Grenada – The Island of Spices
So, almost two years after our southern Caribbean cruise, here is the post about the last island we visited – Grenada.
I knew almost next to nothing about the island but was very eager to visit it. Particularly I was very excited as Grenada is very close to South America – a continent which I have never been to but would like to visit. So visiting Grenada was like going closer and closer to South America.
The air in Grenada is different – it is filled with the smells of all kinds of spices which you can feel almost immediately after setting foot on the island. The heat and the smell of spices made the air feel very heavy.
After getting off the ship we entered in a mall with the tour guides and taxi drivers waiting. We bargained with one of them to go to spice plantation and Grand Anse Beach afterwards. The price was USD 100 for three adults and one child.
Grenada is the most southern island from the Windward group of islands. Due to its fertile volcanic soils and warm climate, the island is one of the biggest producers of spices in the world – mace, clove, all spice, cinnamon, cocoa, ginger and nutmeg to name a few. Grenada actually produces and exports 1/5 of the nutmeg quantities used worldwide.
Similar to other Caribbean island, during the centuries Grenada was a French or British colony. The island gains its independence in 1974.
The coast of Grenada has many inlets and beautiful beaches, and the interior of the island mountainous is covered with lush tropical greenery.
The capital city, Saint George, is well known for its colonial style buildings and roofs with red bricks, brought to Grenada with ships from Europe. In 2004 and 2005 Hurricanes Ivan and Emily passed over the island and seriously damage many of the buildings. Most of them were renovated but we also saw abandoned houses still sitting in ruins.
Laura Spice and Herb Garden
The road to this spice plantations was long and winding with a lot of curves. The houses were so close to the road and the locals were walking very close to the cars.
The entrance fee for the spice plantation was $1 per person and it included 20 minutes guided tour. The small alleys were covered in nutmeg shells. There were all kinds of spices and trees – thyme, basil, wild coffee, aloe, cotton, clove, cocoa and citrus trees, and trees on which grow the nutmeg and the cinnamon. We also saw vanilla growing on a cocoa tree as it could easily be planted to other trees.
Grand Anse Beach
From the spice plantation we went back north up the west side of the island and spent two hours at Grand Anse beach. Three kilometers long and covered with sugary white sand, this beach is known as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The water was calm and blue-green, we could see Saint George from there. An hours to the south was Venezuela.