We were later in getting up this morning, though Christine still beat the alarm and tried to get a sunrise photo but by the time she had got the camera the sun was up. She watched the ship dock in the capital, Basseterre, while I got ready. We went down to the suite dining room and had breakfast. We were joined by the mother and daughter that we have been having dinner with.
The tour was later today so we were not in a hurry. We collected our things and left the ship and gathered at the meeting point for the tour. We were soon on our way by bus and toured the southern part of St Kitts, passing Brimstone Hill which was a large fortress built by the British and giving St Kitts the nickname "The Gibraltar of the Caribbean". Unfortunately we were not in a position to get a good shot of it.
We proceeded to the train stop and waited a short while for it to arrive. Once the previous tour dismounted we got on and were the first upstairs in our coach. This was an open sided affair with a canopy. There was the option of downstairs which was air-conditioned, but we elected to have the more or less unobstructed view. The countryside was quite lush and pretty with an almost constant view over the sea. We passed through numerous villages with a variety of domestic animals. There are also green monkeys which were brought to the island by the French as pets and were left behind when the French left (or were driven out depending on your viewpoint.). The monkeys have bred and become a pest.
We saw most of the island as we travelled on and heard how the European Union Regulations had destroyed the sugar cane industry, causing the country to turn to tourism in a big way which is now the largest contributor to the economy. The social system seems very generous for such a small country with recent independence. Maternity benefits, sick pay and government retirement pensions are generous and health care is available to all. Education is mandatory to age sixteen and truancy is followed up strictly. Two days absence brings visit from a probation officer. A second occurrence merits another visit by the officer accompanied by a policeman. As a result literacy is over 98%.
We arrived at the train destination where our bus awaited us and transported us the short distance to the dock. Christine returned to the ship and I headed into town. I went by the "Circus" a traffic circle (roundabout) modelled after Piccadilly Circus in London, though the only resemblance I saw was the traffic going clockwise as in the UK since they drive on the left here. I found my way to Independence Square which is a good sized park with a fountain in the centre and paths at right angles to the sides and also diagonally so that the pattern of the British Union Jack is replicated.
I had a look at the colonial buildings surrounding the square and the Catholic Church on the east side. I found the courthouse which bore a plaque saying it had replaced a previous structure. Our Library in Sherwood Park is doing a feature on libraries around the world in the fall and the travel club members had been asked to collect photos of libraries on their travels. The literature I had read indicated the Basseterre library was on the upper floor of the Courthouse. I entered and a young girl asked if she could help me. I asked if the library was still on the upper floor. She looked at me in bemusement, but fortunately a security guard overheard and told me that no, it had moved. I asked if he could tell me where it had moved too, but he did not know. So much for that venture!
I wended my way back to the ship and had walk past the various stores by the cruise terminal.
Christine had gone straight to our room and picked up lunch at the Neptune Lounge. She was just finishing it when I got in. I picked up something at the same place and had it in our room. We watched the activity on the Norwegian Dawn opposite us and on the dock. I then sorted out our photos and Christine started to do a word puzzle but ended up sleeping.
We got ready and went down to dinner where we were joined again b the mother and daughter from Alberta. We went to the showroom and heard a couple singing and he played the saxophone. They were very good and there were only two songs we did not know.
We returned to our room and Christine read up on tomorrow and I wrote up our day's activities.
Tomorrow we will be in St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.
Please note: Internet on the ship has been so slow, I am doing this a day behind onshore at St Thomas, USVI. May not be able to send more till SUnday from Fort Lauderdale.