The Citadel

It’s said to be the eighth wonder of the world. The Citadel. And rightfully so! It took an hour to drive there on a very nice road. When we pulled up the guy at the gate wanted 95 dollars for random fees and charges. After speaking to him in Creole the price did go down a bit, but we only paid for our ticket in, and skipped the tour guide, motto ride and donkey ride.

This is the first part of the citadel-the castle in which Henry Christophe lived. Even in ruins it was amazing.

Where Henry Chrisophe lived.

Oh, I didn’t mention it’s about 4 miles to the top, the citadel sits on top of a steep mountain.

Look closely. In the far top left corner you can barely make out the citadel. The town below it where we parked is in the middle right (looks like a circle)

You can pay to take a motto to the half way point, which is about 3 miles. We wanted to walk the whole thing. All the guys there laughed at us, thinking once again, that we were crazy blancs. We set off on foot lathered in spf and with plenty of water. It was a hard walk uphill, but we were enjoying the exercise. However, we were not alone. For the first mile we had two guys who men who rode on horses infront, behind, and next to us. We kept politely telling them we didn’t need the horses we were going to walk the whole way, four miles straight up! I gathered from their persistence their money was on me, thinking I wouldn’t make it to the top! Every time I would stop to catch my breath, they would jump off their horse and offer it me. I am stubborn enough to realize that it was just that act alone that kept me going. It was hot and hard, but I was determined to show them I meant what I said! They finally gave up. The whole way up was lined with houses, and people selling drinks, jewelry, and food. We didn’t really want anything, but loved that they were trying to make a living, so we purchased a little bit from a few of them.

How cute is she? I loved the genius idea of the pole displaying her necklaces!

We made it to the top after about two hours of steep climbing, only to behold a breathtaking site. Not only was the citadel amazing, but so was the 365 degree view of Haiti!

Light a light in the dark... encouraging us to keep climbing to see it~
The entire path there was made of rock. It was beautiful-but sad knowing hundreds of slaves made it.

From the roof (mind you with no guard rails anywhere you could fall to your death around every turn!!

And these are the ones left over.. can you imagine how many more there were??
These rooms were all along the top.. filled with cannons aimed right out the windows.
Inside the courtyard
Cannon balls were everywhere

The walk back was much easier and quicker. This photo shows the most common site on the way back, and really in most of Haiti… when the women do laundry here, they hang it out to dry, anywhere they can. Which usually includes trees, catcus, balconies, anywhere. I have come to love the familiar site…

Also makes me so grateful for my washing machine and dryer!

2 thoughts on “The Citadel

  1. I LOVE ruins! Is that weird? It is amazing to see what was created before us. When you think of history and how many people lived before us, not to mention how many places there are in the world, it helps me remember how small I am in this world. I think it puts things in perspective and helps me not be so focused on me! I am so proud of you Jess…way to be stubborn and not ride those horses! A woman after my own heart! 😉

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