Tall ship at St. Thomas
Carnival Miracle arrived at St. Thomas in the early morning. We had also visited St. Thomas on our cruise last summer. Then, we we saw Magens Bay, the scenic overlooks, Blackbeard's Castle (Skytsborg), and the historic houses along The 99 Steps. (See my June 2007 St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie blogs.) This year, the family wanted to focus on Charlotte Amalie and doing some shopping. After disembarking at the West Indian Company pier, we went to the taxi stand at Havensight Mall and took a taxi into downtown Charlotte Amalie. (The colorful taxis are jitneys made out of pickup trucks with rows of seats fixed to the bed.) The taxi left us off at the head of Dronningens Gade, the main street ($3.00 per person).
Dronningens Gade is the main street and the street where stores large and small are located.
St. Thomas harbor
Susan wanted to look at a neckalce, Julia at perfume, and Drew to seach for a wallet and belt. We checked out A.H. Riise Mall (actually trading rows along old warehouse alleys), Hibiscus Alley, and Creques Alley. We also visited Captain's Corner for T-shirts and trinkets and Del Sol for their color-changing apparel items. (I found a new travel cap there. You may see it turn up in future photos!) I also stocked up on Caribbean and Jamaican coffee at Down Island Traders. Lunch was at Glady's Cafe
. Then we followed Kyst Vejen
(or Waterfront Drive
) back along the harbor to the vendor's plaza near the taxi stand.
It was time now for me to take photos and I went off on my own expedition in search of the historic sites around the base of Government Hill.
(Susan, Drew, and Julia explored the outdoor vendor's plaza.) In this area are many structures dating from the Danish ownership of St. Thomas. The Post Office
reminded me of early 20th century tropical structures in Balboa, Panama. Between it and the vendor's plaza is Emancipation Gardens Park
. Up from the post office on Kongens Gade is Hotel 1829
dating from 1829, originally a house. (It's been operated as a hotel since 1906.) The bottom of the 18th century 99 Steps
, which we had descended last year coming down from Blackbeard's Castle, comes out nearby. Down the street Frederik Lutheran Chuch
was the principal Danish church, built in 1793.
I walked up to the entrance of Fort Christian, begun in 1670 and named for Danish King Christian V (1646-1699).
(Christian's wife was Charlotte Amalie, and the town is named for her.) The fort is now a musem, but it's been closed for restoration since 2005. The entrance was still fenced off, but I was able to take some photos of the 1874 gate and clock tower. (The fort was built to overlook and defend St. Thomas harbor. The two stone towers now called Blackbeard's Castle and Bluebeard's Castle served as elevated lookout posts for the fort.)
Coming back full circle, I returned to Empancipation Gardens Park. The park commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the Danish West Indes in 1848. There is a commemorative sculpture entitled Freedom in the park, along with a bust of King Christian IX and a replica of the Liberty Bell, neatly tying together the strands of St. Thomas' history.
Charlotte Amalie Sights & Attractions review
The 99 Steps
The 99 Steps is a walkway leading up Government Hill in Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie lies at the base of the steep hills that dominate the topog… read entire review
Charlotte Amalie Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Enjoying Caribbean Cuisine at Gladys’ Café
Gladys' Café in downtown Charlotte Amalie serves a variety of Caribbean and West Indian dishes. It's a great place to sample the local cuisine of the… read entire review