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Trip Report Photos: Haiti

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I recently made a brief visit to Haiti, and while I have seen very few posts about that country in this forum, there may be some interest in photos from my trip.

Link to photos http://tinyurl.com/ylaz877

Notes:

Trip arrangements -- I made arrangements with Jacqui of Voyages Lumiere ([email protected]), who had been recommended to me. Since my trip would be short (arriving on Saturday morning and departing on Monday afternoon), I worked with Jacqui to prepare a busy itinerary that would get me into the countryside so I could see more than Port-au-Prince.

Hotel -- I knew that I wanted to stay at the Hotel Oloffson, the most historic hotel in Haiti, and one of the most historic in the Caribbean. It has hosted the likes of Mick Jagger, Charles Adams (who its claimed based the look of the Adams family home on the hotel) and Graham Greene, who wrote The Comedians while lodged in the hotel (the Hotel Triannon in the book is based on the Oloffson).

Saturday -- I arrived late morning, so we set off immediately to visit Port-au-Prince, including the monuments in the city center, ending at the Marche de Fer (Iron Market) (see photos).

Sunday -- we departed very early for the 2-1/2 hour drive south to Jacmel, a port on Haiti's southern coast, which took us through the mountainous countryside (evidence of deforestation was apparent, but it was more attractive than I had envisioned). Many of Jacmel's 19th-century merchant houses look similar to many of the buildings found in New Orleans' French Quarter, with wrought-iron facades. After visiting Jacmel, we ended with lunch (excellent lobster) on a beachfront hotel a few kms from Jacmel.

Monday -- I was departing at 1:00pm, so Jacqui arranged for a guide to meet me at 6:30am to visit the cemetery (again, very similar to New Orleans' historic cemetaries with above ground tombs).

Safety -- While I spent most of my time accompanied by a guide, I did wander around Port-au-Prince on Sunday morning w/o a guide, and I had no safety concerns. No one (not one person) hassled me, asked for money, made me feel uncomfortable, etc. There are less secure areas outside the city center, like Cite Soleil, which had wanted to visit but was told its too unsafe even for visits by the police or the UN.

Food -- excellent, especially the seafood (e.g., creole conch at the Oloffson and lobsters near Jacmel).

Art -- if I had more time I would have spent more time in the galleries and museums, but since my time was limited I only visited Sainte Trinite Episcopalian Church, the inside of which was covered in murals in 1950 by Haiti's leading artists

Michael

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