Idag har det varit en jättefin vårdag här på Åland. Sol och riktigt skönt, varmt väder :-).
Fint väder var det också för några veckor sedan, när jag jobbade som rundreseledare i Karibien för Albatros Travel.
En av dagarna hade jag organiserat en katamarantur för våra gäster, då vi seglade längs med Barbados västkust och också snorklade med stora havssköldpaddor!
När jag letade efter någon lämplig aktör att göra den här turen med så hittade jag plötsligt bekant information...Pamir (here is an English link to S/S Pamir, which also contains a list of all the captains onboard, including my grandfater) ! Det var ett fint, gammalt fartyg som under några år ägdes av Gustaf Erikson och ingick i hans segelfartygsflotta, som var den största handelsflottan under segel på den tiden.
Min morfar, Uno Mörn, seglade som kapten på Pamir på 1930-talet. Jag visste att hon hade gått under i en storm utanför Azorerna 1957, men trodde att hon var borta. Jag berättade vad jag visste, till Peter Allen, skepparen på vår katamaran. Han som har seglat på de här vattnen i hela sitt liv började skratta - hon ligger ju här norrut, vi når henne om cirka 15 minuter! Jag brukar inte segla rakt över henne, men vi ska göra det för din skull!
Hade det varit 'morfars Pamir' så hade det varit fantastiskt! Tyvärr så visar det sig att det här är ett mycket mindre fartyg och alltså inte det gamla ärevördiga fartyget. Det finns kanske någon spillra kvar utanför Azorerna. De fartyg som ligger här som dykobjekt utanför Barbados är vrak som är bogserade och placerade här, men Pamir är alltså fel Pamir.
Men de som är ute på dykutfärder med tuber kan dyka kring henne iallafall. Nu var vi ute på en snorkeltur och målet för dagen var sköldpaddorna (som jag skrev om i det här inlägget), så Pamir får vänta på mig till nästa gång jag kommer dit.
Today I give you a banana flower from St Lucia. The banana industry is very important to the former "Helena of the Caribbean", which is what St Lucia is called sometimes because France and England fought so hard for the beautiful island during 150 years and she switched master 14 times until 1814 when England finally settled the island until it became dependent a lot later.
This picture is from the East Coast of Barbados. Also taken during my last job as a Tour Leader there in April. It is beautiful but dangerous... Really strong currents and unpredictable waves. A nice spot for topsurfers in the world but NOT a please to swim.
And one more thing - can you imagine that before the wave hit the beach it may have come all the way from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean (since there is nothing in between) and that means 5000 kilometers!
The good thing on the other hand is that up the hill you have a payphone to use if something would happen :-). Isn't this lovely?!
Today there will only be a short post. A picture I took when we were going in for landing in Barbados. I flew from Stockholm to Heathrow, then changed airport late in the evening, spent the night at Yotel in Gatwick and flew from there to Barbados the following day.
And here we are going in for landing.
Now I have to take care of five different reports...Tax reports and different reports of costs during my jobs. Hmmm...I love it.
Todays pictures are taken in Gustavia at St Barts, where I spent a couple of days with a group of Swedes and Norwegians in the middle of April.
Some of us hade a nice lunch at La Route de Boucanier. A couple of my guests got a guitar in their hands and started singing and playing. Nice atmosphere and I felt that I could have stayed there a lot longer than I had time to do!
The food was ok, but the coffee and the view was great :-).
Here is a greeting from Gustavia on St Barts in the Caribbean. This is me and Agus, the Purser at Clipper Adventurer. Here you'll find some info about the boat.
Since ships like ours aren't allowed to anchor in the harbour we're going ahsore with zodiacs/RIBs. He is going with the important papers to clear the ship and I am on my way to do some necessary paper works and bank issues. After this our guests had a day and a half to spend at St Barts.
This is a picture of Gustavia (and a Swedish link), the capital on St Barts. My colleague Christhina and I was on a tour around the island and I took some pictures during the tour.
Our nice little ship is the one to the left. It was our home for a few nights and days. The ship more to the right is a private yacht.
Det här inlägget slängde jag upp på Facebook den 11 april:
Cried of happiness today! I arranged a tour for the guests to go sailing with a catamaran along the Platinum Coast of Barbados and we got to go snorceling with giant Green Sea Turtles - what amazing animals!! I could have stayed in the water with them forever - guests were really satisfied too :-). No time for photos. — at Stilleto Catamaran, Caribbean Sea.
Och det var verkligen helt fantastiskt! Ville verkligen aldrig ta mig upp ur det klara fina vattnet. De var nyfikna, vänliga, roliga. Mjuka nackar och magar dessutom - helt otroligt mysigt!
Den här bilden tog jag när Christhina och jag var på rundtur runt Barbados. Vyn är en bit upp längs den lugna, fina västkusten, som också var utgångspunkt för vår snorkeltur några dagar senare.
Jag arrangerade den här turen för våra gäster med Peter Allen på Stiletto Catamaran. Han och hans bror kör katamaranturer och de har varit på vattnet i 60 år - ända sedan barnsben.
Jag hade inte tid att ta några bilder under själva snorklingen, men så här ser de ut, de fina Green Sea Turtles. De kan bli upp till 1,5 meter långa när de är vuxna, och vi hade åtminstone 6-7 stycken vuxna och ett par ungar alldeles runt oss!!
Vill du också åka ut och simma med dessa fantastiska djur när du är på Barbados? Det kan du alltså bl.a. göra med hjälp av Peter Allen. Kontaktuppgifterna är följande:
Idag är sista dagen här i Karibien. Jag har just kommit tillbaks från en timmeslång promenad/småjogg längs med havet (kl är nu 7.45 på morgonen här) o ska ner och äta frukost.
Sedan hospitality hour i business centret här på hotellet för att ta hand om våra gästers stora och små frågor.
Sedan utcheckning, transfer och incheckning på flygplatsen. Jag flyger hem med alla våra resenärer till Sverige, via Madrid. Mina kollegor flyger till Florida, då båda bor bl.a. i USA.
Nu en snabbdusch innan frukost, take care!
Idag har vi ankrat utanför Gustavia på St Barts. Jag har rusat runt med lite administration och bankärenden för jobbet.
Nu sitter jag på ett café och uppdaterar information till min telefon för att ha till hands sen när vi är utan wifi och jag måste ha alla viktiga uppgifter och telefonnummer o dyl.
Dyrt här, men vackert och skön stämning. Vi åker vidare imorgon kväll.
P.S Jag noterar att Blogger-funktionen i telefonen är riktigt dålig när det gäller bilder :-/ tyvärr...
Saxar text härifrån, för att hitta informationen snabbt och lätt.
Yes, It’s old and yes some areas are in need of some tender love and care, but without a shadow of a doubt Old San Juan is a MUST SEE for any one visiting Puerto Rico.
Old San Juan offers something for everyone: Awesome views, beautiful architecture and sculptures, historical sites, museums, plazas (great for people watching), restaurants for all tastes, bars and nightclubs to dance the night away. Kids can even fly a kite (chiringas, min anm)on the grounds in front of El Morro (El Morro fortet längst ut på udden av Viejo San Juan som är
byggt på 1500-talet och ett av världsarven). You certainly won’t be stuck for things to do.
Getting to Old San Juan: If you are not staying in Old San Juan the easiest way to get there from Condado / Isla Verde is by taxi. If you decide to drive, there are a couple of multi-storey car parks and an open air car park near the cruise ship piers, as well as an underground car park close to El Morro Fort. This map of Old San Juan details the locations of the car parks, along with the major sights to see.
What’s the best way to see the city? A walking tour of Old San Juan is by far the best way to see the city. You will find it relatively easy to walk around the narrow cobbled streets, though being built on a hill and in the tropics it can get quite hot, so make sure you take plenty of fluids during your tour.
If you don’t feel like walking all around Old San Juan, then let the free trolley service take the weight of your feet. You can take the trolley up to both forts (just make sure you take the trolley marked El Morro). If you are feeling a little bit more adventurous, but still do not want to walk every where; then take a segway tour of Old San Juan
How long should I spend in Old San Juan? How long do you have… You can easily spend a couple of days exploring all that Old San Juan has to offer, but even with just a few hours you can get a taste of this beautiful city.
What are the highlights of Old San Juan?
Must sees include:
The 2 forts El Morro and San Cristobel (if you are short on time then pick one. El Morro is my personal favorite)
San Juan Cathedral
Paseo La Princesa promenade (which leads to the San Juan Gate)
In order to make it easier to locate the various attractions, this list has been broken down by plaza. If you have a favorite place that is not listed, please add it to the comments section at the end of the article.
Plaza San José
1. Plaza San José
Said to be the oldest of the plazas in Old San Juan. The plaza is named after the San José church that is close by.
2. Casa Blanca
Built for Ponce de Leon, now a museum for mid 16th century life
End of Sebastian Street
Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
3. El Morro Fort
Guarding the entrance to San Juan Bay – 6 level fort, now maintained by the National Park Services. This is one of the most spectacular buildings here in Old San Juan.
Open Daily: 9am – 5pm (June to November) and 9am – 6pm (December – May)
End of Norzagaray Street Website: www.nps.gov/saju/ 787-729-6777
4. Kite Flying at El Morro
As well as touring El Morro, you can also enjoy the areas outside the fort too. The grass land in front of El Morro is a popular spot for families on a weekend. Weather permitting you will see people of all ages flying kites on the sea breeze. If you would like to fly a kite, just check with the roadside street vendors as they usually have kites available for a few dollars
5. Museum of African Roots
Highlighting Puerto Rico’s African heritage Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
San Jose Plaza 787-724-4294
6. Museum of the Americas
Highlighting the islands African and Indigenous heritage Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
End of Norzagaray Street 787-724-5052
7. National Gallery
Showcases Puerto Rico art from the 1800’s to 1960’s. Includes artists such as Jose Campeche and Francisco Oller Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
98 Norzagaray Street 787-725-2670
8. Pablo Casals Museum
Memorabilia of the famous cellists life Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
San Jose Plaza 787-723-9185
9. San José church
Located just by the plaza it is currently undergoing renovations.
10. San Juan Cemetery
Final resting place of several famous Puerto Ricans. Located next to El Morro Fort
11. San Juan Museum
Showcases the history and culture of Puerto Rico Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
12. San Sebastian Street in January
Famous street festival takes place here in January – San Juan’s answer to Mardi Gras.
Plaza de Armas
13. Plaza de Armas
Name is derived from the military defense drills that were carried out there
14. Casa del Libro
Showcases rare and precious books
255 Cristo Street Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
Webiste: www.lacasadellibro.org/ (Spanish) 787-723-0354
15. Casa de Ramon Power y Giralt
Showcases the works of Puerto Rico’s Conservation Trust
155 Tetuan Street. Open daily (except Sunday / Monday). 787-722-5882
16. Children’s Museum (Museo del Nino)
Interactive exhibits on 3 different floors. Children can learn about TV reporting, caring for animals as well as things like recycling and Space exploration. Focused on children under 15 years of age.
150 Calle Cristo Street
Open Tuesday – Thursday 9am – 3:30pm, Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday 12:30 – 5pm
There is an admission fee $7. Website: www.museodelninopr.org/ (Spanish). 787-722-3791
17. Cristo Chapel
Small chapel dedicated to the Christ of Miracles. Lower end of Cristo Street
18. Shopping on Cristo Street
Looking for a place to shop. Check out Cristo Street; known for its designer outlet shops such as Coach, Ralph Lauren and more.
19. La Fortaleza
Now home to the Governor of Puerto Rico. Tours are available of the grounds. Open daily
Website: www.fortaleza.gobierno.pr/ 787-721-7000 ext 2211
20. Pigeon Park
Small park where you can see awesome views of San Juan Bay and also feed the pigeons
Close to Cristo Chapel
21. San Juan Cathedral
Last resting place of Ponce de Leon. Daily mass in Spanish
Website: www.catedralsanjuan.com/ 787-722-0861
22. San Juan City Hall
Built after the city hall in Madrid. Now has a gallery room and information center
Open weekdays. Gallery open daily (except Sunday / Monday). 787-724-7171 ext 2000
23. San Juan Gate
Last remaining gate that was built into the massive defensive walls that protect the city of Old San Juan. Gate is closed at night
Plaza de Armas
24. Plaza de Armas
Small plaza overlooking San Juan bay
25. Casa Don Q
Small museum highlighting the history of the Serralles rum making family and Don Q rum – free samples available. Paseo Gilberto Concepcion de Garcia. Open Friday – Wednesday
26. La Casita Home to the Tourist Information Center. Lower end of San Justo Street Open daily. 787-722-1709
27. La Princesa
A former jail is now home to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. Now has an art gallery
Paseo La Princesa. Open weekdays. 787-721-2400
29. Paseo La Princesa Promenade that follows the San Juan Bay and the city walls. Takes you to the San Juan Gate.
30. Plaza Colon
The plaza now honors Christopher Columbus and center stage is a statue of the explorer.
31. Le Lo Lai Music and Dance Show
This is a local music and dance show set in the grounds of San Cristobel fort. Every Tuesday at 6pm
San Cristobel Fort
Start of Norzagaray. Website: www.nps.gov/saju/ 787-729-6777
32. Pharmacy Museum and Museum of 19 Century Puerto Rican Family
Fortaleza Street, corner of Callejon de Capilla. Open daily (except Sunday / Monday)
33. SoFo District
South end of Fortaleza Street is know for its numerous fine restaurants and also a yearly food festival.
34. San Cristobel Fort
5 independent units connected by tunnels. Impressive structure that can be seen when you arrive in Old San Juan by car. Maintained by the National Parks Service.
Located at the start of Norzagaray Open daily: 9am – 5pm (June to November) and 9am – 6pm (December – May). Website: www.nps.gov/saju/. 787-729-6777
35. Tapia Theater
The theater is over 170 years old and is named after local playwright, Alejandro Tapia.
Located at Fortaleza Street, corner of O’Donnell
36. Captain Duck Tour
Take a land and water tour of San Juan with this amphibious bus tour
Webiste: www.captainduck.com/. 787-725-0077
37. Free WiFi in Plaza’s around Old San Juan
If you feel the need to be connected with the internet while wandering around Old San Juan, you should be able to pick up a wifi signal at most of the plazas in Old san Juan.
38. Horse and Carriage Rides
Tour the city on board a horse drawn carriage – tours of varying lengths are avilable and start close to the tourist information office at the La Casita.
På hemsidan "Discovering Puerto Rico" hittade jag bl.a. det här inlägget (författat av någon som kallar sig Coqui), vilket beskriver en promenad i Viejo San Juan (gamla stan i San Juan på ön Puerto Rico i Karibien).
Old San Juan Self Guided Walking Tour 2008 By Coqui
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico may be small (around 7 square blocks), but there are still lots of attractions to see. You can easily spend a full day exploring the walled city of San Juan, but if you only have a few hours to spare, you can still get a feel for the place.
This self-guided walking tour of Old San Juan will be split into two parts. The first part will take you from near the cruise ship piers at the La Casita (Tourist Information Center) along the Paseo La Princesa, through the San Juan gate and then on to El Morro. In Part 2 we will then head back into Old San Juan and take you to La Fortaleza, the shopping district, San Cristobel Fort and back to the Tourist Information Center.
The first thing that you will notice about Old San Juan is that it is a walled city that looks today as it did 300 – 400 years ago, when the Spanish defended the city from the invading British. As you wander around the city, enjoy the Spanish colonial buildings that make up the heart of the city. To orientate yourself, take a look at the Old San Juan map that highlights attractions and related articles.
The tour starts at the La Casita which is now the Tourist Information Center. The building is located close to the cruise ship piers at Plaza de la Darsena.This is a great place to start your tour of Old San Juan, as you can get information on attractions, maps, restaurants and more from the helpful staff (bilingual).
La Casita is open daily from 8am – 8pm, but the free drinks only start at 1pm and are not available on Thursday / Friday. 787-729-6777
Coqui bonus: Sample a free drink courtesy of ‘Rums of Puerto Rico’ Coqui note: On Saturday / Sunday (late afternoon / evening) the area around the La Casita is a popular spot as local artisans display their crafts and local musicians fill the air with traditional music.
Paseo La Princesa
From La Casita keep the San Juan bay on your left and head towards the Paseo La Princesa promenade. This is a tree lined walk (and one of my favorite spots) with gardens, benches, and street vendors. The promenade takes you along the outside of the city wall. The wall is impressive and you can see how it would be so imposing to anyone attempting to take the city by force. The wall is about 20ft thick raising to heights of around 60ft in places.
Further along the promenade you will pass the Old San Juan Jail – La Princesa. No longer a jail, it is the home of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. The building is open weekdays to the general public, where you can take a tour of the cells.
Continue past the jail towards the Raices fountain; a bronze sculpture fountain designed by Luis Sanguino. This is a great photo opportunity spot.
Past the fountain the Paseo La Princesa continues to follow the city wall and the San Juan Bay. The walkway curves to the right and leads you to The San Juan Gate (city gate).
At this point, you can continue to follow the walkway towards El Morro or head through the large city gate.
Coqui note: The walk towards El Morro is nice with some great photo opportunities of El Morro, but unfortunately it is a dead end and you will need to retrace your steps back to the San Juan Gate
San Juan Gate
To enter into the city, pass through the large red gate. This gate is the last remaining gate that is still standing in the city. As you pass through the gate, look up to view the inscription ‘Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini’ – translated ‘blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. Here you can see just how thick the wall of the city is. Once through the gate, head up the hill towards the San Juan Cathedral. As you reach the top of the hill, you will see the Cathedral straight ahead and the Hotel El Convento on your left.
Coqui note: The Hotel El Convento has a great tapas restaurant that has an open air courtyard; just in case you are feeling hungry. Also close by is the Children’s Museum, which is open daily except Mondays.
San Juan Cathedral
The small; San Juan Cathedral was built 400 years ago and contains the remains of Ponce De Leon. Mass is offered Daily in Spanish.
With the Cathedral on your right, head up the hill (you are currently on Cristo Street). This street contains craft shops as well as ‘outlet stores’ for Coach, Ralph Lauren and others. There are also art galleries and restaurants to check out if you have the time.
At the top of Cristo Street you will find the Pablo Casals Museum, the African Heritage Museum and the Puerto Rico National Gallery (open daily except Sunday and Monday form 9am – 4:30pm). At the top of Cristo Street turn left. You should see a large Totem pole. This is the Plaza del Quinto Centenario. The plaza is a popular spot, especially on hot days, due to the fountain, that is a big hit with children.
From the plaza you will see in the distance, the impressive structure of El Morro. El Morro is situated on the cliff edge with a large expansive field in front. If you are fortunate to be here on a weekend with good weather, you should see the field filled with families enjoying the sea breeze, as both young and old fly their kites.
Coqui note: You can purchase small kites from the street vendors located along the roadside. Coqui caution: If you plan to walk to El Morro when the kites are flying, just be careful. You never know, when one might decide to come back down to earth…
As you approach El Morro you will get a sense of just how impressive this fortress is. Built on 6 levels to defend San Juan from sea attack; the fort was initially completed in 1589, with improvements made to the walls in the 1700’s.
El Morro is a National Historic Site maintained by the US National Park Service. Entrance costs a few dollars and you can either tour the fort on your own or join one of the regular ranger tours that are given in English (on the hour) or Spanish (30mins past the hour). Inside you will find a chapel, kitchen, latrine, barracks, all with informational displays.
El Morrow is open daily from 9am – 5pm (June to November) and 9am – 6pm (December – May).
Coqui note: The views from El Morro are striking at any time of the day and you will have plenty of photo opportunities from around the fort. It is also possible to arrange a wedding at the fort. Coqui note: If you now want to see San Cristobel fort, jump on the free trolley that will take you to San Cristobel. If you are feeling energetic, you can walk along Nozagaray Street with the ocean to your left. (this walk is not recommended at night).
Bim är Bajanernas benämning på sin kära ö, Barbados. Idag tänkte jag lägga upp ett par bilder som beskriver hur man åker buss här på ön.
Dels finns det kommunala bussar - blå med gul rand. De kostar BBD 2 eller USD 1, för en enkelresa till Bridgetown t.ex. Du måste ha jämna pengar för du får ingen växel där. Dels finns det privata bussar som är gula med blå rand. De kostar lika mycket och går på samma ställen, men där får du växel. Och så finns det vans, som klämmer in 25 personer i en transit. De är gråvita med en vinröd rand.
Tidtabeller för bussarna ute runt ön finns inte egentligen, men de kommer. Någon gång. Och faktiskt hyfsat ofta. Det finns två sorters skyltar: Out of city och To city. Och city är Bridgetown, huvudstaden. Det finns fyra städer på ön, men det är bara Bridgetown som räknas som hållpunkt i bussammanhang. Så det är faktiskt ganska lätt!
De kör som maniacs, men det är väldigt smidigt trots allt. Häromdagen så var vi på väg med lokalbuss till en Fish Festival i Oistins. Vi var på väg till busshållplatsen en bit ner för gatan. Vi var dessutom fortfarande på fel sida av gatan. Då kom det en buss och det stod Oistins på den, så jag viftade och vinkade för att se ifall den skulle stanna.
Vilket den gjorde :-). Så vi rusade över gatan (kom ihåg att titta noga innan du går över här - de kör fort och så är det vänstertrafik, så de kommer oväntat från "fel håll" för oss, så att säga...) och hoppade in, betalade våra 2 Barbadosdollar och skramlade iväg till Oisitins i rasande fart!
Jag är på jobb som reseledare för Albatros Travel som bäst och vi är i Karibien! St Lucia är en av de öar vi besöker och jag tänkte saxa lite av en text om St Lucia och bananer, som jag hittade på den här sidan. Informationen är från en bok, The Struggle For Survival – an historical, poltitical, and socioeconomic perspective of St. Lucia av Andersson Reynolds.
Den tar sitt avstamp i bananodlarstrejken 1993 vilket verkar ha varit deras Ådalen-31. Två odlare sköts till döds av polisen då de protesterade mot fallande bananpriser. Att priserna föll berodde på att EU införde sin gemensamma marknad, England slutade stödköpa bananer från den tidigare kolonin och de större sydamerikanska bananerna tog över. De protesterade också mot korruption inom organisationen som skulle företräda odlarna.
Från 1993 går boken bakåt till 1700-talet då England och Frankrike 14 gånger erövrade ön från varandra efter att först tagit den från Carib-indianerna som tagit den från Awarakerna (de första bosättarna). Reynold beskriver perioden av sockerrörsodling till att bananerna tog över som öns huvudinkomst på 1950-talet.
Bananerna var inte förknippade med slaveriet som sockret var. Man kan skörda bananerna året om vilket ger jämnare intäkter, de kan odlas på små jordplättar på olika typer av jordar, passar att samodlas med andra grönsaker medan man väntar på skörd och innehåller många näringsämnen, mineraler och energi. Allt detta passar för ett självförsörjande småskaligt jordbruk.
Den här bilden på en bananplanta tog jag i Key West 2008.
Nackdelen är att de kräver både konstgödsel och bekämpningsmedel och svaga rötter gör det utsatt för stormar och orkaner. Att helt gå över från socker till bananer innebar också att man bytte beroendet av en gröda mot en annan. Men boken går även framåt till början av 2000-talet, de politiska partierna, de senaste valen och tar upp hur turismen (den nya monokulturen) har påverkat landet på gott och ont.
Since 1979 Saint Lucia has been a stable independent democracy within the British Commonwealth. But after a few days on the island you'll discover influences and nuances hinting at its colourful past.
Saint Lucia was first inhabited by the peaceful Arawak Indians, but they were conquered by their old enemies, the fierce Caribs. Columbus navigator was the first European to discover Saint Lucia in 1499. Then the British came and in 1667 the French arrived. Saint Lucia was alternately British and French for the next 150 years, before it was finally ceded to the British in 1814.
The war has left fortresses and relics behind. For example, Pigeon Island National Park and Fort Rodney. From the former British officers' mess, it is easy to imagine the cannons firing at French warships as they tried to slip past the fortified hilltop… You can also visit Morne Fortune, a site of a key battle, and Marigot Bay, once a vital wartime base and now a beautiful yacht haven. Diamond Falls and Mineral Baths, built by the French king, Louis XVI, to refresh and heal his troops stationed on Saint Lucia, are fascinating. As is historic Soufriere, the old French capital.
They still have many British characteristics and, although English is the official language, French patois is widely spoken by the locals. In spirit, the island is influenced by many cultures. Saint Lucians drive on the left and have a passion for cricket. But the Caribbean influence surfaces in the drinks - rum and locally brewed beer, in the music - calypso, soca, reggae, in the richly flavoured Creole cuisine, in the carnivals, festivals and days of national pride, and in the open-air markets.
You'll find Saint Lucia a colourful, unique mixture of history and charming influences.
Famous Saint Lucians
Saint Lucia is the birthplace of two Nobel Laureates (who by remarkable coincidence were both born on January 23). The late Sir W. Arthur Lewis won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979, and poet Derek Walcott won the 1992 Nobel Prize for literature.
The Arawak Indians were well established in Saint Lucia before the Europeans ever set foot on the island. Later, came the warrior Caribs, who overcame the peace loving Arawaks, and by around 800AD, Carib settlements dominated the island.
The tribes left their mark on the island. They called it “Ioüanalao” and “Hewanorra” meaning “there where the iguana is found”. The name Saint Lucia was first used in the late 16th Century.
It was once believed that Christopher Columbus, on his fourth voyage to the West Indies in 1502, was the first European to set foot on Lucia, but Historians are now almost certain that he never landed on the island.
One theory suggests that Juan de Cosa, a little known explorer, who traveled with Columbus on his first and second voyages, named the island. One of his maps shows a small island named El Falcon near where Saint Lucia is located.
The first European to settle was Francois Le Clerc, known as Jambe de Bois or Wooden Leg. He was a pirate who settled himself up on Pigeon Island. From there he attached passing Spanish ships. The Dutch established a base at Vieux Fort around 1600.
The English first landed in 1605, having been blown off course on their way to Guyana aboard their vessel, the Olive Branch. Sixty-seven settlers landed and purchased huts from the Caribs. Once month later only 19 were left and these were forced to flee from the Caribs in a canoe. A second futile attempt at colonization by the British was by Sir Thomas Warner in 1639.
The French arrived in 1651 when two representatives of the French West India Company bought the island. Eight years later, ownership disputes between the French and the English ignited hostilities that should endure for 150 years. During this time, the island changed hands fourteen times and was finally ceded to the British in 1814.
In 1746, the first town was established; Soufriere, a French settlement. By 1780, twelve French towns had been founded and the French built the first sugar estates. Within 15 years, 50 more estates were in operation. In 1780, a hurricane destroyed many plantations but with slave labour, the French quickly repaired the damage.
Wars between the English and the French prevented the growth of large plantations and the sugar industry suffered heavily with the abolition of slavery in 1838. The industry finally died in the 1960’s.
The English first attacked Saint Lucia in 1778 after declaring war on France for aiding the Americans in the War of Independence. During this skirmish, known as the Battle of Cul de Sac, the English captured the island. They established a naval base at Gros Islet and fortified Pigeon Island.
The most memorable Anglo-French conflict was in 1780 when Admiral George Rodney sailed the English Navy out of Gros Islet Bay and attacked and decimated the pride of the French fleet under the command of Admiral Comte de Grasse. In 1796, after Castries was razed by fire, General Moore attacked the French on Morne Fortune overlooking the city after two days of fighting, the 27th Inniskilling Regiment forced the French to surrender.
In 1838, Saint Lucia joined the Windward islands with its seat of government in Barbados. In 1842, English became the island’s official language.
In 1863, the first steamship laden with coal called at Castries and the port soon became a major coaling station. The first shipment of indentured Indian labourers arrived in 1882 to help bail out the Agricultural industry. They continued to arrive over the next 30 years and many decided to settle here.
The coal industry began to decline in 1906 when the island was abandoned as a garrisoned naval station. Other events such as the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914, World War I, the Depression in 1929 and the introduction of diesel and oil fuel in the 1940’s all contributed to its demise.
Saint Lucia moved towards independence in 1951 when suffrage was granted to all citizens over age twenty-one. The Windward Islands adopted a new constitution and the seat of government moved to Grenada. In 1958, Saint Lucia joined the West Indian Federation which collapsed after only four years.
In 1960, the island enacted a new constitution with the appointment of the first Ministers of Government. This constitution expired in 1967 when England granted the island full self-government. Saint Lucia became completely independent from England on February 22 1979.
About 150,000 people with 60,000 living in its capital, Castries, inhabit Saint Lucia. Although it is a full independent nation, it remains a member of the British Common wealth.
Ordet buckanjär är en försvenskning av en ursprungligen karibisk term och den är vanligt förkommande i litteraturen om sena 1500- och 1600-talens karibiska sjörövare; i 1676 års lexikon beskrevs buckanjärerna som the rude rabble in Jamaica av signaturen E. Cole. Den pågick fram till 1700-talet.
Det fanns två sorters jägare på Hispañola, skrev buckanjären Alexander Olivier Exquemelin i Piratica America1678, den ena var: [t]jurjägarna [som kallades] buckanjärer. Förr fanns det gott och väl 500- 600 på ön, men  är de inte ens 300, eftersom tjurarna blivit så få att jägarna måste vara mycket skickliga för att få något.
Termen buckanjär är, oavsett den ordagranna betydelsen, geografiskt bunden till Karibien. I likhet med termen flibustiär var buckanjär inte från början knuten till sjörövarskrået, en buckanjär var ursprungligen inte ens nödvändigtvis en kriminell person, om än han måste vara ohyfsad, enligt E. Cole.
The buccaneers were privateers who attacked Spanish shipping in the Caribbean Sea during the late 17th century.
The term buccaneer is now used generally as a synonym for pirate. Originally, buccaneer crews were larger, more apt to attack coastal cities, and more localized to the Caribbean than later pirate crews who sailed to the Indian Ocean on the Pirate Round in the late 17th century.
About 1630, some Frenchmen who were driven away from the island of Hispaniola fled to nearby Tortuga. The Spaniards tried to drive them out of Tortuga, but the buccaneers were joined by many other French, Dutch and English and turned to piracy against Spanish shipping, generally using small craft to attack galleons in the vicinity of the Windward Passage. Finally they became so strong that they even sailed to the mainland of Spanish America and sacked cities.
English settlers occupying Jamaica began to spread the name buccaneers with the meaning of pirates. The name became universally adopted later in 1684 when the first English translation of Alexandre Exquemelin's book The Buccaneers of America was published.
Viewed from London, buccaneering was a low-budget way to wage war on England's rival, Spain. So, the English crown licensed buccaneers with letters of marque, legalizing their operations in return for a share of their profits. The buccaneers were invited by Jamaica's Governor Thomas Modyford to base ships at Port Royal. The buccaneers robbed Spanish shipping and colonies, and returned to Port Royal with their plunder, making the city the most prosperous in the Caribbean. There even were Royal Navy officers sent to lead the buccaneers, such as Christopher Myngs. Their activities went on irrespective of whether England happened to be at war with Spain or France.
In the 1690s, the old buccaneering ways began to die out, as European governments began to discard the policy of "no peace beyond the Line." Buccaneers were hard to control and might embroil their colonies in unwanted wars. Notably, at the 1697 joint French-buccaneer siege of Cartagena, led by Bernard Desjean, Baron de Pointis, the buccaneers and the French regulars parted on extremely bitter terms. Less tolerated by local Caribbean officials, buccaneers increasingly turned to legal work or else joined regular pirate crews who sought plunder in the Indian Ocean, the east coast of North America, or West Africa as well as in the Caribbean.
The status of buccaneers as pirates or privateers was ambiguous. As a rule, the buccaneers called themselves privateers, and many sailed under the protection of a letter of marque granted by British, French or Dutch authorities. For example, Henry Morgan had some form of legal cover for all of his attacks, and expressed great indignation at being called a "corsair" by the governor of Panama.
Nevertheless, these rough men had little concern for legal niceties, and exploited every opportunity to pillage Spanish targets, whether or not a letter of boungie was available. Many of the letters of marque used by buccaneers were legally invalid, and any form of legal paper in that illiterate age might be passed off as a letter of marque.
Furthermore, even those buccaneers who had valid letters of marque often failed to observe their terms; Morgan's 1671 attack on Panama, for instance, was not at all authorized by his commission from the governor of Jamaica. The legal status of buccaneers was still further obscured by the practice of the Spanish authorities, who regarded them as heretics and interlopers, and thus hanged or garrotted captured buccaneers entirely without regard to whether their attacks were licensed by French or English monarchs.
Simultaneously, French and English governors tended to turn a blind eye to the buccaneers' depredations against the Spanish, even when unlicensed. But as Spanish power waned toward the end of the 17th century, the buccaneers' attacks began to disrupt France and England's merchant traffic with Spanish America. Merchants who had previously regarded the buccaneers as a defense against Spain now saw them as a threat to commerce, and colonial authorities grew hostile. This change in political atmosphere, more than anything else, put an end to buccaneering.
A hundred years before the French Revolution, the buccaneer companies were run on lines in which liberty, equality and fraternity were the rule,. In a buccaneer camp, the captain was elected and could be deposed by the votes of the crew. The crew, and not the captain, decided whether to attack a particular ship, or a fleet of ships.
Spoils were evenly divided into shares; the captain received an agreed amount for the ship, plus a portion of the share of the prize money, usually five or six shares. Crews generally had no regular wages, being paid only from their shares of the plunder, a system called "no purchase, no pay" by Modyford or "no prey, no pay" by Exquemelin. There was a strong esprit ' among buccaneers. This, combined with overwhelming numbers, allowed them to win battles and raids. There was also, for some time, a social insurance system guaranteeing compensation for battle wounds at a worked-out scale.
Tortugan buccaneers also lived in lifelong male partnerships. This institution of male partnership was called matelotage and the partners matelots. Matelots shared their beds, property, food, and loot with one another. The extent to which matelotage included homosexuality is controversial. Although a few historians have claimed, with no evidence, that homosexuality was universal among the buccaneers, it is recognized by most that matelots shared women as well as their worldly goods, and that buccaneers were frequent and enthusiastic patrons of female prostitutes. It is nevertheless agreed that a substantial minority of buccaneer matelots were likely homosexual.
Buccaneers initially used small boats to attack Spanish galleons surreptitiously, often at night, and climb aboard before the alarm could be raised. Buccaneers were expert marksmen and would quickly kill the helmsman and any officers aboard. Buccaneers' reputation as cruel pirates grew until most victims would surrender, hoping they would not be killed.
When buccaneers raided towns, they did not sail into port and bombard the defenses, as naval forces typically did. Instead, they secretly beached their ships out of sight of their target, marched overland, and attacked the towns from the landward side, which was usually less fortified. Their raids relied mainly on surprise and speed.
St. Barths is very informal. Casual sportsclothes in cotton, and other light fabrics are fine by day, as are jeans, T-shirts, etc. (Bathing suits are for the beach, pool, or yacht, but not for town.) At night, women often dress for dinner in whatever happens to be fashionable in resortwear. Ties and jackets are never required for men.
French is the official language, but the flavor spoken by local folk is a curious Norman dialect. Much of the populace speaks English, however, and there is seldom a language problem at hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.
Items for personal use (tobacco, cameras, film), if not in excessive quantity, are admitted without formalities or tax. For more controversial items, like firearms, French regulations apply.
Currency and Banks
On February 18, 2002, the French Franc has ceased to be legal tender, having been replaced by the Euro (€), the currency of the European Union, of which France is a prominent member. The official exchange rate (July 2005) was approximately .82 € for US$1.00. The rate is subject to change, though changes are rarely rapid. Dollars are accepted everywhere, and prices are often quoted in dollars.
* Banque Française Commerciale (B.F.C.), rue du Général de Gaulle, Gustavia (Tel: 05.90.27.62.62), and in St. Jean (Tel: 05.90.27.87.75)
* BDAF, accross from the Post Office in Gustavia (Tel. : 0590 29 68 30)
* B.N.P ( Banque Nationale de Paris), rue de Bord de Mer, Gustavia (Tel: 05.90.27.63.70).
* Bred, La Savane, St-Jean (Tel: 05.90.52.06.00)
* Credit Agricole, rue Jeanne d'Arc (Tel: 0 820 800 971 - 0,09€/mn)
* Change Caraïbe, exchange office in Gustavia ( Tel.: 0590 27 57 57)
Hours are generally Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3:30 PM; banks close on weekends, holidays, and afternoons preceding holidays.
Also, American Express has an office (05 90 52 97 06 ) on the island, at La Savane Center in St Jean. They offer American Express Cardmembers the usual services, and since local ATMs do not accept American Express Cards, they fill the gap by providing emergency check cashing in Euro or USD.
Voltage is 220 AC, 60 cycles. American-made appliances often require French plug converters and transformers.
Getting married in St. Barths
While it is impossible for anyone other than St. Barths residents to have a civil marriage ceremony in St. Barths, a lot of people of many nationalities with a close connection to St. Barths do decide to have their Christian marriage or wedding blessing on the island.
St. Bartholomew's Anglican Church is willing to discuss the possibility of holding wedding services, but sufficient notice must be given in time for the necessary preparations. The Anglican Church undertakes weddings in both English and French but does not provide for wedding services outside of the Church. The priest, Revd Charles Vere Nicoll, lives on the island and can help with enquiries - Tel: (59) 05 90 29 74 63.
Other couples have chosen to have other forms of wedding celebration on the island: on the beach, in a beautiful villa, in one of the island' restaurants or on a chartered yacht.
The services of excellent photographers, florists, musicians, caterers as well as an American wedding organizer are available on the island.
Telephone and Fax
Since 1996, all phone numbers in the French world have been expanded to ten digits.
Phone numbers in Guadaloupe as well as in St Barths all starts with 05 90, and cell phone numbers all start with 06 90.
To call within the French phone system, dial the 10 digit phone number including the O
To call St Barths from abroad:
The country code for Guadeloupe and St Barths is +590, but it will have to be dialed followed by a 9 digit phone number. (the usual 0 disappears for phone calls originating in a foreign country.) So in order to call 05 90 27 52 85 from the USA, you will have to dial: 011 590 590 27 52 85.
To call the USA from St. Barths, dial 00, then dial 1, the area code and the number.
For local and international calls from public phones, the use of Telecartes is advised. The Telecartes, which look like credit cards, can be purchased at the Gustavia, St. Jean and Lorient Post Offices, and at the gas station near the airport. There are only three coin telephones in the island ( Two of them are at the Galeries du Commerce in St Jean).
If you want to bring your favorite cellular phone along and use it in St.Barths there are some steps you must take after your arrival.
If you have a GSM system phone, you may go to France Telecom's office in St. Jean, or to the electronics shop at the gas station near the airport and have the internal chip replaced. The chip costs about 295FF, and is quickly installed. After a delay of about 24 hours, the new chip will provide you with a local number, and will give you 150FF worth of outgoing phone calls. If you use that up, you can buy a card that will give you additional time. There is no charge for incoming calls. Save your old chip for re-installation when you return.
If you have a digital phone, you can dial "0", and, if you are lucky, after several attempts, someone will answer and offer service from St.Maarten antennas in return for a VISA card number. This service only works in those parts of St.Barths that can see St.Maarten, and is therefore limited.
Connecting to the Internet
* Free Access - " Maya's to Go" in St-Jean, as well as the Brasserie "Le Repaire" in Gustavia, offer their clientele free access to their WIFI network. Both are nice places to have a drink, or a meal.
* For a Fee - St Barth Telecom, a local private company, has installed a "hotspot" covering Gustavia. You need to buy a connection card to surf without limit from Gustavia. Contact St Barth Telecom to find out how to get a card.
Local Service Providers:
* France Telecom Interactive: Wanadoo (Office in St-Jean) - They will give you a free account (called "Acces Libre") with an ID and Password at to their office in St-Jean or online (www.wanadoo.fr). You will still have to pay for the phone call. It does not work with a phone line which is restricted to local use.
* PowerAntilles - tel: (590) 590 87 97 92 - offers short term local accounts to visitors ( $20/week, $65/month), which can be quickly and easily established by email before your arrival. You will also have to pay for the phone call.
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, they should get back to you right away.
Some hotels maintain an ISP account for guests, and offer the passwords on a temporary basis.
As with everything associated with the Internet, the above information is subject to sudden and unexpected change.
There is one hour difference between St. Barths and the East Coast of the USA when Standard Time is in effect in the USA and Canada. Thus, when it is seven o'clock in St. Barths, it is only six o'clock in New York or Toronto. The island tells time the French way: 1 p.m., for example, is 13 hours, and midnight is 24 hours. During daylight savings time, there is no difference in time between St. Barths and the east coast of the USA.
Medical and Pharmaceutical Facilities
Gustavia has a small hospital (Tel: 05.90.27.60.35), eight resident doctors, dentists, one gynecologist, and specialists in ophthalmology, dermatology, etc. A medical laboratories including an X-ray lab is located in Gustavia. There are pharmacies at La Savane Commercial Center (Tel: 05 90 27 66 61), in St. Jean near La Villa Creole (05 90 29 02 12) and in Gustavia (Tel: 05 90 27 61 82). It is also possible to buy short term medical evacuation insurance from Medicall and have yourself whisked, by air, to the hospital of your choice.
Post Offices and Mail
St. Barths has one Post Office with two branches. The main Post Office, on rue du Centenaire in Gustavia, opens daily 8 AM to 3 PM, and closes on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. The branch in Lorient is open from 7 to 11 AM weekdays and from 8 to 10 AM on Saturday. The branch at the St. Jean Commercial Center, near the airport, opens daily from 8 AM to 2 PM, as well as Wednesday and Saturday morning 8-11 AM. Both are closed on Sunday and holidays.
UPS, Federal Express and DHL all have agents on the Island.
There are three Roman Catholic Churches on the island - Gustavia, Lorient and Colombier. The Roman Catholic Priest, Père Numa, can be reached on (59) 05 90 27 95 38. Services are held in all three churches at various times.
The Anglican Church holds its Family Eucharist on Sunday mornings at 9:00am with a midweek mass at 12:30pm following a midweek Spirituality Group at 11:30am. The priest, Revd Charles Vere Nicoll, lives on the island and can help with enquiries - Tel: (59) 05 90 29 74 63.
The Pentecostal Church holds three meetings a week in the St. Barths Beach Hotel - they can be reached on (59) 05 90 27 61 60.
While warm sand and blue waters do make an ideal vacation location, this destination has that and a whole lot more. All of the hot celebrities dock their yachts at St. Barts, where the glitzy night life and the glamorous day times are the envy of the Caribbean. It's not about who's seen between the pages of a magazine; it's about who's at the table next to yours.
Formally a quiet island where "night life" referred to sipping wine and watching the stars glittering in the sea, St. Barts has become a sensational vacation destination. As more and more tourists enjoyed the beauty of the island, the live music scene and clubs erupted, creating the fabulous island that it is today.
Le Select in Gustavia is a simple building, designed in a nautical theme. It has been called a "glorified shanty." The open-air garden has been dubbed "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" in honor of none other than Jimmy Buffett, who often visits St. Barts and even has a home there. Many musical celebrities have been seen here, sometimes even providing live entertainment. Mick Jagger is one of the famous guests of Le Select.
Opposite of Le Select is Bar de l'Oubli, a hip location that serves breakfast to patrons recovering from the previous night and that stays open as late as business requires - usually to at least midnight.
Do Brazil, located on Shell Beach, is owned by former French celebrity, Yannick Noah. This Zen café serves French-Tai as well as French Brazilian dishes. Dishes include amazing meals like duck breast with pineapple, Szechwan pepper, and local pumpkin purée or Mahi-Mahi Moqueca, which is a Brazilian specialty that contains coconut milk, peppers, onions, garlic and coriander. The delicious cuisine can be enjoyed on the "sunset beach" after an invigorating swim or romantic walk.
Nikki Beach, known as "The Sexiest Place on Earth," is the ultimate beach club. Consistently gorgeous - from the décor, to the music, to the staff - Nikki Beach is a perfect blend of fashion, dining, music, and entertainment. You might see Beyonce, Gwen Stafani, Paris Hilton, Sean Combs, Ivanka Trump, or Mariah Carey enjoying champagne and mingling with guests. But this is no pretentious dinner club. This contemporary locale is more like a Hollywood frat party.
Other celebrity hot spots on the island include the seductive Bar'Tô Lounge in Guanahani, which plays the top hits that keep the young crowd dancing. Dinner and dessert is available from Bartolomeo, which is next door. Baz Bar, on the harbor in Gustavia, has a mellow mix of soul, jazz, and cocktails. Legendary parties occur nightly in the unassuming pitched-roof cottage of Le Ti St. Barth at Pointe Milou. Lastly, but certainly not least, is the Yacht Club, recognized by its white drapes and remembered for its harbor views.
Weather forecast St. Barts Island
There are two varieties of weather that result from St. Barts' location on the surface of the planet: the usual stuff and hurricanes.
Most of the year, puffy white clouds parade through a clear blue sky, and warm balmy breezes gently ruffle hair and sway palm fronds. It's a T-shirt, shorts and sandals kind of weather, interrupted now and then by a brief tropical shower.
From July to November, however, this halcyon state of affairs may be interrupted by a revolving tropical storm, which, in its mature form, is known as a hurricane.
It's as if all the bad weather we've been spared during the rest of the year has been packed together into one package, to be savored all at once.
Jag landade på Barbados airport i måndags eftermiddag, Barbados-time då var det kväll hemma och jag hade varit på resande fot i cirka 30 timmar... FRÅN Finland. Och då fick jag mig ett riktigt gott skratt när jag var på väg in i terminalen på Grantley Adams airport på Barbados!
Sååå skön inställning och humor tycker jag :-). Godnatt, nu måste jag sova - tidig morgon imorgon bitti igen.
PS. Här på Barbados har tydligen Sembos VD varit på semester nu senast i januari och också bloggat om det.
Den här bilden tog jag i måndags (2 april), när jag satt på Gatwick och väntade på att boarda min flight med Virgin Atlantic till Barbados. Vi var precis klara att få gå ombord när det blev delay pga kaptensbyte.
Jag föredrar ju dock ändå att det behovet uppstår på marken och inte i luften. Vi kom iväg cirka 1,5 försenade. De lyckades dock köra in tiden lite sedan.
Virgin Atlantic var för övrigt riktigt trevligt att åka med! Jag satt dessutom vid ett riktigt bra nödutgångssäte, där det inte var säten framför, utan riktig dörrutgång. Vilket betydde att jag och paret som satt bredvid mig hade riktigt bra utrymme för benen, för att gå upp och röra på oss osv. Jag är tyvärr en av dem som inte kan sova bort en hel flight. Jag måste dessutom upp och gå emellan, för att inte få spatt i benen.
Är på jobb som rundreseledare för Albatros Travel i Karibien som bäst. Närmare bestämt på Barbados till att börja med. Fantastisk morgon! Stiger man bara upp tillräckligt tidigt så har man chans till lite egentid. Så min kollega Christhina och jag tog en 40-minuters promenad längs med havet och sedan gjorde jag lite gymnastik i poolen innan vi åt en härlig frukost :-).
Igår var vi runt ön och rekognocerade. Vacker natur och intressant historia. Idag blir det lokalbussen till stan innan vi på eftermiddagen åker ut till flygfältet för att ta emot våra gäster.
Hälsningar från Yotel, under Gatwick airport. Här ska jag sova några timmar innan jag flyger vidare till Barbados senare idag (mitt i natten nu).
Fräscht och modernt, men lite för trångt för mig som inte är så förtjust i trånga utrymmen. Tur att jag har melatonin med mig.
Good night wherever you are.