position S22 16.600 E166 26.400

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 11 May 2019 11:40

Saturday 11th May   New Caledonia

A good day exploring the town of Numea. We shopped in the market which is close by the harbour for some fresh veg and fish before heading out to visit the New Caledodia Museum, the Numea museum and the cathedral all before lunch.   A siesta is necessary here as the sun is still not unbearable in the early afternoon, but getting close to it. Then in the afternoon the maritime museum and an art gallery showing paintings by Henri Coqc. All the museums were very sparsely attended but all very well appointed and full of interesting stuff. The NC museum in a modern building had mostly native artifacts, boats and houses while the town museum in the old town hall had the story of colonisation along with a world war 1 exhibition. The maritime had lots debris from wrecks on the reef that have occured regularly over the years since the 1st pair of french colonisers in the 1700's.  Nicely done though.

The Cathedral has some pretty stained glass windows and
is pleasantly plain compared with older French catholic cathedrals.
No gory crucifixions on show.

The view of the bay from the cathedral has been mostly blocked with ugly concrete buildings.  The town is reminiscent of Papete- functional but without much style. A grid of one way streets makes for easy walking as you only have to look  one way when crossing the street. I suspect that the french send their trainee architects out to the islands to cut their teeth, producing sensible but uninspiring buildings.

The Town museum with its impossibly tall palms.

The Art exhibition is in a nice house named after the 1st
owner who made his fortune from Nickle. M. Cocq is still going at 95 and
spent a decade in NC. Moved into abstraction in the 70's. Diana preferred his earlier colourful landscapes  but all his work is very pleasing.
I will try and stay awake for the 11pm mass in the cathedral promising 'feu et lumierre'