Thursday, December 9, 2010

A/NZ - Noumea, New Caledonia - Day 5

New Caledonia is part of French Polynesia and Noumea is the capital city. This is one of the few industrialized cities in the South Pacific region. The residents do speak primarily French although many take English in school. All of the islands have one or more tribal languages as well. New Caledonia has 15 native languages.

Captain James Cook discovered the island as he did most of the Pacific islands. However, the French were first to claim the island and it is still a French territory. Tourism has not taken hold here even though the island has more sunny days than most and very moderate temperatures. It was a glorious 73 deg while we were there. Below is a panoramic photo if the harbor.

The passenger terminal and part of the city.

Mining and smelting nickel is the largest industry on the island. Pollution from the plant is an issue that they struggle with.

The first of many native greetings on the trip as we docked........very entertaining.

Getting the gang plank set up so we can go ashore.

The welcome was sincere and very friendly.

We walked into town and then explored just about the entire downtown area. The French influence can really be seen at this cafe.

So many wonderful flowering trees in the parks. This one is just across the street from a shopping center. Sigrid struggled with what little French she knew as she shopped.

This is typical local clothing. Sigrid liked the blue dress. I am sad to report that the Jamaican culture has crept onto the island. Not to say that Jamaican is bad, but you do hate to see an island lose its special culture to some place far far away. We heard lots of Reggae music being played and the youth had more than a few Bob Marley t-shirts on. I really like Bob's music, but I didn't want to find it here.

Talk about stepping back in time. I loved the retro-art deco architecture.

In the afternoon, we hopped on a tour bus and drove around the island. this was a little church that we visited.

Wind surfing. There must have been 100 surfers in the bay.

We visited the aquarium....pretty nice for a small island.

A sea turtle.

Colorful anemone.

A green something and blue star fish.


Sigrid with Jaws. Sigrid could easily disappear with one gulp.

A WWII defensive artillery position overlooking the harbor.

They doubled our pleasure with a musical send-off as we returned to the ship.

Next stop.....Port Vila.

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