After an early breakfast, the group bid farewell to Labadie and again boarded the water taxi for Cap Haitien. A bus then took us to the Palais Sans Souci where we met Maurice, our guide for the day.
Palais Sans Souci
At the Palais Sans Souci, we learned about the Haitian rebellion from France and Haiti’s King Christophe’s rebuilding of the country. The Palais was built in 1810, and we saw where the King tricked two French spies into believing his army was much bigger than it actually was. We also saw the impressive backyard and gardens consisting of two swimming pools, a stable, a printing press, officers’ quarters, and an excellent view of the mountains. – Ned Coleman
Hike to Citadel Laferriere
After our group visited the Palais Sans Souci, we rode to the hike that will take us to the Citadel on the top of a mountain. Although we were hiking on a stone path, it was still steep, hot, and challenging. King Christophe, we learned, built the Citadel under the fear that the French would come back to Haiti. He also built a second fort to protect his city from his enemies in the South. The Haitians worked incredibly hard to build the fort as they wanted to die working for freedom and pass on to paradise, or live to be free. Although the Citadel was never attacked, the troops were prepared to defend Haiti and also to evacuate in case of siege through secret tunnels, making sure to render the fort and their weapons useless before leaving.
– Amalie Little
Lunch at the Cultural Center in Milot/ chat with Maurice
Our group ate lunch at our tour guide’s house after a long hike up to the Citadel. We were serenaded by a band as we entered and served cashew chicken, rice, salad, fruit juice, and fried pineapple with coconut for dessert. Maurice our tour guide told us about the history and culture of his city, Milot. – Grayson O’Berry
After the delicious lunch we stopped by the market and bargained with locals for a few souvenirs and stopped at a family business that makes cassava bread, a traditional Haitian delicacy. It was a great day!