It’s true. Just the other day I was in Tahiti. Actually, when you read this, I’ll still sort of be in Tahiti. But the other day I was in Raiatea, our first stop in French Polynesia. I’m still not really clear what constitutes Tahiti… but it’s all French Polynesia, so there you go.
Anyway. When we got off the ship (which, I’d like to point out, we’d been on for 5 days…) I was surprised. You see, we go to a lot of touristy locales on the cruise ships, and, depending on where you are, they all kind of run together. They’re all beautiful, and have cool things to do, but, to be honest, (especially if you’ve been on a Mexican cruise) they don’t seem that different. So I was getting off the ship expecting Hawaii 2.0.
It was not. I love Hawaii, but this was completely different.
The flowers and scenery were unique. There were these beautiful huts with thatched roofs housing shops on the cruise ship dock. The people spoke little English, but spoke French instead. They smiled at you and didn’t push you to buy things. Even though a 2000 passenger cruise ship came in that day, they still closed most of their shops early or never opened them at all because, hello, it’s Sunday, and they take their weekends very seriously in French Polynesia.
We did some (early) shopping and then went to a supermarket where we bought some French bread, cheese, sweet bread, and Nutella. We had a little picnic on the beach with some friends.
This is me trying to be French. Don’t laugh. I mean, I was eating French bread and Brie cheese spread and I bought things with French Polynesian Francs, and I was in flipping FRENCH Polynesia. How much more French could I get? (without being in France I mean).
Then we went swimming. There was a sort-of man-made swimming hole. There is no real beach where the water hits the shoreline, so they built a concrete wall and installed a ladder so you can easily climb in and swim. It’s ocean water, and there are fish but it is protected and so it feels almost like swimming in a pool or a lagoon.
It was a very laidback, very typical island/French Polynesian day!
Ever been to any of the French Polynesian Islands?