Seven-kilometer trip up the mountain can be made on a horseback. It's an awesome place, built by a madman (Roi Christophe) as a fortress to defend Haiti's northern shore from the French invaders who never came. The king shot himself in the head with a golden bullet and is burried on citadel's grounds.
We took public transportation to Kenskoff and then walked through the market and all around the town looking at the lovely colonial architecture and the mountain views from the roads. I caught this photo of women walking to market with their wares in baskets on their heads.
This is a pretty common sight and you wonder how they manage to keep everything balanced so neatly on their heads but I've never seen anything fall, even with very young girls.
It's mango season now (in April). Take the time to discover our many mango varieties.
Actually I would suggest you try out as many varieties as possible until you find one that you really like. The season has just started and we have the tastiest mangoes in the world, really! :))
Most varieties (not all) turn, at least partially , either yellow/orange or a reddish color when they are ripe. Look and touch them to feel if they don't have damaged spots or holes(!). Caracteristics may vary depending on the variety of mangoe but in general they aren't supposed to be either too soft or too hard (unless you want to keep them for a few day before you eat them).
It's probably superfluous but I will add that you must wash them carefully before you eat them for they get dirty on their journey from the tree to your hands.
Just an awesome place to visit. Its a hard place to get too, but well worth it. Make sure you wake up early and catch a cab to the foot of the hill. I think the cost was about $7-10. If you want the car to drive you up the hill, make sure the car looks trustworthy. Our driver pretty much gauranteed us his car would make it up, but it didnt even get up the first hundred meters before we stalled out. There were young boys there who had horses and we ended up hiring them to take us up and that was a very worthwhile experience. We got to talk to the boys and just relax going up the hill (which took about 2.5 hours). Its actually a very scenic route and its great because you cna just go at your own pace, or the horse's pace, which isnt really that fast. You'll get a vew of the area and there are homes on the mountain where a lot of the boys live.
Once you get to the Citadel, its just awesome. A lot of the buildings are still in great shape. The cannons and cannonballs are still around. And to my surprise, there werent many other visitors. I think we were one of the 3 parties that were there at the time, so it spretty quiet and you cna just view things at your own pace. We met an expat named Tim, who showed us around. If you cant find an expat like Tim, you should probably invest in a guide. The boys that bring you up, Know some history about the citadel, but not all their information is accurate.
Overall just the history of seeing this building makes it a great overall experience that everyone in the area should check out. But if possible, you might want to fly in.
This great Hotel is now only a shadow of its own , but at least it is still there! Known from Graham Greenes Novel "The Comedians" it is an architechtural beauty, now also famous for the concert of RAM every Thursday night.
Find me a hammock and I'm there. No matter where we travel lately; I manage to find a hammock. Nothing is better than a relaxing swing or nap in a hammock. My wife and i enjoy having our hammock time while listening to the crashing surf.
A relaxing day on the beach is always good in my book. Our day at Labadee began with some relaxing time on a lounge chair under some Palm trees enjoying the water views. I really enjoying being able to truly forget about work and get into vacation mode. After the first ten minutes on the beach I was feeling so good and ready for a little nap; which I took for some time before heading into the water with my wife.
Labadee had a large children's playground called the Buccaneer's Children's Park. This is where a majority of the kids gathered on the island. The big draw seemed to be the water activities and the pirate theme...I can understand that..I love Pirates.
The water of Labadee was quite nice. One side of the island was calm clear water and the other side had the same clear water but with a crashing surf. We enjoyed swimming and relaxing in the calmer waters. The surf side was better for relaxing on a beach chair; enjoying the sound of the waves. It was a nice time just being with my wife.
Have a look for that beautiful blue sky and the high mountains in the back :
In fact there are lots of rather high mountains in Haiti and plenty of them had fortresses on top of them, and this way it was easy to defend the island against enemies.
all people I met in Haiti were really friendly to the tourists.
And scenes like on this painting ( that I bought in Haiti ) are quite usual with women carrying their purchases home on their head.
A friendly population...
... BUT policemen, or rather gunmen ( police and/or soldiers, I don't know), who might intimidate also tourists and simply ask for a few $$, with a machinegun in their hands...
Art is to Haiti what music is to Jamaica. It permeates its recent history. You can see it in the religious traditions and local festivals. Terms like "primitive, naive and self-taught" are used to designate the freshness found in some of the best of Haitian art. There is the full spectrum of works from craft copies or imitative copies to originals from people who have made a name for themselves with their creativity.
The activity of trying to discover Haitian art is still one of most exciting things you can do. Despite the recent economic struggles of Haiti there are still a good number of extensive galleries in Port au Prince and Petainville. At some point you will face the issue of what is art and what is just craft. The largest collection of cheap art craft is on one side of the main plaza in Petainville. There is also a fairly large selection on a plaza near the US embassy.
I was part of a mission team in Croix Des Bouquets, Haiti and I spent my time helping to build bunk beds for the two mission homes that host missionaries. I also shared duties at a mobile clinic in a nearby town for over 100 people seeking medical attention. But the best part for me was visiting the children's orphanage in the small town of Croix des Bouquet. Although we spoke different languages, the children certainly made it easy to communicate. They want to hold your hand, touch your skin, play with your hair. Their smiles are unbelievable and will melt your heart. They share their games with you, I played jacks...but with stones, not a bouncy ball which I found makes it really difficult, but they were good at it! There are definitely some major league soccer players there and they totally enjoyed making us look like we were standing still on the soccer field! And they LOVE cameras....they want to pose and then want to look at the pictures you took! The worst part is having to leave. I think it's harder for the visitors than it is for the kids. When you do finally leave, you know you've been changed....for the better.
The Baptist Mission in Fermathe (on the route de Kenscoff) is a great place to 'get away' for a couple of hours. There is a snack bar with a breath-taking view of the mountains. The gift shop is a great place for souvenirs. Past the church there is a small 'zoo' with a monkey named Charlie, a caymen alligator, some rabbits, and other small creatures. It is truly tiny, but my children love it. There is also a small park-like area where my kids can run around. There is also a bakery that sells fresh bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies, etc.
All the products in the gift shop are made in the workshops of the mission, where the participants learn a trade that will hopefully keep their families fed.
La Citadelle in Cap Haitien in the (Nord of Haiti).
The Citadelle is a huge fortress based on the top of a mountain. it was build in the 19th Century by the haitiens to protect there land from forrein invasions. It's a real masterpiece.
More Regions in Haiti