Monday, May 2, 2011

Ode to the Caribbean part 3

On our first stop on our Caribbean cruise we stopped at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. In the 18th century this island was the center of Pirate Culture with Blackbeard and Drake traded stolen wares. Overlooking the bay is Blackbeard's Castle and Rum Distillery. It is now known as the commercial trade capital of the Caribbean, with a plethora of duty free shops.

When we arrived to the island we briefly looked around at the port shops and then got a taxi to town. We could have walked the mile and a half into town, but I do not recommend this in such hot weather when you are a Seattle native. Charlotte Amalie was a beautifully historic looking town with old buildings and streets. I loved that there were wild chickens roaming around everywhere. But we were not too impressed with the shopping as every other store was a jewelry store. Now don't get me wrong, I can appreciate jewelry but after working in the business for 4 years, I am a little burnt out with all the jewelry stuff. I am sure that the prices were great and that it is a wonderful place if you are into that sort of thing. We stopped in a few cool looking stores but I was more interested in the "tent market" in the taxi parking lot where locals were selling their goods and cheap knock offs of designer bags.

Thomas and I visited the Amber Museum (and Waterfall see above), Blackbeard Castle, and period homes while we were there and it was a great little tour that we found on our own. We only paid $15 a person to go on this tour on our own (when we got back on board we found out that it was a "real" excursion and would have paid close to $60 a person to go through the boat). The period homes were great and they had people dressed up giving little stories about the homes and the furniture and such. Then we saw Blackbeard's lookout and even got to go inside. It was so cool to see the whole city and bay and all the boats that were ported. We got to taste various rums in the distillery for free so that was really fun.

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