April 20, 2018
St. Barts is often considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean – and one of the most exclusive. It is a small French island and is officially named St. Barthelemy. The population of the island is about 7000. We took the tender into town and walked to explore the area. The island has been a duty free port since the Swedes took over control in the late 1700s. When it reverted to France in the late 1800s the duty free status was maintained. The street signs are in Swedish and French.
The island is distinctly French, though. And it is exclusive. We wandered through the shops – prices are in euros here – and for the most part, very expensive. Norm did buy a shirt and I bought a necklace.
It has more than 300 sunny days a year – and today we had bouts of “liquid sunshine” as showers popped up a few times. We went to town with the intent of getting a car to drive us around and changed our minds once we talked to some of the shopkeepers who said that it is much like the other islands we have been to. Lots of celebrities either own homes or vacation here, but we didn’t spot any. We decided to wander through Gustavia and have lunch there at one of the many restaurants. The scenery is stunning.
We walked to Shell Beach and on our way we saw a lot of police and didn’t know why. It turned out that a whole group of adorable children were going to their school. We were strictly warned not to take any photographs. I never do that without permission anyway but we hope others listened so as not to invade their privacy.
Shell beach is just what the name sounds like – there is no visible sand, just millions of tiny shells.
Here’s their ashtrays – to keep butts off the beach.
Other sights around town:
The hurricane did some damage here too but it is mostly cleaned up. One of the shopkeepers told us that a lot of shops are still closed, he felt lucky that they only had about 5 inches of water in his shop.
We went into a small church and I lit a candle for my mom – and Alice’s mom too.
We went to a recommended pizza place for lunch. Yes, pizza! The best in St. Barts. they say. That is one thing the ship does not do well. We enjoyed it so much. Alice and Tom have been on the ship for 70 days and they really missed pizza. A relaxing time with wine and friends. Oh yes, Italian beer for Tom. Delicious.
Back to the ship as we leave at 4 PM. Tonight there is a deck party or a movie – I have already seen the movie so it will be dancing for us – under the stars. Our last port on this trip, we have 2 sea days now and then it is back to Miami on Monday.