A gem in the United States Virgin Islands
A wonderful place to visit in the USVI is the Island of Saint Thomas. This place is quant with so many things to see and do. If you want to hang out on the beach or snorkel, this island has some of the most beautiful waters in Caribbean.
Equally inviting is the town of Charlotte Amalie. Walking to the town from the cruise ship can be a bit dicey as the traffic is reversed like in England, despite being a US territory for over 100 years. Additionally, the sidewalk is fairly narrow for the 1 mile track into the old town from the cruise ship. However, the beautiful coast line and scenic views of the nearby islands make the walk along the corniche quite pleasurable.
The traffic is reversed like in England, despite being a US territory for over 100 years.
Once in town, you will find most of the shops will not be open until 1030 in the morning. We found this quite extraordinary as we left the ship at 7 am and had to be on the boat at 2 pm.
We did find one enterprising jeweler from India, who had lived in our home town of Brandon, Florida for a while. He was an incredible salesman, opening his conversation with a warm welcome, stating he had been waiting for us all morning. I should’ve known then that it would be best to walk away. However, believing that we had found a bargain, we left the shop fiscally lighter with some beautiful gold earrings in the form of hibiscus.
Amongst the numerous souvenir shops, narrow and beautiful alleys and old streets there are a few treasures to be found. Much of the old town is cobblestone and wrought iron, reminiscent of New Orleans and our very own Cuban port town of Ybor City, near Tampa.
There are several lovely old churches and forts to visit. The Lutheran Church was originally built in 1666. Later destroyed by fire and reconstructed in 1870. The current structure is the oldest church on St Thomas.
The United States purchased the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands for $25 million from the Danish government In 1917, during the First World War to establish a naval base.
The main attractions are the beautiful resorts, fantastic waters and scenic mountains. If you have time, you must take a ferry to one of the adjacent islands or visit one of the resorts.
Having decided that the walk back would be to arduous, we grabbed an open air taxi for only four dollars each to ride back to the cruise ship. These taxis are not luxurious, but they are a great value and provide a tremendous view with refreshing sea air. Truthfully, you would be much better off going into and out of town on the open air taxi than trying to take the walk from the ship to Charlette Amalie.