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Christmas In St. Barts

Documenting Cemeteries


View 2018-Christmas and New Years Cruise on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

St Barts is always a tender port. When we were here before, we rented a car at the airport but since it was Christmas, I was not sure the car rental would be open, and I thought I might have a problem getting to the airport to pick up a car. Plus we had a lot of trouble driving in St. Barts due to the narrow twisty roads.

The alternative would be a taxi. But I thought (correctly) that I might have trouble getting a taxi. All the tours on St. Barts were canceled and I suspect it was because none of the drivers wanted to work on Christmas. I had contacted a taxi driver named Laurent who said he spoke good English but he had another job to do on the 25th. I asked if we could just have a couple of hours in the morning, and he said that he needed to be at the other job at 11:30 but he would come at 9:30. So we felt that we had to get on the first tender to have the maximum time with him. I realized that I did not know his name, so I looked it up and found it and his phone number and what kind of car he had (a Mercedes).
Our window in the morning

Our window in the morning


We thought that we should eat in the buffet because the service is kind of leisurely in the dining room. But the buffet on this ship is tiny and although the staff will bring you something to drink, they never offer to help me with my plate. You can get omelets made for you, but other than that, there's scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pastries, cold meats, cold cereal and some fruit and not much else. I did see bread pudding as I was leaving (and never saw it up there again). But the bacon was tough and chewy and I didn't like the sausage.

We got to the Casino Bar where they were giving out tender tickets before 9 - we were to anchor at 9 (and we did) and they were going to start giving out tender tickets at 9:15. Although usually the tours get the tickets first, all the tours for St. Barts had been cancelled. The guy who was giving out the tickets gave those of us who were there in advance the tickets first and we got #19 and 20. We went down to deck 3 and Bob folded up the scooter and I went down 3 steps to the tender docking area and got on the tender. They put the scooter on last.
Scooter folded up on the tender

Scooter folded up on the tender


Waving goodbye to the tender

Waving goodbye to the tender


We got off just about 9:30 and unfolded the scooter and I went down to the end of the taxi rank where there was a Mercedes
Laurent's taxi

Laurent's taxi


and said to the man standing there "Are you our taxi driver?" And he said maybe he was. It turned out that I had neglected to tell him my name or how he might recognize us, although I had told him about the scooter.
Lighthouse from town

Lighthouse from town

Sign wishing you a Happy Holiday

Sign wishing you a Happy Holiday


He was very nice and very helpful and took us to the other four cemeteries (In addition to the beaches, the cemeteries are one of the sights of St Barts) which we had not been able to visit on our last trip. The first three were down in an industrial area. I got out and took the scooter in to see the
Ancien cimetiere de l'epoque suedoise (Old Swedish Cemetery)

Ancien cimetiere de l'epoque suedoise (Old Swedish Cemetery)


The oldest Swedish cemetery was in Gustavia north west of the hospital. It was used between 1785 and 1799 and later moved here to the beach in anse de Public. The rationale behind the move was a Swedish law stipulating that cemeteries should be placed outside urban areas. It was also much easier to dig graves in the sand rather than in the gravel found at the old cemetery. The new location was, however, more exposed to wind and water. Governor Johan Norderling's report written after the hurricane in 1819 which states that not even the dead got spared when violent waves dug up and destroyed the coffins. The new cemetery fell to ruins and was not renovated until the 1970's. The large monument in the center of the cemetery was raised after the renovation.

In order to get to this cemetery, I had to go through the modern cemetery #1, and I took about 25 photos
Cemetery #1

Cemetery #1


In the meantime, Bob on the other side of the road was in Cemetery #2 where he took about 100 photos
Entrance to Cemetery #2

Entrance to Cemetery #2

Cemetery #2

Cemetery #2


Beach

Beach

The next place we went was Cimetière Saint-Jean which was opposite the airport.
Gate of St Jean cemetery

Gate of St Jean cemetery


Looking in the gate of St. Jean cemetery

Looking in the gate of St. Jean cemetery


We took a sampling of photos here - about 80. Then we wanted to go to Cimetière Lorient Haut (we had done Cimetière Lorient Bas when we were here before), but it was briefly raining,
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so he drove us through the marine sanctuary area to Cul de Sac Bay (which I think is a funny name).
Getting ready to parasail at Cul de Sac Bay

Getting ready to parasail at Cul de Sac Bay


By then it stopped raining so we went back to
Lorient Haut

Lorient Haut


Gate of Lorient Haut

Gate of Lorient Haut

Grave of a young man

Grave of a young man

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It was too sandy for the scooter and we were under a time constraint so Bob just took about 70 photos. We also got to see two planes land at the airport.
Plane coming in for a landing

Plane coming in for a landing

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Plane has landed

Plane has landed


Landing strip from the road at the top

Landing strip from the road at the top


And at the roundabout at the top of the airstrip, we saw
It is Savaku, the soul of St Barths.

It is Savaku, the soul of St Barths.


Lighthouse

Lighthouse


He took us up by the lighthouse, but it was closed due to hurricane damage, and he said we could look at the fort, but it was the police station, so if I wanted to go in, I'd have to do something bad.
Fort Oscar (formerly Gustav Adolph)

Fort Oscar (formerly Gustav Adolph)


He said hurricane Irma destroyed about 80% of the island - he lost his house and everything he owned. The island was only back in operation for about 3 months. His afternoon job was for a family that came at Xmas every year and since cabs are so hard to find at that time of year, he worked for them every day from 11:30 to after dinner for that week.
Anchorage from the hill

Anchorage from the hill

Pacific Princess anchored

Pacific Princess anchored

Pacific Princess from the hill and a road mirror

Pacific Princess from the hill and a road mirror


We got back to the port a little before 11:30 and I paid him in euros on a credit card machine. It was 150 euros for the tour, but this is an expensive place. A coke was 10 euros according to the people at our table. Bob was really really happy not to have to drive on the very narrow twisty roads.
Anchorage from the beach

Anchorage from the beach


We just missed a tender so we sat and waited and then when the tender came Bob folded up the scooter and went to stand in line, but my back started to hurt so I sat on the railing. It was stainless steel and was quite sturdy. But they didn't want me there so they found me a chair and then I was first on the tender and sat by the window so I could take photos of all the big fancy yachts - reportedly some belonging to the Russian mafia.
Large yachts med-moored

Large yachts med-moored


At least two of them had their own helicopters (I didn't get a photo of them) and a lot of them had boat garages.
Large boat with two boat garages

Large boat with two boat garages

Yacht with a big water slide

Yacht with a big water slide

One of our tenders from another tender

One of our tenders from another tender


There was a very fat man getting onto the tender and it took 3 or four people to get him down each of the steps and onto the tender. But I did not see any mobility device for him. I didn't see him get off - I decided to wait until after everyone else had gotten off to get off. I hauled myself up the steps and Bob commented that it was like when I went up the steps at home.

We were in time for lunch and we had a good lunch. I had the matzo ball soup (which was a bit salty) and potato latkes,
Grilled potato latkes

Grilled potato latkes


and Bob had a triple decker chicken club sandwich. We were both hungry not having had much breakfast. We had ice cream for dessert.

I got to work on the photos, and then we went up for trivia. We usually get 10 or 11 and some group on the other side of the room gets 15. We would have gotten one more if they had taken my answer for the name of the straits between the North and South islands of New Zealand. I said they were the Cook Straits, but I didn't know how I knew that so I wasn't positive and they said Wellington and they were wrong.
Anchorage from the ship

Anchorage from the ship

At dinner they gave us little green paper crowns to wear and we each had a cracker
Cracker

Cracker


Inside the cracker was a prize and a joke

Inside the cracker was a prize and a joke

Butternut Squash soup

Butternut Squash soup

Scallops, crayfish and shrimp appetizer

Scallops, crayfish and shrimp appetizer


They had the traditional turkey dinner at night, and Bob ordered it, but he was having a problem swallowing so he did not eat any of it and left early. I had the
Pan seared halibut

Pan seared halibut


I usually leave my scooter along the mirror by the Club Dining room section and one of the waiters brings it up to hurry us along so they can get the table turned for the late seating. We talk a lot at our table and the service is slow.

When we got back to the room, we each had a little Christmas stocking filled with a few chocolates.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 18:48 Archived in Saint Barthélemy Tagged airport cemetery airplane swedish tender pacific_princess Comments (0)

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