It's a bit like Gabriel's Wharf on the south bank, except more Caribbean. Surrounding a load of benches and tables there are craft and spice stalls on one side of an oval, and on the other a load of small kiosks for calories. Not everything is open but Esther's Bar is, next to Fishy Pot. I go order a beer and a mojito while we sit watching the wildlife around our feet.
I make the mistake of leaving a couple of cans of lager in the freezer long enough for them to actually freeze. D'oh.
Turning right next to Courts, the furniture shop, we're in the cobbled and hilly bit of town. There's the Grenada national museum right next to the House of Chocolate, and further up numerous art galleries. Everything is shut. Down the other side of the hill there's life on the streets, much life in fact: there's a big fuck-off market going on. It's all food, and we walk through but have no intention of buying anything unless we spot breakfast-y stuff, which we don't.
Being the only white folk around we're getting a bunch of attention as the stallholders try to get us to buy their stuff. Outside of the market we walk towards the cruise ship terminal, during which a man gives us the whole "first time in Grenada? What you up to? You could do this, that, the other, here let me guide you, I'm a walking guide, this is my job" spiel but we bat him away. I don't like these interactions, bleurgh, preferring to just be left alone. Across the road is sanctuary, in the form of a bagel shop.
One onion bagel plus a couple of pastries and some liquids, and free wifi, hurrah! We sit for a while plotting our hastily rearranged day. The museums and stuff don't open until 10am and by now it's still only 9.45am, meaning we've time to kill. So, we'll slowly explore this part of St George's before going in at opening time.
After eating we walk deeper into the cruise ship terminal. There's no ship in town right now so it's largely deserted, though the depressing duty free shops are open anyway. The loo costs 1 USD or 1 XCD/EC to visit, which is a massive rip-off in USD. There's a shop called "SW19 British Collection" but sadly no AFC Wimbledon merchandise on view.
In the terminal, and out on the street, it's getting busier. What's more, there are now a notable amount of white folk about. We wander up the way, past the street vendor selling power tools and towards the bus station, behind which we take a quick break to look at the sea. On the main drag we head up to the Fish Market, poking our head in and seeing all the fish getting sawed into pieces and sold. Somehow, it doesn't reek of fish around here, which confuses the hell out of me.
Back the way we came, another couple of walking tour guides try to win our business and I feel very meh about it, attempting to conjure up a realistic strategy like "no, it's my 10th time here" or something. Dunno why I'm so uncomfortable with this, and at least it's not like it is in Marrakech or elsewhere. Anyway, none of the attempts are aggressive and there's plenty of other potential customers around now.
We know where we're going, however. Climbing the steep hill we'd gone over earlier, there's now a policeman directing traffic at the junction - it's blind in almost all directions. Helen's feet are holding up better than her lungs at this point, as while we wait for a safe time to cross she mutters "this bloody country and its stupid hills". But, having this opportunity to pause, she spots a sign to Fort George. Is that Fort George? Maybe we should go to Fort George?
It is Fort George. Up another preposterously steep incline, guarded by a man saying "the woman who normally collects the entrance fee has gone to the market, if she's not back when you leave I'll have to collect it, I hope that's OK". Yeah, whatever mate, we don't mind paying the tourist tax. It's seemingly a friendly and cheap scam, but actually he gives us a brief bit of information about the place which we otherwise would likely not have known anyway.
Before the fort there's a busted up old Scots church, which they're intending to rebuild. You can visit but the tour needs to be booked and frankly there doesn't look like there's a lot more to see than just this busted up building.
Fort George is a working part of town still. Being up so high there's radio antennas and presumably mobile masts too, plus it's also a training school for the police. What's more, one of the doors said their SEO department was inside.
There are other people around, at least one group being led by one of the guys we'd batted off earlier, so now I feel less rude/guilty. Stumbling back down the hill we pay our 10 EC tax, and reach the now open House Of Chocolate.
The House of Chocolate is part museum, part cafe, part shop. The name kinda gives away the subject: chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. All the cocoa and cacao smells lovely and looks delicious; we walk around the history bit, the wrong way, reading about the bloke who started the original Grenada Chocolate Company: Mott Green. Interesting bloke, for sure.
After getting all that knowledge we're like, hmm, perhaps we should have some chocolate. So we order a slice of chocolate cheesecake, a traditional chocolate tea, and a chocolate iced tea. Meanwhile I need to write down my memories of what we've seen so far today.
Outside, a mute man taps me up for some EC to donate to a youth charity or something. Our plan now is to walk back round the Carenage and find somewhere to have a drink by Port Louis, before either popping back to the apartment or getting a bus all the way down to Grand Anse again.
The walk to Port Louis is a little longer than either of us recalled, but not a huge distance. There's an amazing little bar right next to the sports pitch which I fail to convince Helen we should stop at. At the next arts and crafts centre, everything is shut, but a little further up and across the road from the fancy schmancy marina there's the Sea Port Inn which has a bar, wherein a woman sells us two bottles of Stag.