Travel Tales: Gorgeous St. Thomas

Next stop on our Caribbean tour
The proprietor of Gladys' Cafe personifies Caribbean hospitality. Pat Brooks photo.

Editor's Note:  This is part of a continuing series chronicling Pat Brooks' tour of the Caribbean.

Our next Port of Call was St. Thomas.

This Island is 1,600 miles south of New York City. In 1917, St. Thomas was purchased  (along  with Saint John and Saint Croix) by the United States for $25 million in gold, as part  of a defensive strategy to maintain control over the Caribbean and the Panama Canal during the First World War. 

We took a tour of the island up a winding mountain road to an elevation of 1,547 feet above sea level, to a famous location called Mountaintop. There are fantastic views from here of the  British Virgin Islands and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as being able to see many of the beaches of St Thomas, and St John in the distance.  

On to Drake's Seat - where Sir Francis Drake sat hundreds of years before, enjoying much the same view of spectacular vistas of Magen's Bay and beaches below.

We visited Skytsborg Tower, also know as Blackbeard's Castle. Build in 1679, the tower  was once used as a lookout to identify enemy ships entering the harbor.  As we climbed the spiral staircase, we reached the top and found a one-of-a-kind view of  Charlotte Amalie harbor, as well as St Croix and Puerto Rico.

Time for lunch at www.gladyscafe.com  in Charlotte Amalie, where we were served a mix of Caribbean and American Dishes all with Gladys' personal twist including several wonderful conch creations. 

After lunch we we went shopping  in this beautiful seaside town visiting local craftsmen and artists as well other beautiful shops. 

Then it was off  to the famous Magens Bay beach for a couple of hours swimming.

Next stop:  On to Tortola!


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