Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti is one of the Society Islands and is the major commercial and industrial centre in French Polynesia.  People say there is not much to do here and having done the major museums the last time, I thought that I might be bored.  However, I was wrong.  My friend and I took a walking tour around the town and it took us about 3 hours to see the main sights. Our first stop was the small but interesting Pearl Museum.  Of course there is a shop attached and the items are pretty pricey.  A long string of perfect black pearls would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I mentioned to the shop assistant that to buy one of the pieces I liked, I would have to mortgage my house.  We then walked past a number of older colonial buildings and found ourselves outside the Presidential Palace (photo).  Our next stop was the modern Polynesian Legislature building which was turned into a handicraft market for the day. I can’t imagine that happening in most capital cities.  While there, we heard an announcement that there would be a free Polynesian dance show in the afternoon. We then wandered over to the cathedral with its interesting stained glass windows (2 photos) and then finally to the market.  After lunch we went back to the legislature and walked in its lovely garden (photos) and then took in the show.  The dancers were from the Marquesas Islands where we are going Wednesday.  The performance lasted almost an hour and was very entertaining. There was a serious effort  on the part of the dancers to scare us but generally we were reduced to laughter (photos).  We stay overnight here and make the two hour voyage to Moorea in the early morning. My friend and I have already booked a local tour for Moorea from some tour operators who came over to Papeete this morning.  We decided that we enjoyed our day in Bora Bora so much that we are going to do something similar tomorrow.

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