George Town, Grand Cayman Island

The Cayman Islands…I always wanted to vacation here. It just sounds tropical and exotic!

George Town is the capital of the largest of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman which is part of the British West Indies. The city has a population of approximately 28000. Cruise ships stopping at George Town anchor offshore and ferry their passengers ashore by tenders. Passengers disembark in George Town right in the center of the Grand Cayman shopping district- duty free shopping that is! And because it is part of British Overseas Territories, driving is on the left hand side of the road. And just in case you were wondering gas in the Caymans is not cheap at $7.00US/g.  It just so happens the day we were in the Caymans, 2 other cruise ships were as well. That’s 3 cruise ships, approximately 10,000 people, makes for a VERY busy place. Did you know that the Cayman Islands is a major world offshore financial centre? Of course you did! But did you know the Caymans is a tax-exempt destination and that there are over 300 banks in this Caribbean country.

In 2004, Grand Cayman  was severely hit by Hurricane Ivan. An estimated 83% of the dwellings on the island were damaged including 4% requiring complete reconstruction. A reported 70% of all dwellings suffered severe damage from flooding or wind. Ivan was the worst hurricane to hit the islands in 86 years and when we visited we could still see some results of the damage as well as areas where they are still rebuilding (9 years later). Due to the tropical location of the islands and because it lies unprotected at sea level, more hurricane or tropical systems have affected the Cayman Islands than any other region in the Atlantic basin.

The island’s most famous excursion is to Stingray City.  Stingray city is a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman. Southern stingrays are found in abundance and visitors can pet and interact with the animals. I was really hoping to do this BUT we decided at the last minute to do a tour that gave an overview of many places on the island and not just one stop. I guess we will just have to go back to the Cayman Island’s one day to play with the stingrays…

Our day in the Cayman Islands was a tour past Seven Mile Beach. a trip to HELL ( the town that is), a stop at a Rum Cake shop, and the highlight for me… a stop at the Turtle Farm! From there it was back to town for lunch…turtle burgers and conch fritters at Paradise Bar & Grill. We wanted to try Iguana which is popular but our guide said it was a home cooked meal and not served in restaurants. We finished our day in the Caymans exploring the historical district and of course shopping.

So back to the Turtle Farm…I knew that I would love this place but I didn’t realize just how much!! We saw each stage of these magnificent turtles… eggs, and hatchlings , baby turtles all the way up to 70 year old turtles. I loved it and took so many pictures. The other cool thing was all the Iguanas at the turtle farm. I could easily have spent the whole day here watching and playing with the baby turtles.

I really loved our visit to Grand Cayman and might even consider checking out the resorts there some day…

Awake early as the sun was coming up
Awake early as the sun was coming up

George Town
George Town

Going ashore by tender ferry
Going ashore by tender ferry

David & I on the tender
David & I on the tender

WELCOME to the Cayman Islands!
WELCOME to the Cayman Islands!
Lots of excursion options!
Lots of excursion options!

And our tour begins…

Shopping & More Shopping...ALL duty free of course!
Shopping & More Shopping…ALL duty free of course!
Seven mile beach
Seven mile beach
more beach :)
more beach 🙂
Oldest house on the island.
Oldest house on the island.
Visited a town called HELL
Visited a town called HELL
It gets it's name from all the black coral that looks like brimstone
It gets it’s name from all the black coral that looks like brimstone

Lots of these guys everywhere
Lots of these guys everywhere
and these guys :)
and these guys 🙂
D\avid doing what he does in all new countries...buying some of the current local currency for his Money Book :)
D\avid doing what he does in all new countries…buying some of the current local currency for his Money Book 🙂
Rum Cake Factory
Tortuga Rum Cake Factory
Famous Tortuga Rum cakes in a variety of flavors
Famous Tortuga Rum cakes in a variety of flavors

Taste testing...my favorite was the pineapple
Taste testing…my favorite was the pineapple
Black coral all along the coast line
Black coral all along the coast

And now my ABSOLUTE favorite part of our day…

The Turtle Farm!!
The Turtle Farm!!

The Babies!!
The Babies!!

They LOVE their head and neck stroked :)
They LOVE their head and neck stroked 🙂

David helping this elderly man...showing him how to hold the baby and got one for him to hold :)
David helping this elderly man…showing him how to hold the baby and got one for him to hold 🙂
My turn!
My turn!

LOVE love them!!!
LOVE love them!!!

Lots of these guys at the Turtle Farm
Lots of these guys at the Turtle Farm

I could have easily spent all day at the Turtle Farm but it was time to move on. We finished our tour in George Town, shopping, having lunch and just wandering around the town a bit.

We had lunch at this beach front restaurant
We had lunch at this beach front restaurant
Turtle Burgers! Yes that patty is made with Turtle Meat...it was OK but I probably wouldn't order it again
Turtle Burgers! Yes that patty is made with Turtle Meat…it was OK but I probably wouldn’t order it again
Conch Fritters! Yum :)
Conch Fritters! Yum 🙂
And just in case you don't know what Conch meat looks like :)
And just in case you don’t know what Conch meat looks like 🙂
View from the restaurant
View from the restaurant

Thought this tree was really cool!
Thought this tree was really cool!

Cayman Bank, one of MANY!
Cayman Bank, one of MANY!

And then it was time to say Farewell Cayman Islands…Hope to see you again one day!

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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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