Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Cruise Piccies

A few more piccies from my March cruise to the Caribbean...

This shot was taken on Barbados, and yes that is the DH in his best tourist outfit.

Of all the islands we visited on this cruise, Barbados was unique in a couple of aspects. First of all, it was the only coral island we visited. If you look at a map of the West Indies, the islands are spread in a semi-circle and are all volcanic. Barbados is outside that ring of islands and is a coral atoll.

The second unique thing about Barbados was that, unlike the other islands who had several different countries rule them at various points in their history, Barbados was always under British rule. They take great pride in their long British history and have built and named buildings and landmarks after similar ones in England. The DH is standing in front of the Barbados Houses of Parliament, patterned after the larger and more famous ones in London.

This fellow on the very tall pair of stilts is on St. Croix and he was amazingly agile on those things! This character is called a Moko Jumbie and is a mixture from African folklore and some original Caribbean imagination. Such stilt walkers are permanent fixtures in most parades and festivals on St. Croix and a few of the other islands.

I've read that sometimes Moko Jumbies were used to frighten children into good behavior -- as in "if you aren't a good boy/girl, the Moko Jumbie will get you!" YIKES! Gotta tell ya, that would have probably worked on me. But in other versions, Moko Jumbies chase the evil spirits away. I like the latter version much better.

This beautiful black sand beach is on Grenada, one of my favorite stops on the cruise. Isn't that water gorgeous? The only other black sand beach I've ever seen (at least this up close and personal) was on the Big Island of Hawaii. In both cases, the black sand was the result of the years of erosion of nearby flows of lava.

Grenada is called The Spice Island because they grow a lot of nutmeg, cinnamon (which is actually tree bark) and tamarind here. All over the island people were selling incredible fragrant necklaces made of spices and flowers.

The interior of Grenada was largely one big lush, tropical rain forest. At one of the stops on our 'across the island' tour, I spotted this wise little monkey sitting placidly in the tree watching all the tourists.

That's it for this batch, but I'll put up pictures of the two Dutch islands, Curacao and Aruba, which were the final two stops on our itinerary.

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