Indeed the day we took a gua-gua (minibus) out to the monument it was gray and overcast and threatening rain. We need a light to show us the way.The navy guard at Columbus's tomb stands at the apex of the church-like building with corridors running down each side of the open air central "nave." The lower floors had open windows and the impending storm blew scads of cool air through the exhibits. The various rooms are devoted each to a different American country or colony. French Islands have their room as do the Dutch Antilles, alongside Venezuela, Cuba, Canada and everywhere else from Argentina to Italy ( Columbus was Italian of course). There was also a curious exhibit from Taiwan, Republic of China, asserting the very same thesis posited in the book 1421, that the Chinese passed this way long before Columbus. The US room had the obligatory letters of congratulation along with photos:
The US exhibit contained excerpts from the book "A Day In the Life" with an odd cross section of daily, multi-cultural activities around these United States. I don't suppose there was much else to write as Columbus never actually stepped on the US in his forced march to beat da Gama to the fabulous Indies.Outside the Faro the weather was looking like crap so we bought some postcards from a vendor and made him happy, snapped a picture of an attempt at a cityscape under the glowering skies and scampered back to our five star hotel room far from the crumbling decay of tropical Santo Domingo.The faro struck me as a grandiloquent gesture trying to embrace all the nations subsequently populated and exploited by Europe, and pointing them inward at the tiny country hosting this massive palace; but it seemed to be trying too hard. And whatever that English architect was thinking I can only imagine that he, like Samuel Coleridge, was high on heroin when he penciled his masterpiece. This is one unusual human monument I wouldn't want to miss, and now I can die knowing I haven't.