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The Colonial District, Day Two

Day Two of touring in the Colonial District held as many pleasures as the first. Yes, the downpour of rain came again, but we were prepared this time! Hours of relaxing and sipping good coffee were already scheduled into our day before the wetness began :)

After dining on a charming plaza (the one filled with pigeons across from the Catedral Primada de America), we headed straight for the two museums remaining on our bucket list for the trip. We were ready to hit the history-hunting straight away!




The Ozama Fortress, built by the Spanish in the 16th century to keep the French and English at bay, looms large over the old city wall, facing out to the Ozama River and the Caribbean sea. Disturbingly, the fortress was used in recent history by the 20th century dictator Trujillo, mostly to jail and torture his political prisoners. :( We dropped the six bucks or so for a brief guided tour, definitely worth it as nothing at all was marked.




Next up, the much talked about Museo de las Casas Reales. It houses quite a random collection of historical artifacts (mostly old furniture), plus some brief history of the early Spanish colonization of Hispaniola. I was always wanting the audio guide to go a little further. ''This room features a very rare and important Renaissance-style wood carving of the Virgin Mary and the twelve disciples.'' Aaaand, that would conclude the description of the entire room. More context, please?! It's okay; I got over it :)


This museum was once the home of Diego Colón, Chris' son (yes, he also lived in the Alcazar de Colon, which we visited the day before.) In the century, the dictator Trujillo set up shop and ran the country from this historic site. (That guy liked hearkening back to the D.R.'s colonial history, didn't he?) The museum is now home to... these beautiful peacocks! Who enjoy strutting around the cobblestone courtyard.

Strike a pose.

 

I enjoyed capturing the beautiful flourishes of Spanish colonial architecture surrounding this museum, as well as the small charms of the streets on my Instagram throughout the trip.

Lunch was had at a snazzy outdoor cafe type of place (called Zona Zuna or something like it), where we indulged in... you won't believe it... nachos and tacos! They were divine, I'm tellin' ya.

In the afternoon, we explored the city a bit by car. Our attempt to find a park entrance that would lead us to some moderately well-reviewed ancient caves had us driving in circles for a bit, with no eventual success. Perhaps the most interesting site we ''bumped into'' on our trek was this church, Santa Barbara's.


There were actually old churches tucked away in every corner of this district!

After the fun drive, we fit in some napping, some coffee-sipping, and then back to dine at the restaurant where we started the day! Why not? All in all, I couldn't have asked for a more chill, culturally informative, and historically pleasing couple of days. We look forward to exploring other bits of the country!



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