Monday, April 14, 2014

Malabrigo Cruise- Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Blackbeard's Castle

Our next port day was in the city of Charlotte Amalie, in St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. I knew we were getting close when I got up that morning and found that my phone was once again using AT&T 4G service, which meant that I could call The Hub back home, and use my usual data plan without running down my very expensive shipboard internet minutes (which would not cover phone calls anyway).

 We docked in the daylight, so there was plenty of time to watch our approach.

 Deeann, all ready for our day on shore.

I have no idea what this little island was called, but we found it very photogenic as we sailed past.

The colors of the water were hypnotic and beautiful.

We took a cab (actually a mini-bus) from the pier, up to Blackbeard's Castle, which is not really a castle at all, but a lookout tower. Charlotte Amalie is a very hilly city (rather like Seattle in that respect), and this tower was up on top of a big hill, though there were further hills up behind the compound.

 Edward Teach has a rather storied history, and his memory is revered and reviled. He really was not a nice man. Though, as my friend Julie says, you gotta admire a guy who made it look like his head was on fire just to intimidate his enemies.

The price of admission ($10, US) gets you into the compound, which has a restaurant overlooking the harbor, a gift shop, and of course, the castle itself.  It was a rather cloudy and heavy morning, and the skies were threatening, so our guide did not take anyone up inside the tower. It's just as well- the sign said that only 8 folks were allowed at a time, and neither Deeann nor I wanted to trip ourselves on dark, stone stairs. We were content to stand outside and take pictures.

More hills behind the compound.
 Our guide was a colorful fellow, who reenacted Edward Teach's story in a most entertaining fashion.

 After the talk, we sat out on the verandah and ate a lovely lunch (grilled salmon burgers). The view was nothing to be sneezed at.
 More beautiful view. There are several deep harbors in Charlotte Amalie. Our ship was docked at an entirely different cove.

Panorama! Our ship was docked over to the far right, in the distance.

We originally thought that we would ride in a cab up the mountain, and then ride back down in another.

We were wrong...

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