Turks and Caicos Islands

20-Jun-2012 • Grand Turk Turks & Caicos Islands

It was very rainy when we docked at Turks and Caicos.  Fellow travelers from Toronto who joined the cruise to escape the freezing Canadian winter were quite disappointed that the weather did not cooperate.  Even the driver of the shuttle we took to the city center couldn't believe it himself.  He said it was normally warm and sunny in the island.  Anyway, I was more than determined to see what was in the tiny island country.  Upon leaving the ship, we stepped into Margaritaville, the tourist information and visitor center developed very recently to handle the tourist arrivals from cruise liners on a nearly daily basis.  The beach at the dock was spectacular.  We actually swam there after our sightseeing.

Scenes from Margaritaville and the Tourist Information and Visitor Center

The place was replete with duty free stores.

At Turks and Caicos! I was so excited to see the beach right at the terminal. I swam here although it drizzled a little bit.

Here I am happy to be in Turks and Caicos. Finally, I am back in the Caribbean after nine years.

For our day long sightseeing, our first stop was the city's National Museum in downtown Cockburn.

To be honest, the city center wasn't very big.  It was very walkable.  We manage to see most of the sights during the day we were there.  There was a light house recommended by guide books but it was out of the way and so we had to give it a miss,

We actually arrived very early in the center.  Practically all the establishments around including the museum we wanted to see was still closed.  Anyway, after a 10 minute wait, we were welcomed in and we started touring the premises.

We paid $5 per person for the shuttle ride to the city center and another $5 admission per person for the museum.  We were definitely glad we didn't sign up for the $75 fee the cruise was charging for a guided tour of the city.  It was exorbitant and not necessary.

The National Museum of Turks and Caicos Islands

Marc in front of the museum

A ship turbine and a wagon wheel in front of the National Museum

An old Turks and Caicos flag on exhibit inside the museum

Info about the flag

The museum had a lot of artifacts from Old England.  It wasn't a surprise though given that the island country used to be a colony of the UK.

Many of the exhibits were from the early 1900s such as the picture of the former English queen, her Majesty Queen Victoria. There were clocks, soldiers' uniforms, letters, stamps, journals accounts, and the like all very British in nature.

This map of the Islands of Turks and Caicos was painted on a wall inside the museum

Here's the view in front of the museum on a rainy day. The water remained blue.

Some small wooden houses a few yards from the museum. Actually, these houses also doubled as stores during the day. Most of them were owned and lived in by immigrants from Haiti.

By the time we left the National Museum, these houses had already opened and were converted into stores. Some sold souvenirs life postcards, handicrafts, and paintings, lots of paintings from Haiti.

Other stores we visited were owned by immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

I love the colors of this house, honestly.

The Freemason's Lodge

The Victoria Public Library

A closer view of the public library

The Crofton-Coverly House

Turks and Caicos is known for its stamps made specially for collectors.

The Post Office

At the Post Office with a view of the sea in the background

The Grand Turk Inn

One of the very few lodgings in downtown Cockburn

Another view of the Grand Turk Inn

St. Mary's Anglican Pro-Cathedral Church

The Turks and Caicos House of Assembly and Office of the Country's Premier

In front of the House of Assembly and Office of the Premier

The very beautiful seal of the government of Turks and Caicos

The back side of the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly and Office of the Premier

The first time Marc and I passed by the place, we thought it was a private mansion. Little did we know it was a very important public building in the land.

Eunice Lodge (Odd Fellows)

The HM Prison right in downtown Cockburn Town

At the Columbus Landfall National Park

After several hours touring downtown Cockburn in the rain, Marc and I headed back to Margaritaville and the Tourist Information and Visitor Center.  It was where the Grand Princess was docked and we also wanted to swim at the beach.  Despite the rain, the water was blue.  It was just difficult to pass up.  After all, "How often do we find ourselves in the Caribbean?", I asked.

Our ship, The Grand Princess is the one on the left.  The ship on the right is from the Holland America Cruise Line.  Princess is without a doubt an upscale Cruise line based on the passengers traveling on it.  The passengers were mainly seniors and a lot have traveled around the world.  We chatted with a number of them and many cruise at least several times a year.

Fortunately, it didn't rain the entire day we were in the islands.  The sun did come out mid afternoon and we were able to go swimming,

At the beach

Marc all done swimming in the beach

Doing some last minute shopping before we sailed away

Oh so tropical

Returning to the ship after a wonderful day in Turks and Caicos

Fellow cruise travelers returning to our home at sea

Next stop, the Dominican Republic