This week, Christopher Columbus was lifted off the pages of history; a visit to La Isabela, Dominican Republic (DR), saw our family walk amongst the ruins of the very first settlement in the New World. We stood in Columbus’s cliff top house, and saw the remains of other houses, as well as a cemetery, and the first church to hold mass in the New World.
I thought it was interesting to learn that early roof shingles gained their shape by using the builders’ own legs.
The kids were fascinated by the skeletal remains of someone who had lived in the settlement. Five year-old Karen now dreams of being an archeologist.
Paul particularly enjoyed seeing a replica of one of Columbus’s ships.
We feel very fortunate to have seen Columbus’s settlement from both land and sea. Like Columbus, we anchored at La Isabela when we first arrived in the DR. Columbus, however, had loftier intentions when he claimed and named the entire island of Hispaniola, which means “Little Spain”.
It wasn’t until we visited the La Isabela settlement, by land, that we realized we had been anchored in full view of Columbus’s house.
After visiting the settlement Rick downloaded two documentaries about Columbus that had us on the edge of our seats. We learned that we had likely sailed over some of his sunken ships. As many as six ships are believed to be buried at the bottom of the bay under many feet of mud in the bay.
As a result of our trip the kids have been eager to learn more about archaeology and the process of finding objects using a grid.
The two documentaries that Rick downloaded are:
- Expedition Unknown – Columbus Legend Or Liar? (TravelChannel.com)
- Columbus’s Cursed Colony (National Geographic)
We went to La Isabela with Will Aitken and his two dogs Raven and Lupo. Will is a cruiser from Texas, and he suggested La Isabela as a day trip to us. Thanks Will for suggesting this trip and for doing all the driving. We had a great day!