Monday, September 5, 2016

The Beautiful Windward Islands...

The history is fascinating as we hop from one beautiful island to the next, and it's no wonder that the French and English and Spanish countries all fought over these amazing islands.

Martinique was called "Little Paris" at one time, and is the birthplace of Napoleon's own Josephine, whose father owned a 200-acre, 150-slave plantation. The harbor of St. Pierre was home to a magnificent theatre and many well-to-do shops and businesses who catered to ships coming to pick up rum, sugar, coffee and cocoa.

In 1902, Mt. Pelee started spewing ash over the island, giving the residents ample time to evacuate, but instead of leaving the island, many came into the city because their governor ensured everyone that St. Pierre was in no danger. He was wrong! An estimated 30,000 people burned to death in the volcanic explosion that released more energy than an atomic bomb, leaving only two survivors in the town center: a cobbler and a prisoner in a stone cell. Twelve ships anchored in the bay were destroyed, with one escaping with a few survivors. Many of the ruins remain, and most new buildings have at least one wall from the old city ruins.

Theatre Ruins
More city ruins

Quaint town of Anse d'Arlet

 St. Lucia is one of our favorite islands, and we couldn't wait to anchor between the twin peaks of her famous Pitons again. We rented a car and spent the day driving around this mountainous tropical forest with hair-pin curves and steep embankments. They raise a lot of bananas here. We walked through Mamiku Gardens and hiked up to see the ruins of a 1600's rum plantation, then had a blast zip-lining through the forest. We anchored near the fabulous Jalousie Plantation Resort where we had a lovely lunch and enjoyed the lovely beach and manicured grounds.

Sunset in The Pitons

Taken from Jalousie Resort

Ricky getting a foot massage from baby fish  

Flowers in the gardens
Flying through the jungle with the greatest of ease.....

We made it through all 12 courses!

The Pitons as seen from Soufriere Bay

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