Thursday, September 6, 2007

Norwegian Spirit Visit to St. Thomas

This was my fourth visit to St. Thomas, and my third within a year and a half. The surprise to me is that every time I've visited, I've come away liking this island better. Last time I did a tour of the islands while my friends were para-sailing. This time Tina and I decided to do the sky ride, a tram that takes you to the top of a mountain, and which is very close to where the ship docked in Havensight. At $18, the price for the tram seemed expensive, but it turned out to be well worth the price. At the top you can do what most people seem to do, which is go to the bar, or choose the other option, which is a short nature trail, which is what we did. The trail is about a quarter mile long and some of the native plants are labeled. There are also plantings that are nice to look at. We saw two different kinds of lizards and two identifiable birds - a Bananaquit and an Antillean Crested Hummingbird. We were able to observe them at length from the shelter of a pergola where weddings are held. The pergola also sheltered us from a brief rain storm. The storm was an interesting experience, because we watched it out on the ocean for quite a while, and then suddenly, unexpectedly it was upon us. The trip down the mountain was also pleasant. At first the descent looked like it would be precarious and roller-coaster-like, but it proceeded at the same dignified pace it had on the way up. That was a relief, since I don't like the rapid descents one experiences on roller coasters.

After lunch on the ship we ventured out again, and this time got a taxi to take us over to Magen's Bay, which is billed as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world. When we saw it we could understand why. The cab ride cost each of us $18 for the round trip, and once again the cost was worth it. On the way back we stopped at an overlook, which afforded us a different perspective on that beautiful bay. Our driver took pictures of us at the beach and at the overlook. We did not stay at the beach - it would have cost another $12 each to do so, and we really just wanted to see it.

It is nice to visit an island that has interesting things to do that do not involve shopping, although I am still enjoying the watercolor of St. Thomas that I bought on my first visit in 1990. I'm certain that I will discover something else interesting to do the next time I visit.

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