Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Exploring Honolulu

Taking the Red Line Waikiki Trolley, we took the interesting, and free, 1 hour tour from the Capitol Building to the grounds of the Iolani Palace before continuing to explore Honolulu on our own.

Unlike most State Capitol Buildings we’ve visited, the Hawaiian State Capitol Building is square,

surrounded on three sides by water the building has an opening to the sky

and is meant to represent the islands, volcanoes and surrounding seas.   The Hawaiian State Flag is interesting as it combines the Union Jack and the Stripes of the Stars and Stripes.

Opposite the Capitol Building is an Eternal Flame dedicated to the men and women of Hawaii who have served in the Armed Forces, in the mountains behind is The Punchbowl Military Cemetery.
Hanaiakamalama, in the once secluded uplands of the Nuuanu Valley, was the country estate of King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma.   In 1848 a beautiful New England style house was constructed and is known as Queen Emma’s summer palace.  Today it’s on a 6 lane highway in the middle of Honolulu and definitely not secluded!    
The Iolani Palace is the only Royal Palace in the United States, I decided to take the tour, but sadly didn’t realise I’d paid for the self-guided tour, which although interesting, I’d’ve much preferred the proper guided tour with a real person.

Built by King David Kalakaua and completed in 1882 the Iolani Palace was the first electrified building in Honolulu.   In fact it had electricity before Buckingham Palace and The White House.
The Throne Room

The Hawaiian Royal Coat of Arms

Iolani Palace was the home of the Hawaiian Royals for only 11 years before Queen Lili’Uokalani was deposed in January 1893 during a coup led by US Marines at the behest of sugar planters and descendants of the missionaries.

This statue of Queen Lili’Uokalani is between the Capitol Building and the Iolani Palace.
An impressive statue of King Kamehameha I stands in front of the Supreme Court Building,
mind you the building is probably better known as the offices for Hawaii 50!
This tree was planted by a member of Hawaiian Royalty sadly I didn’t make a note of who, now it’s right in the middle of the tower blocks of downtown Honolulu.
Built in 1927 at a cost of $750,000.00, this gorgeous ceiling is in the porch of the Hawaiian Electric Company Building on Richards Street, one of the few companies that can trace its beginnings back to the era of the Hawaiian Monarchy.   I wonder how many people actually notice it when they go in to pay their bill?
Our next stop was Kawaiaha`o Church, when the first missionaries arrived in 1820 King Kamehameha III granted them land to establish the Kingdom’s first Christian Church.   The church is listed on both the Hawaiian and National Historic Registers.
We had a great day looking around Honolulu, there was so much more to see than we realised and still a lot that we didn’t get to see.   I just hope I’ve spelt all the Hawaiian names correctly!  
Have fun, we are!


  1. Interesting. I never knew how we came to "own" Hawai'i.

    1. No, we didn't know that either. Something else we discovered was that Hawaiian royalty were close friends of Queen Victoria.

      We find out some amazing things on our travels.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. If you ever get the chance, visit Maui or Kaua'i. Kaua'i is where so many movies were filmed (Jurassic Park, The Descendants, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.) because it is so gorgeous, and far less developed than O'ahu. If you don't mind driving on the right-hand side of the road :), visit Maui and drive the road to Hana -- a climbing, winding road through forested hills with waterfalls cascading nearby. We like to stay in Kihei, kind of a Canadian outpost on the sunny side of Maui. Waikiki is the built-up Hawaiian version of Los Angeles, but it is interesting, and I enjoyed your photos. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Despite O'ahu and Waikiki being so busy, which we expected, we had a great time exploring and met some lovely people.

      Maui and Kaua'i are both on our ever growing 'to visit' list, thanks for the information we'll keep that in mind.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos, thanks for reading.