Sunday, 4 November 2012

More Waikiki

After a catching up on our sleep and enjoying some lovely fresh pineapple with our breakfast we set off to explore Waikiki.

We decided to walk along the Ala Wai canal for a while and then continue on towards the beach, it’s a lovely walk
every so often there are plumeria trees and the smell is absolutely gorgeous.
At one time Waikiki was only a very small strip of land at the foot of the mountains surrounded by marshes and was the preserve of Hawaiian Royalty.   About 300 inches of rain fall on the mountains each year, canals were built to catch the rain water, no canals no Waikiki.
There are only so many pedestrian crossings along Ala Wai, naturally the road we wanted had no crossing so we had to backtrack a block.
Needless to say after all this exertion we needed a coffee stop before continuing to the Damien and Marianne of Moloka’i Heritage Centre.
It took us a while to find it as it had moved, the entrance is no longer behind St Augustine's Cathedral but is now beside an ABC store and Burger King on Kalakaua Avene.   Father Damien was born in Belgium and arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1864.   In 1873 he volunteered to minister to the Hawaiians who were exiled to Kalaupapa on Moloka’i because they had leprosy.   Father Damien saw to the needs of the exiled people for 16 years before contracting leprosy himself and dying in 1889.   He was canonized in 2009 and is one of two Hawaiian saints.
Originally from Germany, Mother Marianne, superior general of the Sisters of Saint Francis in Syracuse, NY came to Hawaii after the Kingdom of Hawaii asked for assistance from religious communities to open a hospital for leprosy patients on Oahua.   In 1888 Mother Marianne arrived in Kalaupapa a few months before Father Damien died. Mother Marianne died of natural causes in 1918 and became the second Hawaiian saint in October 2012.
Photographs are not allowed inside this really interesting free museum.    It is possible visit Kalaupapa on Moloka’i although if I remember correctly visitor numbers are restricted.
After our visit to the museum, we carried on exploring, which mostly meant enjoying the sunshine, sitting on benches and watching the surfers, it was a tough day!
Along the beach there are statues and information boards in the shape of surfboards.
This statue is of Makua and Kila, and is based on a children’s story by Fred Van Dyke honouring Hawaiian values.
The historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, known as the ‘Pink Palace’, built in 1927 by the Matson Steamship Company was near where Queen Kaahumanu had her summer palace on one of the best stretches of Waikiki beach.   Imagine how gorgeous it must've been without all the huge hotels that overshadow it now.
Diamond Head rising above Waikiki, movies are sometimes shown on the big screen on the beach, sadly we just missed the last one which was a premier of the new Hawaii 5 0.
Waves crash on breakwaters, dissipating some of their force even so you can still feel their power in the swimming area.
Surfers on Waikiki, needless to say it’s not us!

Have fun, we are!


  1. Great photos! I love your transition from New Mexico to Hawaii. That must have been lovely soaking in the humidity :)

    1. Thanks, like you I love to take photographs and this is yet another place we (especially me!) can't wait to go back to. Although probably another island next time. :)