Noumea, New Caledonia

Hi Everybody … Today has been a really busy day!  As you saw from the post before this one, my friend Helen arranged for us to go on a tour of the ship’s bridge.  That is where they drive the ship from and that is where Captain Jonathan and Captain Frieso live.  Now that we have done that, it is time to go into town.  We have been here once before, but GD and I went diving, so we have never seen the town.  My friends Con and Sue have told us that there is a really nice aquarium here and GD says that would be fun since we can’t dive.  You see, the ship did not get to Noumea until 10 AM in the morning and all the dive boats leave by 8 AM.  We are both really bummed about that because it was really nice diving there last time.  The good part about arriving at 10AM, is that we got to see us sail in when the sun was shining. Noumea Sail-In P 2 It was really pretty and when we got close to the terminal, there were several fierce warriors dancing in front and a few more playing drums.  Warrior Greeting CommitteeThat was pretty exciting.  Anyway, we get off the ship and go to the tourist information office, to get a map and find out where to eat lunch.  My friend Barbara, the Port Lecturer (isn’t that a grand title?) said we should do that and she is never wrong!  It is nice that that the Amsterdam is parked right in the middle of town, just like we did with the Prinsendam last year.  Amsterdam in TownAs we come out of the terminal building and figure out how we will get to the restaurant, we meet up with my friend Yuri, who is part of the show called Black Tie and really good friends with GD and GW.  Yuri walks part way into town with us.  He says that Valerie (his wife and also part of Black Tie) is practicing the piano while there is nobody on the ship, so he is alone.  When he leaves us, we tell him not to get in trouble … GW says Yuri is good at that, but I don’t know how he knows!  After lunch, we walk through the park that is across the street.  There are some kids playing and GD and GW let me play with them, but they only speak French. Park PlaymateI am going to have to learn to speak other languages in school so I can talk to the other kids when I travel!  In the park, they have lots of drinking fountains for dogs and I think that is just terrific!  They have brightly colored murals painted on some of the buildings that we walk past while we try to find the bus that will take us to the aquarium.  We also pass a police car and a Smurf Driving school.  Smurf in Noumea is ‘Schtroumpf’.  I only know that because they had one of the Smurf movies in a window and it had Schtroumpf as the title.  Smurf Driving SchoolThey even made the driving school’s sign BLUE!  We finally found the bus and we had to drive for about a half hour to reach the aquarium, but we drove mostly along the beach and I thought that was pretty.  The beaches don’t have much sand – only a narrow strip between the grass and the water, and I thought that was really strange!  When we got out at the aquarium, we met Con and Sue – the rest of Black Tie (there are four of them – Con (a boy), Sue, his wife, Yuri (a boy) and Valerie, his wife).  They had a good time showing us all the cool stuff in the aquarium.  Snakes Lionfish Leopard and Black Tip SharkWhen we left, GD bought me a really cool octopus.  As you know, GD, GW and I are no longer on the ship, but my octopus is!  He is going to said around the world for me.  One place we went in the aquarium, there is a big plastic bubble in one of the tanks.  You can crawl underneath and pop up in the middle of the tank.  I did this with two other kids, so GD took our photo.  Hiding in the TankThat was pretty cool too!  Finally we came around a corner and there was a really nice lady giving a class for all the kids.  GD and GW said I could join in and even though I liked it, it would have been more fun if I could understand what the lady said about the turtle she was holding.  Aquarium ClassFinally, it was time to go back to the ship and that is what we did.  GD was hoping to go shopping in the terminal, but it closed in the middle of the afternoon.  My goodness, she was soooo very sad!Loads of Love … Flat Stanley