Wednesday, 19 March 2008

St Kitts

St Kitts has been appearing in my dreams. If it is possible to feel a kinship with a place, this island would be the one place that I have travelled to and felt it immediately. Strange feeling, but a lovely one. I was in the mood to revisit it tonight and pulled up some of my old photos. I wish I knew the name of this beautiful flower. It grows on a large tree and I found it in the main Basseterre Square.

Despite having a Boabob tree in our savannah, I had never noticed the flower. It has an almost paper-like texture and is the lovely colour of tea stained cotton.
An example of early Georgian architecture in the churches. St Kitts was one of the oldest colonies in the British West Indies and much of the region's history can be dug up here in the museums and churchyards. The churches, in particular, have such a beautiful, austere look. In a region that was subjected to a spate of earthquakes and devastating fires that often wiped out whole towns in the 18th and 19th centuries, it is amazing to see these buildings still standing.
The cathedral in downtown Basseterre is beautiful in its symmetry. I believe this is the Catholic cathedral which is fairly unusual as St Kitts or St Christopher as it was known, was never a Spanish colony (please correct me if I am mistaken) and, as such, Catholicism was never as strong a presence as it was (and is) on islands like Trinidad. Tomorrow we head off for a Western Caribbean cruise. It's our first family vacation with Daddy since Mummy died in September and I hope he is going to enjoy it. They have done this particular cruise several times and I think it will probably bring up a lot of memories. But we are all looking forward to it.
I will have my laptop this time around and hope to blog on some of the places that we visit. We are heading to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and back to Miami so I hope to document some interesting things.

5 comments:

Nicole said...

Sharon, the flower is cordia, or Geiger tree. Really easy to grow from cuttings or seed. Its featured in one of Audubon's drawings. They have red and orange and the more rare yellow and white.

My Chutney Garden said...

Thanks Tira,
Do you know if we have it in Trinidad? By the way, how are you?
Your food posts are amazing. I think you are a closet (or maybe not so closet) gourmand.
Have a wonderful Easter.
Sharon

Dr. Mathews said...

Columbus 'discovered' what became known as St. Kitts-Nevis on his second voyage in 1493 but no settlements were made by the Spanish (you are correct). St. Christopher or St. Kitts was colonized starting in 1623 when a small company of British landed. In 1627, a French party, commissioned by Richelieu, landed on the island after a disastrous voyage in which over half of those on board perished. The British and French 'amicably' divided the island with the Brits taking the middle part and the French occupying the two extremes. Together they had driven out the Carib Indians and defended the island from Spanish attack. The island gradually became known as the "Mother of the Antilles" since it served as a jumping off point for the colonization of neighboring islands. Of course, the 'amicable' nature of the subdivision wore off quickly. The fortress of Brimstone Hill stands as testimony to the Anglo-French struggles. From the time of the Treaty of Versailles, both St. Kitts and Nevis remained British until their independence in September of 1983.

Wikipedia has greater historical detail, if you are interested.

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Vix said...

Hi,

How wonderful that you have found St. Kitts so special. As the island of my birth and where I currently reside, I am too very fond of it. As there are not many blogs that highlight Caribbean countries I have started my own, about my island St. Kitts. You can check it out at mywestindiangarden.blogspot.com. Do enjoy.