Our final stops on our 2014 Caribbean Cruise were familiar – St. Kitts and St. Thomas. This cruise was really more of a “relaxing” trip and less of an “exploring” trip. Some of you who have been regular readers (thank you) may remember that about a year ago at this time, I blogged about St. Kitts. We stopped there in 2013, and took a tour around the island, learning much of its history. As you get away from the cruise port, the island actually has a lot of local life. In spite of the severe blow the island took some years back when the EC stopped subsidizing its sugar industry, the St. Kittsians are a proud nation. Their children study 2 languages in school in addition to their native language. The have worked to attract new industry, like electronics manufacture, and – of course, tourism.
This year, everyone else had an “excursion” planned, so I decided to play tourist, and just hang around the cruise port with my camera. I browsed through the liquor stores and t-shirt shops (but managed to avoid the jewelry stores), and just looked for color and people.
As I walked a back street in the cruise port tourist district, I captured this amusing sequence. Watch the guy in the blue shirt (I know, guys, it’s hard not to focus your attention on the girl – I certainly did, at first. But then I saw this guy and something about his demeanor told me I was about to have a unique “photo – op,” so I waited for him to react. It was worth it.
On still another quiet street, this young lady, taking a break from her duties in the Harley Davidson tourist trinket store, obliged me with a pose. As I approached the area, the color on the right and in the background caught my eye. She was sitting on the bench and I thought she would make good foreground interest. She asked me if I was shooting her, and I said, “sure, why not?”, and then she struck the “glamour” pose you see here. Good sense of humor.
Like every day stop on a cruise ship, the day inevitably comes to an end, and you must head back to the ship. The way was clearly enough marked.
Our last stop was St. Thomas. We had been there before, a couple years back. St. Thomas is known for its beaches and the downtown area is just a huge tourist “trap” for jewelry and watch purchasers. Our plan was to take a short, leisurely walk around the downtown, find some trinkets to take home for gifts, and go back to the ship to sit in the sun and enjoy our last day. We were at a different cruise port (the main one) than our stop 2 years ago. I liked the earlier one better. Smaller, slightly less commercial, and more laid back. This one was clearly where it was all “happening,” starting with the obligatory Senior Frog’s Bar.
Our taxi driver had different thoughts. Or at least, we had a communications failure. The cruise port looks to be not more than about a mile from the downtown. As we started winding up hill and going higher and higher above the port (and the downtown), we realized that we were not headed downtown. There was another group on our taxi that was clearly headed for the beach for the day, and apparently our driver thought we were too. He was a little distraught when he realized we weren’t (I think he was thinking he was going to lose a bunch of money on us. In the end, all was well, as we paid him his full fare and we got a great tour of the island, including a shot of Magen’s Beach, where we plan to spend our entire day when our 2015 cruise stops in St. Thomas.
The Caribbean has a warmth to it – both physical and spiritual – and we look forward to this annual break from the cold, Michigan winters!