the local brew!!!!
We are now on our way across the Atlantic and will arrive at our final port-or-call, San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Thursday. The party is almost over.