A Travellerspoint blog

St Kitts/Nevis

Brimstone Fortress and Batik Shopping in the Rain

Second visit to St. Kitts


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Sunday 17 January 2010

Today is Sunday although the program says Monday.

We woke up at 7 and we were already at the dock although we weren't supposed to arrive until 8. We went up to the buffet for breakfast and discovered that it was raining pitchforks. I had a grapefruit which I suppose was bad for my blood pressure medicine, and a small piece of quiche and some bacon, plus a banana and a small blueberry muffin.

Celebrity supplies umbrellas and puts them over top of the mini-fridge. There were some people at the next table who could not find theirs because they didn't look in the mini-fridge cabinet. I decided not to worry with an umbrella (for one thing, if I have one hand on my cane, I really can't use an umbrella too), but to go back to the room and get a raincoat. I was wearing basically the same clothes I wore in St Thomas when it rained. Maybe they brought the rain and i shouldn't wear them anymore.

Our tour was called Essential St. Kitts. Because of the rain, the photo people were inside the ship. This time we really DID have to walk the length of the pier to get to the tour buses. I buttoned my raincoat over my camera and straggled down the pier to where the man holding the sign was. There were two bus loads of us Essentials people, and they gave us purple wrist bands and lined us up. When they came to the last two seats in the first van, the people at that point in the line were a group of four, so they took Bob and me
instead. I sat in the front seat with the driver.
Berkeley Memorial Clock

Berkeley Memorial Clock


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the rain

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the rain


It was still raining quite a bit, so I took pictures between wipes of the wipers or rolled down the window to take out the side.

We have been to St.Kitts before and went on the narrow gauge train ride. At that time, we drove out along the coast road past the Brimstone Fortress and it was in good weather fortunately, so I already had some pictures of the villages etc. We stopped on an overlook for a view of the ship and we saw another cruise ship coming in.
Ship from the shore

Ship from the shore


Every telephone pole was covered with election posters - there is an election coming up in Feb.. The two contesting parties are Labour (red banners)
Election posters and flags

Election posters and flags


and PAM (yellow banners). PAM isn't a girls name in this case but is an acronym for something like People's Action Movement.

We passed a large cemetery but my photos all look like they were taken under water. Then the guide stopped so we could see
Nesting cattle egrets

Nesting cattle egrets


We passed both the Medical School and the vet school. I have rain-spotted photos of both

We went through towns with names like Trinity and Old Road. Old Road is believed to be the site of the main Amerindian settlement in St. Kitts and later was the site of the first English settlement in the Caribbean. We passed the Anglican church which was the burial place of Thomas Jefferson's grandfather. We went by St. Kitts Marine Works which had an enormous
Travel Lift (plus windshield wiper)

Travel Lift (plus windshield wiper)


Then we came to a fork in the road where we had to make a decision to go to the Brimstone Fortress or to the Batik factory.

The guide decided to go to Brimstone Fortress first and we were about the first people there.
Entrance kiosk

Entrance kiosk


Situated 800 feet above the sea, Brimstone is one of the most dramatic spots in the entire Caribbean. It commands astounding views (in good weather) of the Caribbean, including Nevis, Montserrat, Saba, St. Martin and St. Barts.

At the bottom there were cattle grazing and a sign that said that it was a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The road up was very narrow. At each curve was a small sign which said HORN and the driver honked his horn. We got to the admissions booth and the driver passed in a ticket and got back what I think was a parking pass. I decided also to rent an audio guider for $5.00

It was raining a little, but not a downpour. I sometimes had to wipe drops off my camera lens and whenever I sat down the surface was wet.
Park van

Park van


I asked Bob to go up to the top of the fortress, and he did
Bob walking up to the top (in the red shirt)

Bob walking up to the top (in the red shirt)

St Kitts flag

St Kitts flag


and took some terrific pictures up there.
large_100_5419.JPG
From the top

From the top

100_5422.JPGLooking down

Looking down

large_100_5423.JPGlarge_807048934738683-One_of_Bobs_.._and_Nevis.jpg
Historic plaque

Historic plaque


Slippery slope

Slippery slope


I took pictures on the lower level
Directional signs

Directional signs


100_3725.JPGGuns

Guns


and listened to the audio guide. Then I went into the museum.

In February of 1782, a French fleet commanded by Admiral Count Fran├žois de Grasse had orders to force the British from St. Kitts - the same admiral who had earlier helped the English colony now known as the United States to gain their independence.
Museum - part of the history

Museum - part of the history


His flagship was the 130-gun Ville de Paris. He had to take the massive Fort George on Brimstone Hill. At this time, the citadel had been under nearly continuous construction (by slave labor) for almost nine decades. A month of bombardment pounding the seven-foot thick walls of black volcanic stone (brimstone) led to the English surrender. One year later, the Treaty of Versailles returned St. Kitts to British rule. Brimstone Hill was abandoned in 1851, and the fort suffered neglect and vandalism. In 1965, it became a national park, and was restored.

I took some pictures in the museum and saw the film.
Introductory film in the museum

Introductory film in the museum


The exit was through the gift shop.
501966204749522-Trays_aand_o.._and_Nevis.jpgTrays and Clay sculptures

Trays and Clay sculptures

4749521-On_Calabash_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis.jpgOn Calabash and Fabric bags

On Calabash and Fabric bags


I would have bought some things there - they had some nice trays and local crafts. But I wanted them to ship the stuff home to me, and they weren't set up to do that.
Outside of the canteen

Outside of the canteen


Next to the visitor's center was a canteen where you could buy snack items as well as sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, and a variety of drinks.

We left the fortress and drove down the narrow road,
Honk Sign Driving Down Brimstone Hill

Honk Sign Driving Down Brimstone Hill


meeting people coming up - each car had to get off on the side of the road to pass. (Bob's comment was that they had not wasted any asphalt in building it)

On the way to the batik factory, we stopped for the guide to show us some
Carib Petroglyph

Carib Petroglyph


and a man with a monkey came by begging. Bob took his picture and gave him a little money because from the front seat I couldn't turn around far enough to take the picture.
Man with a monkey

Man with a monkey


At the batik factory, because I stopped to take photos of some flowers,
aa94e9c0-bce5-11ea-ad32-833fc43f90c3.JPGFlower in the garden

Flower in the garden


I got there just in time to hear the end of the presentation so I don't have a good idea of how it is done.
Materials displayed

Materials displayed


I gather that each different color and effect is a separate process. I photographed displays of the first and second part of the process to arrive at that conclusion.
FIrst part of process to produce batik

FIrst part of process to produce batik

Third through eighth steps in the process

Third through eighth steps in the process


They showed us a very complicated large batik piece which was $45.
Complicated batik called Large Marigot

Complicated batik called Large Marigot


I did buy some items there which are to be shipped to me at home. Also I got my son's birthday present which should be mailed to him direct, assuming my recollection of his zip code is close enough
Close-up of batik material in my son's shirt

Close-up of batik material in my son's shirt

Church in Basseterre

Church in Basseterre

Entrance to the dock

Entrance to the dock

Mall area walking back to the ship

Mall area walking back to the ship


578198994749624-Diamonds_Int.._and_Nevis.jpgRival for St. Thomas?

Rival for St. Thomas?


When I got back to the ship, I was soaked through to the skin.

The ship we had seen coming in was called
Ocean Village

Ocean Village


and was docked across the way from us. There was also a big white four masted sailing ship which was anchored out and tendering people in.
172182614738686-Sailing_ship.._and_Nevis.jpgSailing ship anchored out and tendering in

Sailing ship anchored out and tendering in


Bob went out later to take pictures but I can't read the name of that sailing ship.
Freighter

Freighter


As we dried stuff out and downloaded photos, we saw most of the MN game, and the third quarter and most of the fourth quarter of the Jets game before we had to go to dinner.

Bob had his two shrimp cocktail appetizer and I had the
Melon with prosciutto ham

Melon with prosciutto ham


(thinking it would be like Mrs. Dudley's recipe but it wasn't anything like that). Then both of us had
Cream of broccoli soup

Cream of broccoli soup


which had a cracker with cheese floating in it. It was spicier than I expected. Then Bob had his usual salmon and I had
Chicken breast with risotto

Chicken breast with risotto


For dessert, Bob had
Bananas Foster

Bananas Foster


and I had
Cocoa Meringue with chocolate Cream.

Cocoa Meringue with chocolate Cream.

Tomorrow we have booked a tour from Antigua to Montserrat

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:41 Archived in St Kitts/Nevis Tagged rain fortress batik st_kitts Comments (0)

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