Monday, July 27, 2015

Shore Day 1 - Noumea

Hello lovely readers. We're back from our holidays and I have so much to share with you so I' start with our first shore day which was in Noumea.

We arrived in Noumea at around 3pm and headed straight off the ship. Unfortunately we weren't greeted by the best weather as Noumea was pretty grey and only 19 degrees. The first thing we wanted to do was to find Le Fournil Gourmand bakery as I had heard great things about it and being a French colony Noumea has great food and pastries. Unfortunately when we found it Le Fournil Gourmand was closed and from what our limited french could decipher from the sign on the door seemed to have gone into liquidation!

Undeterred by this we decided to seek sweet delights at Chocolat Mourand so we headed in the opposite direction and made our way there. On the way we passed the harbour and the American war memorial. We also caught glimpses of the Cath√©drale Saint-Joseph de Noumea nestled up on the hill.
Halfway through our trek to find chocolate it started to rain and we realised we probably wouldn't have time to make it to the chocolate shop and be back in time to catch our pre-booked shore tour the Tchou Tchhou train so we headed back to the terminal and went upstairs to check out the little market there. I picked up a few postcards and a pretty wooden candle holder and then we went to the shore tours marquee to wait for our tour.
Unfortunately the tours were running late which meant we probably could have made it to the chocolate shop and back in time to catch the train. This also meant by the time our tour actually set off it was somewhat dark and by the time we reached the lookouts and the places of interest the tour stopped at it was too dark to see anything much at all!
The Tchou Tchou trained stopped at  the Notre Dame de Pacific where we looked over the lights of the city and our cruise shipped docked in the distance before heading around the beaches and the bays (which we couldn't actually see as it was too dark!) stopping for some light refreshments and heading up to the gun cannons nestled high on the hill before heading back to the ship by which time it was particularly dark and rainy so instead of spending more time looking around Noumea sites as planned we headed back to the ship a little early to grab some dinner.
I have to say that Noumea was by far my least favourite port of call, although my view may have been biased by the bad weather and the fact that we missed most of it as it was dark so we didn't actually get to see any of the bays or beaches. But we found the feels of Noumea was a little like a seedier Paris in the Pacific. It had a run down feeling about it and wouldn't be the kind of place I would feel happy wandering around at night.

Although we did learn so interesting facts about Noumea from our guide on the Tchou Tchou train I would have to say it is not really worth doing in the dark as there is very little to see and whats more it is a lot cheaper to book the little green train once you get to Noumea rather than booking the shore tours through P&O.

Have you been to Noumea? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below

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