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November 27, 2015 / oneworld82

Chapter VII – St Kitts

After sailing all night we reached St Kitts the morning after. St Kitts and Nevis is a small country comprised of the islands of St Kitts and Nevis. St Kitts is the largest of the two, and a strong competition goes constantly on between the two islands, which are run autonomously; the islands are in fact semi-independent, and at the highest moments of tension between them talks of independence arose.

Welcome to St Kitts!

Welcome to St Kitts!

Welcome to St Kitts!

Welcome to St Kitts!

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Today we were set to explore the northern part of the island, all the way to the … fortress. Our guide was very informative (he literally knew the history of every town in the island), and gave us a good overview of Basseterre, the colonial, well-preserved capital. As the island went back and forth between the French and the British, part of the island is Anglican and part is Catholic, and the two respective cathedrals are the main feature of an overall quaint capital.

Quaint Basseterre

Quaint Basseterre

The Anglican cathedral

The Anglican cathedral

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After driving through the capital, we stopped at the edge of town to visit some famous gardens (and private residence and home to the Italian and German honorary consulates) and enjoy a great view over Basseterre.

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The view from the gardens where we stopped was simply sensational – picture perfect by all means.

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The morning was unbearably hot – a feature we noticed on every island we visited – but the day tended to get better. Afterwards, we started driving north, up to the Brimstone Hill Fortress. This majestic fort, sitting atop a steep hill, overlooks the coast all the way to Sint Eustachius, only miles away.

View from Brimstone Hill

View from Brimstone Hill

Sint Eustachius

Sint Eustachius

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St Kitts features mountains and hills all over, and the scenery was very nice. We toured the well-preserved fort, and got an idea of how life used to be up there, at a time when this small island was divided between France and Great Britain. Life here must not have been easy, surrounded by enemies and far away by pretty much everything. At least, the soldiers could enjoy a spectacular view over the Caribbean Sea 😉

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On the way up to Brimstone

On the way up to Brimstone

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Central courtyard

Central courtyard

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After the fortress, we drove back to a batik factory, where we enjoyed a nice view over the surrounding forest. Close to the gardens we were visiting there were the ruins of an old distillery – a pretty cool sight considering the lush environment – any sign of human activity seemed out of place, and nature reclaiming its lot ground seemed only natural.

The old distillery building

The old distillery building

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St Kitts main production used to be sugar can, and rail track of the railway shuttling sugarcane to the main processing factory near Basseterre still stand. The batik factory had lovely gardens, but overall it was the usual and disappointing tourist trap found in organized tours.

Our last stop of the day was a vista point over the ocean and the Caribbean sea. The coast is beautiful – the Atlantic one has dark, volcanic sand while the Caribbean one has whiter sands. We took some great photos up there, and we then headed back to our ship for some relaxation before heading to Sint Maarten.

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