Connect with us

Caribbean & World

From sunken sculptures to rusting Soviet planes, Grenada is an island brimming with mystery

Published

on

There’s a human silhouette looming out of the depths. The waves above have churned up the sand below, and now the sediment coils above the seabed like a strange mist, like something out of a Stephen King novel. 

I pop my head above the surface to fill my lungs with as much air as they can carry, tip myself forwards and thrash my legs around in what I assume must be the correct fashion, swimming deeper and deeper until the figure finally becomes clear. At the bottom of the bay, between two coral reefs in a sun-dappled sandy patch, is a figure of a man, at a desk, on a typewriter.

The underwater sculpture park of Grenada is the first of its kind in the world, and one of the most popular snorkelling sites in the Caribbean. Situated in 800 square metres of protected conservation area just off the island’s western coast, this collection of ghostly statues – made of concrete and fixed to the seabed by rebar – is very slowly being reclaimed by the ocean. Shoals of fish move among a ring of children holding hands, some toppled over and caked in barnacles. It is a bizarre sight, and feels a million miles from land.

The capital of Grenada is St. George’s, a densely built town set in a horseshoe shaped bay of an old volcano crater, and overlooked by a crumbling fort built by the French in 1705. It’s now used as by the town’s police as a gym. In the centre of town, a set of converted French barracks from the same era – at one stage used as a prison, and at another as the island’s first hotel – now houses the Grenada National Museum, which on sunny weekday afternoons is staffed by a single snoozing man.

Pearls Airport, Grenada

Here you’ll find artifacts and tools from the island’s ancient indigenous past, as well as its long and often violent history at the centre of the Caribbean nutmeg trade. Grenada is known as the spice island for its many nutmeg plantations, which produce not just the nutmeg spice, but the mace used in incapacitating sprays. Grenada still produces 40 per cent of the global crop today. Pub quizzers might also like to note that the nutmeg holds such a hallowed place in Grenadian society that it appears on the country’s flag.

The top floor of the museum is dedicated to more recent history. In 1983, and over a period of four days, Grenada was invaded by the United States in order to restore power to the previous government, which had been deposed in a communist coup shortly after the country became independent from the United Kingdom. The invasion of a Commonwealth country drew international criticism at the time, including from Thatcher, though today the date of the invasion is celebrated as Thanksgiving Day, as Grenadians broadly supported the restoration of the democratic process.

Read more: How one man defied Stalin and risked death by firing squad to conceal outlawed art from the Soviets

Vestiges of Grenada’s communist past can be found on a drive around the north edge of the island, where taxis take a shortcut to Grenville through the abandoned Pearls Airport. Now just an overgrown strip of broken concrete bordered on both sides by low green hills and used for illegal drag races, it was captured by the Americans on the first day of the invasion in order to prevent resupplying from Cuba. 

At one end of the airstrip is the hollow carcass of a Cubana Airlines passenger plane, and at another is a former Soviet crop duster with the letters CCCP barely visible on the fuselage. An unexpected piece of Cold War history, rusting away on a quiet corner of a Caribbean island.

Rum tasting in Grenada

Any trip around the island should include a stop at Rumboat Retreat on Mount Nesbit, where founder and rum expert Lisette Davis offers educational tasting sessions. She’s launched bars in London, and is partly responsible for bringing the third wave of tiki to the United Kingdom. If you’ve recently been inside a Polynesian-themed bar and wondered why, the answer is Lisette.

Rivers Rum is distilled to up to 89 per cent ABV, so strong that airlines will refuse to allow you to board with a bottle as it poses a risk of exploding. 

The retreat, also a boutique hotel, is surrounded by dark forests and endless views. The host doesn’t shy away from diving into some of the less scrupulous practices of the rum industry either, highlighting how loose regulations allow rum to be confusingly labelled or artificially coloured to entice customers. She rolls her eyes at fancy, attention-grabbing bottles, but is enthusiastic about her trade, demonstrating the finer flavours and nuanced textures of some truly excellent rums.

Distilled at the nearby River Antoine Rum Distillery and popular across the island is Rivers Rum. This clear spirit is distilled to up to 89 per cent ABV, so strong that airlines will refuse to allow you to board with a bottle as it poses a risk of exploding. 

The infinity pool at Silversands Grenada

Supermarkets in St. George’s sell a watered-down version for tourists. At a mere 69 per cent ABV it’s basically a shandy by comparison, but has become the longest surviving bottle on my drinks cabinet at home.

The drinks menu at Spice Island Beach Resort is a little more refined. It’s an elegant spot along the finest beach on the island – Grand Anse – and offers an all-inclusive service, with a daily-restocked bar in your room as well as a private terrace and swimming pool in some suites.

Along the beach is the recently opened Silversands Grenada resort which, in contrast to the traditional colonial style of the more established Spice Island, is a gleaming maze of sharp lines and architectural angles.

Read more: Silversands Grenada review – The longest pool in the Caribbean, the most luxurious hotel in Grenada

Its infinity pool stretches from the lounge to the beach, and at one hundred metres is the longest pool in the Caribbean. The hotel’s Tesla Model X transfers you from the airport to the hotel and back, and the rum bar sells a $70,000 bottle of Hennessy cognac.

I think I’ll take my chances with the exploding stuff.


Rates at Silversands Grenada start from $800 per night, including: private airport transfers; daily breakfast; complimentary selection of soft drinks, coffee, bottled water and beer from the private bar. Visit silversandsgrenada.com 

To find out more about Spice Island Beach Resort and to book your stay visit spiceislandbeachresort.com 

British Airways flies direct to Grenada from Gatwick. To book visit ba.com

Source: Source link

Caribbean & World

National Youth Parliament moves into a higher gear

Published

on

By

Preparations are moving into high gear, as Grenada prepares to join the rest of the Commonwealth, in recognising Commonwealth Day 2020.

It will coincide with an expo and the hosting of the first sitting of the National Youth Parliament 2020.

The sitting scheduled for 9 March, follows the hosting of parish-based sittings, in 2019. According to Project Officer for the National Youth Parliament Programme, Deslyn Williams, preparations began two weeks ago. “Training is ongoing every Tuesday and Thursday, at the Youth Development Centre, most of them have the experience because they were selected from the Parish Parliament, so far everything is going really great.”

Youth Parliamentarians will make presentations based on the resolution: “BE IT RESOLVED, That the National Youth Parliament of Grenada endorses the Non-Biodegradable Waste Control Act 2018 as an effective means of regulating the use of such products; thereby reducing impact of the inevitable disposal of single-use plastics, Styrofoam, and other non-biodegradable products.”

Training Facilitator, Aleshia Allert, said the training will cover a number of areas. “What we really focused on is getting them ready for presentation, so topics such as public speaking, presentations that would persuade, looking at resolutions through the eyes of ministers of government and facilitating strong debates, all of that comprise of what we did so far.”

The parliamentarians-in-training said they are 80% ready for the Monday, 9 March National Youth Parliament sitting.

Participant Elon James said, “Preparations are going great, I have already started noting some key points. My logics and statistics, I am putting together. I am just waiting on my portfolio to put the final pieces together.”

Grenada joined the Commonwealth in 1974. Observed by the 53-member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Day is a celebration that is held on the second Monday of March every year.

Its purpose is to recognise the work of Commonwealth members and to promote understanding and cooperation on global issues.

Ministry of Youth

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

Interruption in services at St David’s Health Centre on Thursday

Published

on

By

The Ministry of Health (MOH) informs residents of St David that services at the St David’s Health Centre at Belle Vue, will be interrupted from midday tomorrow, Thursday, 27 February 2020.

This is to facilitate an important assessment and to rectify electrical fittings and supplies to the facility, as well as to ensure the safety of staff and patients.

The assessment will also determine the proper functioning of the equipment at the facility.

Clients are therefore encouraged to utilise the services as early as possible.

The MOH Community Health Services sincerely apologises for any inconveniences this may cause.

GIS

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Caribbean & World

Grenada on importation transmission watch

Published

on

By

The outbreak of COVID-19 has now spread to various countries. At this point, there are NO COVID-19 cases in Grenada.

However, in view of the current situation, Grenadian health authorities are expanding their surveillance to cover a wider area of travel to affected areas.

This means that the island is on what is referred to as Importation Transmission Watch (ITW). These include assessing exposure to risks, monitoring events in the region, and providing pre-travel training. Pre-trip risk assessment, education and preparation can markedly reduce the likelihood of an incident disrupting normal everyday life, trade and travel. One person while on a holiday/leisure or business trip can result in risk of transmission by virtue of contact importation.

Apart from mainland China, these include the following countries and cities: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Italy. Health authorities are also advising people to avoid non-essential travel to these areas, and are reminding those who choose to do so that on their return, they can be quarantined for a maximum of 14 days.

The Ministry of Health advises people who develop a fever, cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of visiting the above-listed countries, to contact their family doctor and the health authorities on 440-2649 during regular working hours (i.e., 8 am to 4 pm), 417-1079, or 417-2562 after regular working hours, weekends and holidays.

These travellers are advised to refrain from visiting health centres or the casualty department in the first instance.

The general public is reminded to take the necessary precautions for the prevention of respiratory infections:

  • CLEAN: Clean hands often by washing with soap and water or using alcohol hand rub.
  • CONTAIN: Contain germs by staying at home if unwell; do not go to work or school until your health condition is improved. Do not visit patients in hospital if you are sick.
  • COVER: Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze and not into to your bare hands.
  • BIN: Used tissues immediately. DO NOT leave used tissue laying around as it can lead to contamination.
  • DO NOT sneeze or cough into your hands as you may contaminate objects and people that you touch.

GIS

NOW Grenada is not responsible for the opinions, statements or media content presented by contributors. In case of abuse, click here to report.

Source: Source link

Continue Reading

Trending