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Day 15 - Castries, Saint Lucia

When & Where

semi-overcast 82 °F

Another great night, great sleep, and looking forward to an awesome day in Saint Lucia.

Waking up in time to watch the ship pull into port, however we couldn't disembark until our sister ship, Eurodam, came in behind us. Todays weather was 82 °F, and chance of rain. I must have been lucky, as I didn't get any rain at all.

I was super excited for this stop as this was going to be another zip-line excursion, along with a tram ride. Even though I booked the excursion through HAL, they chose Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia, which at initial show, it felt so much more professional, and more safety cautious than my first zip-line tour. I know that if I would have started here first, I probably wouldn't have done the other tour...as good as they were.

Anyway, with Rainforest Adventure, right off the start they were very professional. Safety was their number one priority, and to ensure everyone was going to be ok zip-lining through the forest's tree canopy, they had everyone do a 50yard test run to start.

That pretty much relieved any type of jitters anyone had, and before we knew it, we were paired and put into a secured gondola, climbing 2,000 feet above sea level. As we ascended, our gondola guide introduced herself and started talking about the beautiful, thick Caribbean oceanic forest, talking about different ancient trees, the tenacious vines, and had us looking for the very animated birdlife.

La Sorcière mountain is your where our aerial adventure began. At the top of the station, we disembarked for a 15-20 minute hike on a trail, which winds its way through magnificent mature forest, past some impressive buttress root systems and to our first zip-line platform. Since we all did our first zip-line, we were all ready for our downhill adventure as we experience the thrill of gliding through the tree canopy high above the bustle of the city, in the cool, verdant air of the forest.

Our knowledgeable guide put us through the paces as we zipped from platform to platform on cables suspended between sturdy trunks of giant trees. After the exhilarating flight, we hiked a short distance back to meet the tram for the final descent. Suspended above the forest canopy with ever so commanding views of the island. This was truly an experience I would LOVE to go back and visit again.

The city of Castries was founded in the mid-17th century by the French, Castries eventually became a major coaling station for the Royal Navy. The city has been rebuilt several times after suffering devastation from three substantial fires in 1796, 1813, and 1948.

Today, Castries boasts a booming tourism industry, attracting thousands of visitors from around the world. One can head to Derek Walcott Square and roam the popular area where the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Castries Central Library are located. There's also a military cemetery, Morne Fortune, to learn about the conflicts between the French and the British while enjoying a picturesque view of the landscape and seascape below. Marigot Bay was the setting for the 1967 Dr. Doolittle movie, and has been described by American novelist James A. Michener as "The most beautiful bay in the Caribbean."

The original capital of the island is "Soufriere" and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, dotted with old plantations which are still run by descendants. The island does offer botanical gardens, sulfur baths, waterfalls, and rainforest with hiking trails and many activities in the water.

As we got back on the ship, we watched as the Eurodam leave, then we followed them to the famous "Pitons", which are the twin volcanic peaks rising from the sea, as no trip to St. Lucia is complete without seeing this landmark.

Until Next Time,

Posted by Sluggoaafa 21:46 Archived in Saint Lucia Tagged vacation america holland saint rotterdam lucia carribean hal Comments (0)

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