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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

San Juan and St. Croix

US VIRGIN ISLANDS | Wednesday, 30 January 2019 | Views [38]

Danish Custom House, Christiansted NHS

Danish Custom House, Christiansted NHS

WE SPENT THE MORNING EXPLORING SAN JUAN.  After all, the Summit wasn’t scheduled to sail until 8:30 PM.  The old city, Viejo San Juan, became a National Historic Site in 1949 and was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1983, one of only 12 US national parks so named.  We strolled up the blue cobblestone streets — originally ships ballast stones — past colonial homes of pink, blue and yellow to El Morro, the fort that guards the harbor and watched as yet another cruise ship crept in to port.

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    Old San Juan                               UNESCO and NPS

I selected our hotel due to its port-side location, not knowing that Celebrity docks on the other side of the harbor.  It took us the better part of an hour to download the Uber ap and arrange for a ride to the ship — once a luddite, always a luddite — but Luis whisked us there in only a few minutes.  He hails from Vienna where his Iranian wife is a doctor, a strange story, but true.

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    El Morro

Our itinerary consists of days in ports-of-call and sailing during the night.  Only a few of our transits are more than 100 nautical miles, less than we drive in the RV, so we didn’t even notice that our sailing to St. Croix was delayed by several hours.  Nothing seriously mechanical we hope.    

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    Christainsted National Historic Site, USVI

Few cruise ships visit St. Croix (or STX) any more, only one or two a week.  When Venezuelan oil prices tanked, the refinery on STX closed and unemployment was rampant.  Add the damage caused by whirly-girl Maria and it’s a wonder any of the cruise lines bother.

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     Danish modern?  Christainsted NHS

For us, however, it was a chance for John to add the US Virgin Islands to his growing list and for Connie to stamp yet another NPS site into her passport book.  Surprising both of us, the fort at Christiansted National Historic Site was Danish, not Dutch or British.  Who knew?  And one of the inmates at the prison was Rachel Faucette, who would one day become the mother of Alexander Hamilton.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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