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Walk along The Carenage, the island's bustling waterfront, and you'll see dozens of turbaned market women selling fragrant cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Aroma takes on a seductive, almost musical quality on this tiny island of beautiful natural wonders-lush mountain forests, cascading waterfalls, and secret beaches. From rum shop to fishing village to market square, Grenada preserves the Caribbean the way it was, long before the American cultural intervention of Big Macs and Coke; best of all, tourist development has been kept to a reasonable scale. You can still glimpse women scrubbing laundry in the streets and goats and chickens vying with traffic. Travelers can hike rain-forest trails, seek out more than 450 flowering plant species and 150 varieties of birds, discover new dive sites, or simply enjoy Grenada's 45 beaches.
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Grenada a nation of three delightfully different islands, each with a distinctive character and flavour, all sharing incredible natural beauty and a warm, friendly populous.
Grenada is an island of soaring peaks carpeted with lush rain forests and dotted with volcanic crater lakes. It's coast are fringed with spectacular cliffs and long stretches of beaches. Historic St George's the capital, is considered the most beautiful city in the Caribbean, it's hillsides dotted with red and orange tile roofs set amongst a canvas of trees and flowers. Offshore there are clear blue waters to sail, fish or scuba dive with sheltered harbours and modern marinas.
Carriacou and Petit Martinique are islands untouched by time, there wooden boats are still constructed by hand from plans passed from one generation to the next. You will find sheltered harbours, long stretches of beaches where you will rarely see another footprint, virgin reefs to scuba dive or snorkel, and idyllic offshore islands, perfect for a private picnic.
You can spice up your life with a serving of Grenada, it's blessed with many fields of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger and cocoa. The "Isle of Spices" has soil so rich that a few dropped seeds and you have an instant garden. Or so they say.
The capital is St George. This is where the action is, or at least the commercial and social activities. This mini-nation includes Grenada with 120 square miles, Carriacou with 13 square miles and Petit Martinique with only 486 acres.
France and Britain both fought for possession of this tropical real estate. The British took control in 1791 and built Fort Frederick. War again was brought to the nation during the Ronald Reagan administration when Americans chased Cuban allies away by bombing and invasion. Of course today Americans go there to play.
Shopping for perfumes and handicrafts involving spices is a must at the Carenage waterfront venue of duty free shops. There are also unique boutiques with items unavailable anywhere else. You can expect a wide variety of seafood, fruits and vegetables served with steel band, calypso and jazz music when it's time to dine.
The official language is English, but a French patois is sometimes spoken. Currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar but the US dollar is accepted as coin of the realm. About 84 percent of the population is black, and a majority of the population are Roman Catholics. Education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14.
Agriculture dominates the economy, and landholdings are generally small. The primary export crops are citrus fruits, cacao, nutmeg, bananas and mace. Other crops are coconuts, cotton, cloves and cinnamon. Tourism is very important to the economy. Grenada is an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations. The British monarch is head of state and is represented by a governor-general. The 1967 constitution was suspended and parliament dissolved after a coup d'etat in 1979. Following a second coup and United States led military intervention in 1983, an Interim Advisory Council ruled until December 1984, when a 15 member parliament was elected.
Grenada was discovered in 1498 by Christopher Columbus. The indigenous population of Carib Indians was hostile, so the island remained uncolonized until 1650, when the French founded Saint George's. The British captured the island in 1792. It returned to the French again in 1779, but was ceded to Britain in 1783. Slaves were brought from Africa during the 18th century to work on sugar plantations. Grenada was administrative headquarters of the British Windward Islands from 1885 to 1958, and from 1958 to 1962 it was part of the Federation of the West Indies. It gained independence on February 7, 1974. Eric M Gairy was the island's first prime minister.
Come on spice up your life on the "Isle of Spice" the islands of Grenada.