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Belize City and a Day at Sea

We had dinner after leaving Roatan at Restaurant 2 with a Trattoria theme. The food here is always excellent, but on this night the real highlight was the simply perfect conditions at the aft end of the ship: tropically balmy and clear night, stars sparkling like diamonds, going through the colors of the rainbow, and an upward-facing crescent moon directly astern illuminating our wake providing a shimmering trail behind us leading to the horizon. It was magical!

The next morning we anchored at Belize City. Our shore excursion had been cancelled which was really disappointing to us – Mel especially had really looked forward to cave tubing after we had not done it on the North Island of New Zealand three years ago on our sabbatical trip. Anyhow, we made do and simply toured the city on our own for a couple of hours.

We anchored quite far offshore and used local tenders that held 50 or more passengers in contrast to our 24-passenger tenders we carry aboard. We arrived at a newly-built cruise passenger terminal with all the requisite shops and colorfully painted railings and facades. We blew through that and went for a walk first around the point forming the northern part of the city which is divided by a creek. The lighthouse is here as well as a Radisson Hotel. Much more interesting is the neighboring inn named the Great House. A wonderful building and we got a room tour to boot.

Belize City is an interesting city, with British colonial architecture and influence that is evident. We walked around the point where the lighthouse is situated on and came across Memorial Park. The homes there exhibit the colonial architecture I am talking about, with large porches and corrugated roofs:

Homes on Memorial Park, Belize City, Belize
Homes on Memorial Park, Belize City, Belize

Government House on the very southern tip of the south side of the city is classic – colonnaded, white, with wrought iron fencing and lawn and waterfront. Across the street is the Anglican Cathedral which is the oldest in Central America. Unfortunately (and even on this Sunday) the church was closed, but we circled it and looked at the tombs where the area’s cardinals had been buried.

Anglican Cathedral, Belize City, Belize
Anglican Cathedral, Belize City, Belize

Government House, Belize City, Belize
Government House, Belize City, Belize

Downtown is the courthouse, right of Treasury Street:

Courthouse, Belize City, Belize
Courthouse, Belize City, Belize

This being Sunday, the shops should have been all closed. But due to the proximity of Christmas, I guess, some stores were open. We went into a department store to have a look around and try to find hot sauce for John Shilling (we didn’t). The closer to the center of town we got, the more action there was, and we enjoyed Brodie’s, a large provisioner with a supermarket section, clothing, a pharmacy and so on. Very interesting to see what was stocked on the shelves, which included jars of tarragon imported from France. We did buy two bottles of hot sauce for John: Marie Sharp’s hot Habanero pepper sauce and her ‘Beware – comatose heat level’ Habanero sauce.

Here are a couple more pictures of the city:

Signs on a shop near the Swinging Bridge, Belize City, Belize
Signs on a shop near the Swinging Bridge, Belize City, Belize

House in Belize City, Belize
House in Belize City, Belize

After leaving Belize, we steamed for two days and arrived in Fort Lauderdale on the 19th. The swells were pretty big these two days, and Mel had a hard time one night. Suffice to say we dined in our suite that night!

One of the highlights of the last day at sea was the ‘market buffet’ lunch the crew put on for us. The buffet line circled through the galley, and the spread was beautifully done. It was festive and a nicel last lunch for those who were disembarking in Fort Lauderdale.

Here are some pics:

Welcome to the Buffet!
Last day lunch at sea – welcome table

Lunch Buffet Line
Lunch Buffet Line

Lunch Buffet LineBread Table
Bread Table

Andrea at the Pasta Station
Andrea at the Pasta Station

Whole steamed Mahimahi
Whole steamed Mahimahi

In Fort Lauderdale Mel and I rented a car and ran errands. These were not so bad as it included picking up some more wine! Had to stock up on champagne for the holidays, after all…

Tomorrow after a day at sea today we arrive at Grand Turk, one of the islands of the nation of Turks and Caicos. We spend the next two weeks exploring the Lesser Antilles.

We will keep posting here.

Happy Travels!

-Steve

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