Thursday, 5 October 2017

A quiet visit to town.

Who knows anything about Antigua?  Well not me for one.  So we went a snooping, in the car.  Did I say this job comes with a car?

So we headed to St Johns which is the capital.  Capital town I would say.  80,000 people live here on the Island, of which 32,000 live in St Johns.  About 300,000 live in our home town in the UK, by way of a comparison.  

So one thing I like about the grid system employed on St Johns roads is that the tiny centre has a one way system, it simple and fool proof.  We all go one way and on the next street we all go the other way.  This applies to the cross ways roads too.  David hates it as you are always stopping.  
I like it.  

Another thing I have learnt is that Antigua is poor. 
Very poor.  
Our hosts call it a Third World Country, they should know as they have lived here thirty odd years.  So its curious that the Caribbean in general is an expensive destination.  In the high season super yachts (Yogurt Pots)  and large sailing craft flock here, presumably owned by wealthy Americans.  None here currently as its the Off Season.   That is when a lots of restaurants and Resorts close for maintenance and repairs.  Lots of tidying up going on in the places that the storm winds hit badly.   But there are plenty open for us.  The peak season is December, January and February, when its a tad cooler and not humid.  Its been a bit humid today and 29 degrees, at night it drops to 28 degrees.

So then back to St Johns;

That's rainwater running there underneath the pavement. 

This is the old part of town, stone walls.

This could be a trip boat, harbour very quiet today.  No cruise ships in.

Cruise ships pull in here.

Another preserved building.  In better condition than most of the houses the people live in

Sorry about the cables and wires, the whole island is lined with them.

Today this former Court House is the Museum, Of course we went in.  Only took about 30 mins, Half of the history is  too ghastly to read all about Slavery.

How it looked in the day
 Now I like a good church, lots to learn in churches.  This is the Cathedral of St John.  No its not been battered by a hurricane, but it is under going its first ever restoration since being build in 1848 I think the man who came up to us and saw us peering at it.  He explained all about the diocese and the works.  He happened to be on the Restoration Committee and had the keys to the padlocked door and showed us the work so far.  I think he said six years worth...

Did look a bit like a bomb had gone off but no.  The exterior stone will be restored after the wooden framed interior is completed.

Hold two thousand, the flexible wooden frame allows for movement when earthquakes hit (Seems to work), yes they get earthquakes here too!!!! 

An interesting visit, if you are a history nerd.  If you are not, sorry, but there's lots of shopping to be had down in the Quay areas for the cruisers when they flock in droves.
But I haven't come here to shop.

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