After my 4:30am arrival time I needed a good night’s sleep. I ended up sleeping until 1:00pm! Once I woke up I got ready for my day exploring Paramaribo, Suriname. As I stepped outside it began to pour so I had to turn around for a rain jacket. The humidity only got worse from there. At one point, it was 83 degrees outside but felt like 102 due to the 91% humidity. It was miserably hot! However, I ended a having a pretty cool day.
About a block from my hotel, Joah Inn, was my first stop. The Suriname City Mosque and Neveh Shalom Jewish Synagogue sit right next to each other along the main street in town. The two neighboring buildings have grown to show the religious tolerance present in Suriname and it was really interesting to see, especially because both buildings were so unique. From there I walked down a very crowded street and once again felt all eyes on me. Not in a malicious manner but more of a surprise. However, it was interesting because every time I met anyone they assumed I was from The Netherlands, as Suriname is a former Dutch colony! The main language is Dutch, although everyone speaks English as well.
I walked for a little while longer until I found a place to eat lunch. I was originally planning on going to JiJi’s, but unfortunately they were only open for dinner. I ended up eating at Bodega and it was great! I had a bacon and cheese omelet that they put on top of very buttery bread – so tasty. It started to rain again as I was leaving but this wasn’t the worst thing in the world as it made the streets a little less crowded. Also fun fact, weather radar does not work in this area of the world. I have no idea why, but in neither Guyana or Suriname could I get it to work and neither could my dad at home. Funny how the rain forest lacks radar!
Anyways, I then walked to see Fort Zeelandia. The museum was closed but it was still very cool to see. It was built in 1640. An interesting tidbit is that it was originally built by the British, and was actually traded to the Dutch for New York (what was then New Amsterdam). Who knew! So I guess we sort of have Suriname to thank for New York. It also has a tainted history that is important to mention as well. Political assassinations took place here in 1982 of fifteen men who disagreed with the military dictatorship. The political situation in Suriname is complicated to say the least, as the current President (and former dictator) was involved in the massacre. More than you probably needed to know but I found it interesting!
From the fort I then walked past the Presidential Palace and then past Saint Peter and Paul Cathedral. Both were super interesting with unique architecture . I have never seen a cathedral similar to this one, and I have seen quite a few!
I wanted to make sure I got home by dark so I called it a day pretty early on. While I felt safe walking during the day, I would not recommend walking by yourself at night. It is definitely a friendly city but there were very few tourists that I saw! In fact, I think I got the only other tourists in the city to take my picture at some point.
After going back to my room I attempted to go to sleep early because I had another painfully early morning. My cab for the airport leaves at 3:15am!
6 countries down, 190 to go.
To learn more about Joah Inn click here.