An attractive colonial-era town spilling down a hillside above the Carenage, with its horseshoe-shaped harbour, Grenada's capital of ST GEORGE'S received the full brunt of Hurricane Ivan's high winds, and the bevy of new terracotta-coloured roofs stand in testament to the power of the wind. Ivan, however, was not the first disaster to strike this picturesque town, dominated by British colonial architecture but with a distinctly Mediterranean feel. During the eighteenth century, the capital was partly gutted by three devastating fires, leading to legislation that restricted the height of buildings and banned the use of timber.
St George's won't take more than a day to explore, and it's worth taking time away from the beach to do so. Though the market is at its liveliest on Saturday morning, most shops close on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays, making the town a quiet place during those times – except when a cruise ship moors at the spanking new docks, in which case the town explodes into a frenzy of activity, market stalls spring up on shore, restaurants and bars fill up, street vendors and local guides come out in force, and all visitors – whether they're cruise-ship passengers or not – become the focus of a barrage of offers from taxi drivers and spice sellers.