Dominica Journals

Dominica, The Nature Island

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A December 1995 trip to Dominica by Bobbie

Fort Young Hotel Photo, Roseau, Dominica More Photos
Quote: Dominica is often referred to as the "best kept secret of the Caribbean." Mountains, waterfalls, rivers, rainforests and Caribbean cuisine are part of Dominica's allure. Dominica is sixteen miles wide and twenty-nine miles long. Oh my, I drive farther than that to frequent my favorite restaurant! Its intelligent, humorous, talented and hospitable people make Dominica VERY special. Dominica must be experienced rather than just observed. Relax and enjoy.

Dominica, The Nature Island

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Overview

Airport Approach...there really is one down there Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
I had never even heard of Dominica until I met some Dominican students at the University I was working at. Their invitations to visit the island were just too convincing...I just had to see this wonderful place for myself. Much to their delight and surprise I took them up on their invitations...and I am glad I did since Dominica is one of the most beautiful, tranquil and relaxing places I have ever visited. Highlights, which I will detail in this journal, include Ft. Shirley (Cabrits National Park), Boiling Lake, Caribe Territory, Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, Roseau Market and Middleham Falls.Quick Tips: You can hike as much or a little as you like, but most places worth seeing will req...Read More

Fort Young Hotel

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Hotel

Fort Young Hotel Photo, Roseau, Dominica
Quote:
The Fort Young Hotel is located on the outskirts of Roseau, the capital. It was built within the walls of an original 1770 fort. You will see the original fort walls as you enter the hotel, in the lobby area and in the dining room. Even if you don't stay at the Fort Young Hotel, it is worth the time and effort to stop by and take a look. Spacious and spotless ocean view rooms, relaxing pool area, excellent restaurant/bar and accommodating, friendly staff make this property a wonderful place to stay. Its location makes for easy access to the main roads and local sights. And everyone knows where the Fort Young Hotel is; it is a good central meeting place. Try the dasheen (a local "veggie" similar to sw...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Fort Young Hotel

Roseau, Dominica
(767) 448 5000

Fort Shirley

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Attraction

View from Ft. Shirley Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
Cabrits National Park (260 acres) contains mountains, forest, swamp, beaches, coral reefs and Ft. Shirley (part of Prince Rupert's Garrison). Construction (1770-1815) of the garrison, using volcanic stone, was by the British and the French. The cement was made of coral limestone from the nearby reefs. The red bricks used came from England. Fort Shirley overlooks Prince Rupert Bay. The complex protected the north end of the island. The modern cruise ship dock is located on the same site that warships and merchant ships used to dock. We spent about 3 hours here. There are many buildings to see and lots of area to explore. The setting is beautiful! Wear comfortable shoes, bring water and be...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Botanical Gardens

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Attraction

Portion of the Gardens Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
A stroll through these beautiful gardens in Roseau is relaxing and well worth the time. They are situated sixty-six feet above sea level and receive up to eight-five inches of rainfall annually. There is even a small aviary featuring local parrots. These gardens were originally an experimental agriculture research site. In 1979 Hurricane David blew a tree onto a small bus which had been blown into the gardens. Neither the tree nor the crushed bus were ever moved; you can still see both in the gardens and the tree is still growing. A few small houses border the entrance path to this forty acre site. As we were walking by many residents poked their heads out their windows to welcome us. That wa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

Scott's Head

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Attraction

Overlooking Scott's Head(right)and Soufriere Bay Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
At this southern most part of Dominica, on Soufriere Bay, you will find the Village of Soufriere and Scott's Head. Clear waters surround the isthmus where Scott's Head is located and the bay is part of the island's marine reserve. On one side of Scott's Head is the Caribbean, on the other the Atlantic. Kayaking, diving and snorkeling are popular activities here. The ruins of Fort Cachacou are located on the top of Scott's Head; the Fort was very active between 1778 and 1805 because it was involved in action between the British and the French. No extensive hiking here unless you climb Scott's Head to see the ruins of Fort Cachacou. Just sit back and enjoy the view; you can see Martinique in clear ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2001

New Market

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Attraction

This Is Sorrell Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
What a delight to the senses! Every Saturday the New Market is in full swing. Activities are located at the mouth of the Roseau River. The colors, sights, tastes and smells are astonishing. People from all over Dominica congregate here for shopping, gossiping and just passing the time of day. It was here that I finally got a chance to see what sorrell looked like (the herb used in beers and soft drinks) and got my first taste of coconut milk (yummy).

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 13, 2001

Emerald Pool

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Attraction

The path starts here Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
A short hike from the parking area takes you to the Emerald Pool grotto. Though the pool and the waterfall that feeds it were not a big as I had expected, it is still a beautiful sight. The ten to fifteen minute walk to the falls is via a well constructed and maintained path. As one traverses the path, the sights, sounds and smells of the surrounding forest add to the mystique. If you are so inclined, wear a bathing suit and enjoy the cool waters.

The grotto is one of the most popular tourist sites because of ease of accessibility...so go early to avoid the crowds.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 17, 2001

Trafalgar Falls

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Attraction

Trafalgar Falls Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
It's a short drive from Roseau with a short hike to the base of the falls. The cool mist greets you as you venture up the trail. The twin falls, often referred to as the Mother and Father Falls, are the source of hydro electric power on the Island of Dominica. Take a dip in the rocky pools, but watch your step...it can be slippery. Vegetation is abundant with ferns and orchids. A beautiful place to stop, reflect and enjoy.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2001

L'Escalier Tete Chien

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Attraction

Carib Territory Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
This hardened lava flow, a dyke, is also known as "the snake's staircase". Tete Chien, French for dog head, is the local name for a boa constrictor...the head of the snake looks like a dog. The formation resembles a gigantic petrified serpent crawling up the hillside from the ocean. This escalier (staircase) features prominently in Carib Indian myth and folklore. According to legend the lava flow is where a giant snake god entered Dominica, after swimming from South America. The small islets off the coast transformed into canoes at night to carry spirits back to the homeland. Wear sturdy shoes if you wish to view closeup since parts of the trail aree steep and slippery. There are several Carib craft...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2001

General Information About Dominica

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Story/Tip

Coming In For A Landing Photo, Dominica, Caribbean
Quote:
The official name for this island is the Commonwealth of Dominica; the name helps people avoid confusing Dominica with the Dominican Republic. The official language is English, but it might take you a few days to get used to the native pronunciations. For months I thought one of my new found friends was named June. Come to find out her name is Joan. Population is approximately 72,000, with 20,000 inhabiting the Roseau (a French name for the reeds that grow by the river area), the capital. Dominica sports 365 rivers, some small, some large. They actually export water to neighboring islands. Their electricity is mainly hydro generated. Independence from Great Britain was attaine...Read More