Thursday, February 25, 2010

Caribbean Crusie - Basseterre, St. Kitts and Philipsurg, St. Marteen

Day 4 - Basseterre, St. Kitts

We docked at the port of St. Kitts and hired a local tour guide who had a van with air conditioning (it was very hot there) and traveled with few more tourists to go on an island tour.   St. Kitts was founded  in 1627 by the French.  It later became a British colony shortly after America gained its independence from Great Britain, and it gained its own independence in 1983.  It remains a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth and still holds on to its British roots. The tour guide told us there were five medical universities on the island. The island had a volcano which was no longer active. The island was small and took about two and half hours to complete the island tour.  We only had two stops (see below for pictures for one of the stops) and the other was a private garden which had a gift shop that sold handmade batik fabrics, clothing, and accessories. The weather was very warm so we didn't want to stay outside too long.  Once the tour was over, we went back to the ship and had a late lunch and started our routine life at sea.
Volcano Rock- Aberdeen jewelry was easy to find everywhere on the island

Man who tried to catch fish with a net

Day 5 - Philipsburg, St. Maarten

We docked at this port the next day.  This island is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations.  It is  owned by France and the Netherlands (a treaty signed over 350 years ago). The southern part is ruled by Dutch (called Sint Maarten), the northern part is by French (called Saint Martin). The French territory covers about two thirds of the island and is technically a part of Europe.  The Dutch side is a member island of the Netherlands Antilles and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  We were advised not to go to the French side because it took two hours back and forth to the port.  We were afraid the traffic would be bad that we couldn't get back to the ship on time since the ship would be departure at 6pm that evening. We just went to the Dutch side. There were mainly jewelry shops there and not much to see. We were back on the ship about five o'clock.

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