New Caledonia, Noumea – The City You Want to Live in
At the beginning of the 20th century, several Czechoslovaks went to the Pacific. One of them, architect Martin Boetcher, still reminds his buildings in Noumée. Czechs and Slovaks live here today. I visit a wine cellar of Mr. Igor of Olomouc, and my Slovak guide, Vladko, tells me about Noumea in the 1970s, when he emigrated here.
Forget about any plans that you would like to spend here a vacation in paradise. At that time, the island was known as the home of oysters, although after the arrival of missionaries and the passage of indigenous people to the Christian faith, cannibalism ceased. The asphalt road was only between Nouméa and the airport. And that the airport was synonymous with a warm welcome, that can not be said either. The old hut and the mosquito area certainly did not show that in a few years' time, particularly demanding clientele would be traveling on vacation.
Today, however, Nouméa is a city with a pleasant atmosphere. In addition to the beaches, which are both within walking distance of the city center, there is also a cathedral, a marina, a typical tropical market, plenty of cafes and bars, an aquarium, the cultural center of native Canaks, and so on.
Tjibaou Cultural Center bears its name after a native insurgency leader against the domination of France, which was assassinated in 1989. He sought to set up a center where Canadian culture and art could be presented. And the building of this center, which combines both modern and traditional elements, has truly succeeded in architectural terms.
Aquarium de Lagoon is a mandatory place of interest for lovers of the underwater world. Not only will you see colorful fish, tortoises, corals (even the rarity here - phosphorescent corals), but you will also learn a lot about sea life.
From the beaches I will mention the two most famous - Plage de la Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata. "Lemon" is better for snorkeling, Anse Vata again for windsurfing. Beware, however: Occasionally at the beaches, people see the shark. The attack on man is not unique here.
Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph of the late 19th century is one of Noumea's
icons. It was built by the convicts of the time who served their punishments. Typical are two 25-meter stone towers. It has several altars inside.
On Sunday, definitely do not miss the local market full of colors, fragrances, flowers, fruits and singing. You can also buy nice souvenirs. You will just fall in love with Noumeu.
GPS: (letiště) 22°15'34.0"S 166°28'23.2"E
Text and photos: Michal Hejl
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