Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Eastern Caribbean Cruise Journal, Pt.4

Our stop in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands was my very favorite as we decided to take a tour of Blackbeard's Castle and the "Williamsburg of the Caribbean" which included the Amber Museum, The Villa Notman House, The Haagensen House and the Hotel 1829 a.k.a The Lavalette House.

I took a picture of this old door of the hotel while I was waiting for my husband to purchase our tickets for this tour. The tickets were only 12.00 which gave us at least 2 solid hours of entertainment while you would pay 44.00 if you booked this through NCL. Their tour was longer and did include a few "photo opportunity" sites.

Our first stop was the Amber Museum located in the 1829 Hotel which was originally owned by a French sea captain and in 1900 was turned into a hotel.

Although considered a gem, amber is a wholly-organic material derived from the resin (not sap) of extinct species of trees. Sometimes the dripping resin trapped insects, bark, leaves and other things which are called "inclusions".
One way to tell if the amber you own is authentic is to put it in your refrigerator for several hours. If it is still warm, then it is genuine.

This is a William Comfort Tiffany stained glass window called "In Search of the Promised Land" located just inside the Hotel 1829.

This entire waterfall is solid amber and worth over 2 million dollars.

A dinasaur footprint dated back 90 million years

This is an unusual green resin that has taken it's color from coming into contact with plant life. It is a rare find and only recently discovered in the islands.

A few unlucky insects were captured in these nuggets

This carved clock shows many of the colors of Amber. It was just gorgeous.

This is a music box made of solid Amber mostly in the butterscotch color.

The next few pictures will include the interiors of the homes we visited.

This photo was taken from the veranda of the Villa Notman House overlooking St. Thomas.

This photo was taken at the top of the "lookout tower" built by Blackbeard.

Blackbeard himself. The tower behind was constructed as a "lookout". We went up the very narrow spiral staircase to get to the top and it had some fabulous views.

Part of an old rum factory inside the Hotel 1829.

The back of Blackbeards Castle.

Interior shots of some of the homes. Almost all the wood used in these homes was mahogany.

A kitchen.

This is called the "99 Steps" that lead from on home to another. The homes were built relatively close together but the lush landscape gave a sense of privacy.

On our way back to the ship we took a shot of our cabin located "aft" (or back) of the ship. I circled our balcony. We always shoot for the very back because we like the rumble of the waves put out by the propellers while we are moving and the view is fabulous, especially while leaving a port.

My last post of my vacation will have the photos of the private island known as "Stirrup Cay" owned by NCL and some more photos of the ship.

No comments: