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The Many Facets of El Moro


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Saturday 22 January 2011

I woke up at 6 without the alarm and got dressed and went out on deck about 6:40 After I got up to deck 5, I realized that I'd used the camera a LOT yesterday and might have battery problems, but it was too far to go back down and get extra batteries.
Almost full moon

Almost full moon


There was an almost full moon.
Sunrise

Sunrise


I saw the pilot boat drop the pilot off and a couple minutes later I started taking photos of El Moro.
San Moro in the early morning light

San Moro in the early morning light


Sure enough, if I zoomed, it showed low battery. I rationed my photos a bit, but took about 30 pictures of the fort and lighthouse. I could see the light in the lighthouse flashing
El Moro

El Moro

El Moro at sunrise

El Moro at sunrise

100_7626.JPGEl Moro

El Moro

City wall

City wall


Sun risen

Sun risen

Green buoy

Green buoy

100_7637.JPGCity wall early in the morning

City wall early in the morning

Fisherman starting out in the morning?

Fisherman starting out in the morning?


Boat wake

Boat wake

Coming around the corner

Coming around the corner


I went down and put my camera battery to charge and got another one. I had a cheese omelet for breakfast.
Cheese omelet

Cheese omelet

People getting off the ship

People getting off the ship


Then we went out to see if I could go to the cemetery by El Moro. Since they do not allow the ship wheelchairs off the ship anymore (maybe someone reported my spill yesterday), I didn't think I could walk all the way to the fort, but I thought I might do the cemetery.

Bob was arguing with the cab drivers who all wanted to give us a tour or charge us $25 to take us up to the fort.
Taxi rates

Taxi rates


Eventually one of them pointed out where the free trolley stopped.
Trolley stop 1

Trolley stop 1


So we went over there and got a good map of San Juan and Puerto Rico. Then Bob said he had to go to the bathroom and was going back to the terminal, but I wanted to stay there so he gave me $30 in case I needed a cab and left.
Free trolley

Free trolley


I got on the next bus, and got off at the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery
large_61918487686233-Santa_Maria_..s_Cemetery.jpg
Sandwiched between La Perla Barrio and San Cristobal this cemetery is considered one of the most picturesque of burial grounds anywhere. The cemetery is particularly noteworthy for its elaborate tombstones and the circular red domed neoclassical chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalen, which dates back to the late 19th century.
Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery

Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery


This is the burial place of several important political and literary figures such as: Harvard-educated social reformer, Pedro Albizu Campos, who fought against colonialism; José Celso Barbosa, known as the father of the “Statehood for Puerto Rico” movement; and renowned poet and patriot, José de Diego.
576757704420047-Santa_Maria_..s_Cemetery.jpg830178837686234-San_Juan_Nat..e_San_Juan.jpg
I did not go down into it (although I wanted to) because I was not sure that I would have enough energy to climb back up the hill
100_7662.JPGFlying kites

Flying kites


People were flying kites all over the field in front of the fort - it is good for that as there's no electric lines or anything there.
A kite above El Moro

A kite above El Moro


No contaminants

No contaminants


I got on the next trolley and lo and behold it went all the way up to the fort gate.
Along the wall of El Moro

Along the wall of El Moro


Moro means 'promontory' or 'headland'. The original actual name (Castillo de San Felipe del Morro) is for of King Philip II of Spain. Construction began in 1539. El Morro's last active fight occurred during a naval bombardment by the United States Navy during the 1898 Spanish-American War.
Close-up of El Moro from the trolley

Close-up of El Moro from the trolley


In 1843, the first lighthouse in Puerto Rico constructed atop El Morro. A second one replaced it in 1876. The second lighthouse took a direct hit during the 1898 bombardment of El Morro by Sampson's U.S. fleet, but the brick foundation was salvaged and reused in 1906-1908 when the present lighthouse seen atop El Morro was built by US Navy.
Ranger giving a tour

Ranger giving a tour


In 1961, the United States Army officially retired from El Morro. The forts became a part of the National Park Service to be preserved as museums. In 1983, the Fort was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.
People flying kites

People flying kites


In honor of the Quincentennial of the voyages of Columbus in 1992 the exterior esplanade was cleared of palm trees that had been planted by the U.S. Army in the Fort Brooke era, and restored to the open appearance this "field-of-fire" for El Morro's cannon would have had in colonial Spanish times. Parking lots and paved roads were also removed, and the El Morro lighthouse repaired and restored to its original appearance.

I got some reasonably good pictures. It looks like the lighthouse is now painted pink.
Lighthouse with the old grey paint showing through the new pinkish paint

Lighthouse with the old grey paint showing through the new pinkish paint


In the 50s it was white, and last time we were here it was grey with white trim.

I stayed on the trolley
Red dome

Red dome

Fountain that kids can run through

Fountain that kids can run through

Theater

Theater

For rent

For rent


Trolley stop 14

Trolley stop 14

Schooner Amazing Grace - home port San Juan

Schooner Amazing Grace - home port San Juan


until it got back to the port at the stop where I started and then tried to get back on the ship.
Back at the dock

Back at the dock


There was an escalator and the sign pointed to boarding but when I got up there it was just for cruises that started in San Juan and no one was up there.

So I had to find my way down. Eventually I got through security and back to the room although I did wear a blister on my foot. I can't wear regular shoes because my feet have swollen. Every older lady I have talked to has said her feet have swollen too. There's so much salt in the food....
Lunch

Lunch

View from the Windjammer

View from the Windjammer

Serenade of the Seas

Serenade of the Seas

Running track

Running track

Fort San Cristobal from the ship

Fort San Cristobal from the ship

McDonalds sign

McDonalds sign


I downloaded photos and then took a nap and dressed for dinner.
Puerto Rico in the late afternoon

Puerto Rico in the late afternoon


We went out on deck to get some more pictures of El Moro when we left at 5:00.
Pilot boat

Pilot boat


Bob at the rail

Bob at the rail


In the meantime, we watched the planes landing at the little airport across the way
100_7729.JPGLittle airport hangers

Little airport hangers


Landing strip

Landing strip


There was a vicious cross wind, and some of them had a hard time.
Planes landing at the airport

Planes landing at the airport


I took about 30 more photos
Serenade of the Seas and a Celebrity ship

Serenade of the Seas and a Celebrity ship


Coast Guard base

Coast Guard base


100_7747.JPGCity walls

City walls


Red gate - where sailors used to enter the old city

Red gate - where sailors used to enter the old city

Sailing in to San Juan

Sailing in to San Juan

Red dome

Red dome

100_7764.JPGAfternoon light

Afternoon light

Lighthouse

Lighthouse


Cemetery de Santa Maria de Magdelana from the water

Cemetery de Santa Maria de Magdelana from the water

Leaving San Juan

Leaving San Juan


and then we went down to dinner.

Tiger shrimp

Tiger shrimp

Steak, potato and asparagus

Steak, potato and asparagus

Dessert

Dessert


Our towel animal was a monkey which the steward attached to the shelf on the mirror
2 monkeys

2 monkeys


Tomorrow is St. Thomas or rather we have an excursion to St. John

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:07 Archived in Puerto Rico Tagged cemetery lighthouse san_juan trolley Comments (0)

Virgin Islands National Park aka St. John

By Private Ferry and Taxi


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

In October of 1995, my husband suddenly said to me - we are going to Bermuda for Thanksgiving and the Virgin Islands for Christmas. I persuaded him that I didn't want to be away for Christmas. We did go to Bermuda. Then finally at the end of January 1997 we went to the Virgin Islands. We stayed in Cruz Bay for four days. We took the Reef-Bay trail and other National Park Service walks, visited Annaberg Sugar mill,
1997 Bob with two other men at Annaberg Sugar Mill - they are going to pretend to be horses to run the mill

1997 Bob with two other men at Annaberg Sugar Mill - they are going to pretend to be horses to run the mill


snorkeled at Cinnamon Bay, shopped and visited various restaurants and then got on a sailboat for a charter. But we were without a car and we didn't really see a lot of the island outside of the town of Cruz Bay. Today, we are taking an island tour from the ship. I figured that by the time we paid for a taxi to the ferry dock, the ferry over, the ferry back and another taxi, that it would be about what I paid for the tour.
Afternoon tour ticket

Afternoon tour ticket


Problem - tour starts when we assemble on the dock at 11:45 and lunch does not start until 12:00.

Sunday 23 January 2011

We went to the Windjammer for breakfast, and there are some advantages to this - for one you can get toast that is hot- just toasted. The dining room toast is universally cold. I thought I could pick up some rolls and a banana to eat for lunch. The rolls were there, but the bananas had disappeared. Anyway, I got a roll and made a cheese and bacon sandwich. I also took a biscuit, and wrapped them in a napkin to take back - I already had a chocolate chip cookie from the dining room. I ate some scrambled eggs.

When we got back our room, the water had been turned off. We did have the melted ice in the ice bucket and I had two partly full water bottles - one of which I got in Samana so we had water to take our pills.
Me and Bob getting ready to leave - reflected

Me and Bob getting ready to leave - reflected

Taxis lined up in St. Thomas

Taxis lined up in St. Thomas


When we got out onto the dock,
Painters on the side of the ship

Painters on the side of the ship


they told us to get on board the ferry Island Girl which was between us and Serenade of the Seas. [and apparently Enchantment and Serenade (which started in San Juan) were the only two ships in port today]
Serenade of the Seas ahead of us

Serenade of the Seas ahead of us


We sat inside -it was hot in the sun outside and some of the people outside got wet from spray.
Sitting inside the ferry

Sitting inside the ferry

Sign on the ferry

Sign on the ferry

Danger sign

Danger sign


There were people from two ships and four different tours on board. One group was doing an Eco hike. One was going to the beach, one was going snorkeling, and our group was doing the tour of the National Park.
Getting off the ferry

Getting off the ferry


They put our group in three taxis. First we stopped at the National Park headquarters to use the bathrooms.
National Park VIsitor's Center

National Park VIsitor's Center

Map - Cruz Bay

Map - Cruz Bay


(There were also bathrooms on the boat). Back in the day, I had to go to the Visitor's Center to find out when the various hikes and tours would be. There are several guided tours available in the Park including; hikes, shore walks, bird walks, even snorkel tours. Now you can do a lot of this on the internet.

But the Visitor's Center is still a good place to go. There is a little museum which shows examples of reef fishes and coral. Other exhibits show the cultural history – from the pre-Columbian Tainos, sugarcane plantations during the late 1700's and early 1800's, to slavery emancipation.

Then we climbed back in the taxi
Taxi on St. John

Taxi on St. John


and drove out into the National Park

5114579-National_Park_Island_St_John.jpgVirgin Islands National Park sign

Virgin Islands National Park sign


From overlooks we saw
Caneel Spur Trail sign

Caneel Spur Trail sign

Overlook

Overlook


Caneel Bay
Beach at Caneel

Beach at Caneel


Hawknest Bay
Dinghy line-up from above

Dinghy line-up from above

St John beach

St John beach

Overlook

Overlook


and Trunk Bay
St. John Trunk Bay from above

St. John Trunk Bay from above


(Trunk has a snorkeling trail)
Snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay

Snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay


I never saw any of that on my previous visits.
Entrance to Cinnamon Bay campground

Entrance to Cinnamon Bay campground

b319dd30-d3a6-11ea-baaf-17d5e87d0804.JPGBlue water

Blue water

Looking into the distance

Looking into the distance


We saw Maho Bay from an overlook
Moored sailboats

Moored sailboats


and then went down
Driving on the left with a left hand drive car

Driving on the left with a left hand drive car


to beach level
Maho Beach

Maho Beach


I saw a hummingbird
Hummingbird

Hummingbird


and took its picture - Bob was on the other side and took a picture of a termite nest.
Termite nest

Termite nest


Then we went up the mountain to Centerline Drive where we stopped for refreshments at Chateau Bordeaux.
100_7867.JPGLunch menu

Lunch menu


I took some photos of the hairpin turns
Hairpin turn - driving on the left

Hairpin turn - driving on the left

Colorful local house

Colorful local house


We saw a goat balanced on the guard rail and a little one with him. I would have thought it was a mother and kid, except the big goat was definitely a male goat.
Goat on a Guardrail

Goat on a Guardrail

Cat at the refreshment break

Cat at the refreshment break

Conch shell in a wall

Conch shell in a wall

Coral Bay

Coral Bay


We noted that where there used to be a gas station in town (which trucks could only get into it coming from one direction because of tight turns), it is now a traffic circle.
There was a gas station here

There was a gas station here


We got back to the ferry dock (and it wasn't the regular ferry dock) with about 25 minutes to spare, but Bob did not feel that we could walk to anyplace to shop and get back in time.
Car rental place on St. John

Car rental place on St. John


On the way back on the ferry
Aid to Navigation

Aid to Navigation


I went out to take pictures of the lighthouse that I saw last year on the BOB trip, but it is very hard to get pictures using telephoto lens from a bouncing boat.
Buck Island Light

Buck Island Light

Hills of St. Thomas

Hills of St. Thomas


At least our water was back on by the time that we got back - I was hungry but too tired to go back up to the Windjammer and get something to eat. For dinner,
Tomato salad

Tomato salad


I was going to order pizza, but the waiter recommended against it so I got duck instead.
Asian duck

Asian duck


Leslie's main goal in St. Thomas was to buy a specific kind of white ceramic watch. She was very happy to have been able to do this. She and her husband go to have drinks before dinner every evening (because she is diamond). He doesn't drink, but she makes him get a drink and then she has two.

I did not go up and do the computer on the 23rd because we were watching the football games (we saw the first half of the Green Bay game before dinner at 6 Atlantic time which is an hour ahead of Eastern time), but we both fell asleep before the Jets game was over.

Our towel animal was a rabbit. We still have the monkey and the swan. The stingray is gone though.
Rabbit, Monkey, Swan, Bob and me

Rabbit, Monkey, Swan, Bob and me

Tomorrow is St. Maartin

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:10 Archived in US Virgin Islands Tagged national_park usvi st_john cruz_bay Comments (0)

Sunny Caribbean and Sunny Caribbee

A Day Aboard in Sint Maartin and Shopping in Tortola


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Monday 24 January 2011

Headland across the harbor

Headland across the harbor


This was our third visit to Sint Maartin. The first time we took two ship tours, and last time we took the shuttle over to Phillipsburg and rented a car. I had wanted to rent a car again and go out to Grand Case and sample some of the French food there, but car rental is very expensive. Last time with the car there was so much construction that we never did get to the French side of the island. Since I can't take the wheelchair off anymore, we decided that we didn't need to get off this time
Dock area

Dock area


They have redone the docks and now there are TWO docks and instead of the water taxi leaving from right by the entrance it is way over on another dock.
104256556775861-2011_from_En..nt_Maarten.jpgNew ferry dock from the ship

New ferry dock from the ship


We went up to lunch
Lunch in the Lido

Lunch in the Lido


and then after a suitable interval, I went for a swim. They were painting the retractable roof over the solarium.

We are across the dock from Explorer of the Seas
100_7945.JPGReturning to Explorer of the Seas

Returning to Explorer of the Seas


and across from us on the other dock is Ventura
Ventura

Ventura


which is a P&O Cruises ship. She has multiple balconies
Multiple balconies

Multiple balconies

Man with a tattoo on the phone

Man with a tattoo on the phone


and about 9 satellite antennas.
Antennas

Antennas


Tug and barge

Tug and barge


Our room steward doesn't get to our room in the morning until late in the day. Since I don't usually come back to the room right away after dinner, I don't know when he does the room then. He does always fill the ice bucket.

We've finally gotten to new menus that are not a repeat of the previous cruise.
English cheddar cheese sticks

English cheddar cheese sticks

Baby shrimp salad

Baby shrimp salad

Mustard crusted roast beef

Mustard crusted roast beef


Poached peaches

Poached peaches


It was extremely loud in the Centrum when I was working in the computer area after dinner. After I finished it was so loud that I could not hear the elevator when it came.
Leaving St Maartin

Leaving St Maartin

Lights of Phillipsburg

Lights of Phillipsburg


Our towel animal was a somewhat unsuccessful alligator.
Towel animal

Towel animal

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Caribbean islands

Caribbean islands


We arrived in Tortola fairly early - not surprising since we had a very short distance to go. When we went up to breakfast at about 7:45 we could see that there was another ship next to us - this proved to be the Caribbean Princess.
Tortola from the ship

Tortola from the ship


I found out why some of the dining room chairs are armless when a very fat man came to sit at our table at breakfast. He would not have fit in between the arms of a regular chair. He and his wife were from Bel Air.
100_6986.JPGPassengers walking in to town

Passengers walking in to town

Moorings marina - charter sailboats

Moorings marina - charter sailboats

Sailboats

Sailboats

Commercial docks

Commercial docks

Ferry

Ferry


We had to pass two Caribbean Princess gangways on the way to the end of the pier which made the walk much longer for us.
Dock between the ships

Dock between the ships


There were a couple of places I would have liked to go in Tortola, but it was hot and I didn't really have the energy to do it, so we got a cab to Sunny Caribbee. On our first trip to the Virgin Islands, I bought some nice gifts on Tortola. I like to buy things that are made locally, or at least not in Taiwan (unless I'm in Taiwan). Sunny Caribbee is one place to do this.
Sunny Caribbee

Sunny Caribbee

History of the Sunny Caribbee building

History of the Sunny Caribbee building


Inside of shop 1997

Inside of shop 1997

Paintings on the plate rail

Paintings on the plate rail


The first room had various spices and other food type items -- spices, sweets, recipes, herbs, and the like, and also cosmetics and other such items.
Inside Sunny Caribbee

Inside Sunny Caribbee


In the second room were various types of art and craft items - at least made in the Caribbean if not in the BVI.I got a birthday present for our son and had it mailed to him. On a previous visit, I bought a picture to give to my daughter-in-law.
Art - Gift

Art - Gift


The artist lives and works on Antigua. Some craft items include metal sculptures, pottery and ceramics, hand woven baskets, and wood carvings. There are also original paintings, art prints, pottery, West Indian maps, and jewelry.

The rest of the things I bought I had sent to our address.
People leaving Sunny Caribbee

People leaving Sunny Caribbee


We managed to flag a cab back to the dock - the price was $4.00 each for each trip.

We got back on the ship and I looked up our son's address and I realized I had mis-remembered his area code for his zip code, so I got out my phone, and called to correct it. First time I've used it all trip. Unfortunately Sunny Caribbe screwed up the orders and sent the package I meant to go to our son to us and vice versa

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:12 Archived in Sint Maarten Tagged shopping tortola sint_maartin Comments (0)

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