|A beautiful spiral staircase from the top.|
The architectural details of the building were outstanding. There was a beautiful oval opening between the first and second floors. The woodwork was solid and well maintained. I don't think I could have climbed the spiral stairs too often without getting dizzy!
|A view from the second floor|
|Even though we cannot read French, we could listen in|
English and follow the graphics to get the history.
|This was a major US Navy facility during WWII|
Our next stop was the Musee Maritime which is a tour through the history of the maritime in New Caledonia. Being an island surrounded by reefs caused many ships to wreck and sink in the area. In addition to the early explorers all trying to find the Southern Continent, ore ships carry natural resources of nickel and other products.
During the war, there was an active US Naval base here. There was a great amount of ship traffic just bringing supplies to the area. One of the exhibits stated that over 5 billion bottles of Coke a Cola were consumed by the American troops. That must have been the "drug" of choice back then!
|Coke bottles recovered from the land and |
sea. Some encrusted with coral. The bottles
have the name of the city or state where they
were produced stamped on the bottom.
|Models of early vessels|
|A most interesting "navigational chart" made of sticks and |
sea shells representing ocean currents and islands.
One of the most interesting items in the exhibit was the "navigational chart" made of sticks and sea shells. The natives recorded the position of islands upon which they landed and marked them with shells. The sticks in the chart represent ocean currents. Amazing! And who says you need all of the electronic equipment!
There are several other museums: coffee, handicrafts, artisans, art to name a few. Hopefully we will have time to see them also. I want to see the native handicrafts.