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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The "Home Town Pride: Part II - The Caribbean" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Adding a few more towns to my story from yesterday which featured towns in the USA.  Today's story will feature a few home towns located in the Caribbean.  Carol and I have had the good fortune to travel to many of the Caribbean islands over the past fifteen or so years and during those visits traveled to quite a few towns on the islands.  Naturally hard to pick just a few home towns, but I have given it a try based on their traditions, achievements and beliefs which are part of the history of their town.  So, check out my picks for my favorite home towns in the Caribbean.
  • Oistens, Barbados -  Neat little town on the southern portion of the parish of Christ Church.  
    The town, or village as they call themselves, is famous for their Friday Fish Fry.  A few shacks are found in a nearby strip mall, but the many stalls gathered together along the sand of this coastal town are the main attraction for the many visitors as well as locals who find their way to the tradition known as the Friday Fish Fry.
  • Philipsburg, Sint Maarten -
    Philipsburg Court House
    This town is located on the southeastern side of the dual-country island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  The Dutch Capital is located between Great Bay and the Great Salt Pond.  The two main streets are Front and Back Streets with the majority of the tourist shopping located on Front Street.  Restaurants, gift shops and jewelry stores galore line both sides of Front Street which has cobblestone lining the street and palm trees that shade both sides of the street. 
  • Nassau, Bahamas -
    Government Building in Nassau
    I know I may be stretching it a bit to call Nassau a town, but they still exude pride in their traditions and beliefs just as any other town would do.  Known today as a city, it was formerly known as Charles Town until it was burned by the Spanish in 1684 and then rebuilt and renamed Nassau in 1695 under governor Nicholas Trott in honour of the Dutch Stadtholder.  The Government Building, Straw Market, Pirates of Nassau Museum and Queen's Staircase are all great locations to visit as well as the many gift shops and art galleries that line the main street.
  • Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas -  St. Thomas is one of the US Virgin Islands and Charlotte Amalie hosts the Legislature Building as well as the 17th-century Fort Christian, 99 steps staircase, Emancipation Garden, Market Square, Seven Arches Museum, St.
    Thomas Synagogue, Frederick Lutheran Church and the Weibel Museum. The streets of Charlotte Amalie are lined with duty-free jewelry shops, perfume vendors as well as many outdoor shopping plazas.  At times the vendors can be overbearing as they attempt to get you to visit their shops, but you quickly learn to ignore them.  We enjoy Charlotte Amalie, since it was one of the first towns we visited as we began our travels to the Caribbean.
  • Old San Juan, Puerto Rico -
    El Morro
    This may really be more than a town, but to me it reminds me of what towns would have been like in the past.  The streets of Old San Juan are narrow with tall, colorful concrete buildings lining the stone streets.  To the north side of the town are twin forts that sit on either side of the city. The most historic is El Morro with its views to the west while La Fortaleza is called "The Fortress" because it was one of the settlement's early defensive structures. I enjoyed my visit to La Rogativa which is a sculpture next to the city gate and commemorates the town's religious fight against the British while outnumbered and facing defeat.  Another favorite visit was to the restaurant where the Pina Colada was allegedly invented.  There are many other fantastic historic sights to see, but way to many to list here.  Last October and November I did write a few stories of our visits to Old San Juan. 
  • Orient Village, St. Martin -
    This may not qualify as a true town, due to it's small size, but nonetheless, it still is rich in tradition and draws tourists and town folks alike to the stores, shops, bars and many first-class restaurants.  Since Carol and I first discovered this small town/village back in the early 2000s, it has grown in size and draws patrons from all over the island.
Once again, I could continue to list many other small towns from all over the Caribbean, but each individual has their own favorites just as I do.  Perhaps my listings will give you an idea as to places to visit if you happen to decide to take a vacation or holiday to one of them.  It was another extraordinary day in the life if an ordinary guy.

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