Dominican Republic Day Two: Santo Domingo A Morning Walk On The Malecon

Dominican Republic Day Two: Santo Domingo A Morning Walk On The Malecon

Dominican Republic Morning walk Malecon (12 of 46)
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I awoke early, and still a little tired,  my first morning in  Santo Domingo. After some coffee, and a cup of excellent expresso, I was soon walking the cobblestone streets of the old city.  I wanted to watch the sunrise,  which I knew was around 6;40 a.m. , I knew watching it from the Malecon was my best option, 

I walked down Calle 19 de Mazo to the Malecon.  A malecon is a Spanish word for a stone embankment along a waterfront. I have walked along Malecons in San Juan, Puerto Rico., Havana , Cuba and Guayaquil, Ecuador. I have many pleasant memories from each of these walks, each so much alike, but also so different.  

I will have a new memory from my walk on the Malecon in Santo Domingo. I came close to it being my last. When I arrived at the Malecon I came to the a main street Paseo Padre Billini.  Traffic was heavy and continuous. There were white crossing lines but no vehicle was slowing down to allow one to cross. I  walked up a few blocks and no crossings.  I was frustrated. The sun was rising. I saw people walking and running on the Malecon across the busy street. After five minutes I knew the only way to cross, was, as I saw a few other brave folks do, dart across the busy street. I waited for a narrow break in the traffic and ran. An approaching car actually sped up, and come pretty darn close to hitting me! I mean inches! It wouldn’t be the last incident I had with reckless driver in the city and on the Malecon.  Having survived, barely, the crossing, I realized I missed the sunrise but still was able to enjoy, and photograph the recently risen sun.

I love watching the sunrise on my travels, and believe I have watched in rise on all of our oceans and many seas. 

After watching the beauty of the rising sun I proceeded to hike south and east on the Malecon. It wasn’t as busy as the others I  visited but there where still many people walking, running, bicycling and exercising their dogs. I enjoy watching the early morning rituals and activity of folks around the world. At home, I never ever miss my morning walk. 

I was rewarded for my rising early with spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea on the cliffs below the Malecon as I watched and listened to the waves crashing against the cliffs. 

The sun continued to rise and quickly raised the cool morning temperatures along the ocean. It was getting hot when I soon saw this Ferris wheel.  I investigated the amusement park and watched, what appeared to be, some Dominican army troops taking s morning run. 

I explored the park observing the foods and amusements the people of this tropical city enjoyed. 

There were many monuments, statutes and old ruins along the Malecon.

 my favorite was this impressive obelisk, Obelisico  Hembra, depicting a native woman.  

A short distance past the obelisk the neighborhood across the Malecon changed. The old cobblestone street  became modern avenues lined with casinos, 

luxury hotels and high rise apartment buildings.

 The reason was apparent. The views of the ocean were spectacular. 

As I walked I saw some shore birds fishing in the waters of the deep blue ocean including some pelican,

and sea gulls. 

I also saw some old retired folks casting their fishing lines into the sea hoping to catch a fish for lunch. 

After about a 2 1/2 mile hike I decided to turn back. I wanted to walk into the city but traffic was now incredibly crazy. I asked some local folks, it took awhile , almost no one spoke English, and they said that you are supposed to be able to cross at the many painted white lines, but that no one stops for pedestrians.  ( I learned this earlier, and had also learned some of the reckless young men actually try to get as close to you as they can as they zoom past on their motorcycles, on the Malecon, illegally. One actually brushed my shoulder doing at least 45 miles per hour). The locals told me to be careful, there are serious accidents everyday. However, I did see this police officer and told him I wanted to cross. Thankfully, he spoke English and stopped traffic and let me cross the street of death unscathed. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike on the Malecon. Dominican Republic. Day Two Santo Domingo Malecon October 21 2021. 

I wasn’t sure where I was going when I turned on Avenida Maximo  Gomez, but I knew I was near a university since there were many young folks walking with books. 

As always I enjoy the murals painted on the walls and buildings in a new city.

It was an upscale neighborhood. I soon found signs of Western civilization. Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and McDonalds. 

I walked past the impressive Palace of the Arts,  and other buildings near Ensanche Independencia. 

The tropical sun was getting hot so I turned down the shaded Avenida Cesar Nicolas Penson.

In the  large trees ion this area I saw a few of my favorite mockingbirds. It was good to see these familiar birds which always remind me of my departed father. 

Here I found the National Museum of Natural History

and the National Library .

Again I knew I was in an upscale neighborhood as the homes and automobiles here were definitely not owned by the working class folks. 

As I walked, having no clue where I was, I saw the dome of the National Palace and walked up for a photograph. The guards quickly confronted me as I approached the Palace but were friendly when I showed them my camera and encouraged me to take photos. 

I left the place and made my way back to the Zona Colonial.   I walked the famous Calle El Conde, a street lined with shops and closed to traffic. It begins  across from Independence Park. 

It was near lunch hour now and the street was busy with folks eating lunch, shopping or just taking in the sites. 

I also saw a few of the feline residents of the city. 

As I often do, more for the benefit for the folks back  home, I stopped in a local supermarket. I love to see, and share, the  different foods, packages, and  beverages in the countries I visit. 

There are a few more photos in the gallery link I will   refer to later in this post. 

After visiting the supermarket I walked to Columbus Park and was now in familiar territory.

I walked to 1/2 mile back to the Billini Hotel, where,  unfortunately I was served a late, and very paltry breakfast. I was still hungry when I finished. But no time to eat. I edited some photographs and was soon off exploring the city again. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my hike through the streets of the city. Dominican Republic  Day Two Santo Domingo  city hike October 21 2021. 

“Dare to explore the beautiful places of the world.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita

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