St. Kitts Scenic Railway

20 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon voyage Reading Time:  4 minutes

© - David Stanley/cc-by-2.0

© – David Stanley/cc-by-2.0

St. Kitts Scenic Railway is a 29 kilometres (18 mi) long narrow gauge railway line along the coastline of the island of St. Kitts in the eastern Caribbean, with a track gauge of 762 mm (2 ft 6 in). The original track was laid from 1912 to 1926, to deliver sugar cane from the plantations to the new centralised sugar mill in Basseterre. The sugar mill was built by a group of investors in 1912, to reduce processing costs and increase profitability by applying the principle of economies of scale, due to a sugar price drop caused by the worldwide introduction of sugar beets. Previously, each plantation had its own sugar mill. The first section of the railway line, from the Factory Pier to the St. Kitts Basseterre Sugar Factory, with a West Line branch running 4 miles (6.4 km) to Palmetto Point at Trinity and a North Line branch running out to Mills’s at Bourryeau Estate, was completed on 28 February 1912. It was celebrated with a special train carrying invited dignitaries. The railway was then operated seasonally from February to June for the annual sugar harvest.   read more…

Theme Week Venezuela – Margarita Island

25 May 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Juan Griego Pier © The Photographer

Juan Griego Pier © The Photographer

Margarita Island (Isla de Margarita) is the largest island in the Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta, situated off the northeastern coast of the country, in the Caribbean Sea. The capital city of Nueva Esparta, La Asunción, is located on the island. Primary industries are tourism, fishing and construction. Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive on Margarita Island in 1498. The local natives were the Guaiqueries people. The coast of the island was abundant in pearls, which represented almost a third of all New World tribute to the Spanish Crown. Margarita Island was fortified against the increasing threat of pirate attacks, and some fortifications remain today. It was the center of Spanish colonial Margarita Province, established in 1525.   read more…

Mustique, the island of the Grenadines

28 January 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Foodstore © Acp/cc-by-sa-3.0

Foodstore © Acp/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mustique is a small private island that is part of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The island is one of a group of islands called the Grenadines, most of which are part St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the West Indies. The island is located within Grenadines Parish, an administrative area of the country.   read more…

The Caribbean island of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

26 October 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Cruise ships in Philipsburg © - Petra de Boevere/cc-by-2.0

Cruise ships in Philipsburg © – Petra de Boevere/cc-by-2.0

Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico. The 87 square kilometres (34 sq mi) island is divided roughly 60/40 between France (53 square kilometres (20 sq mi)) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 square kilometres (13 sq mi)); the two parts are roughly equal in population. It is one of the smallest sea islands divided between two nations, a division dating to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Collectivity of St. Martin) and is an overseas collectivity of France.   read more…

Martinique – The flower of the Caribbean

17 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Saint-Luce © Frameme

Saint-Luce © Frameme

Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of 1,128 km2 (436 sq mi). Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados. As with the other overseas departments, Martinique is one of the twenty-seven regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the Republic. The first European to encounter the island was Christopher Columbus in 1502.   read more…

Guadeloupe, the southernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean

10 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

I'let du Gosier © bobyfume

I’let du Gosier © bobyfume

Guadeloupe is a Caribbean island located in the Leeward Islands, in the Lesser Antilles, with a land area of 1,628 square kilometres (629 sq. mi) and a population of 400,000. It is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. Its departmental code is “971”. As the other overseas departments, Guadeloupe is also an integral part of the Republic. Besides Guadeloupe island, the smaller islands of Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the Îles des Saintes are included in Guadeloupe.   read more…

Bora Bora in the South Pacific

15 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© Taka-0905

© Taka-0905

Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. The island, located about 230 kilometres (143 miles) northwest of Pape’ete, is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef. In the centre of the island are the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727 metres (2,385 feet). Bora Bora is a major international tourist destination, famous for its aqua-centric luxury resorts. The major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the main island, opposite the main channel into the lagoon. Produce of the island is mostly limited to what can be obtained from the sea and the plentiful coconut trees, which were historically of economic importance for copra. According to a 2008 census, Bora Bora has a permanent population of 8,880. Today the island’s economy is driven almost solely by tourism. Over the last few years several resorts have been built on motu (small islands, from Tahitian) surrounding the lagoon. Thirty years ago, Hotel Bora Bora built the first over-the-water bungalows on stilts over the lagoon and today, over-water bungalows are a standard feature of most Bora Bora resorts. The quality of those bungalows ranges from comparably cheap, basic accommodations to very luxurious and expensive places to stay.   read more…

Antigua and Barbuda, land of the 365 beaches

9 December 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Antigua - English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour © / Frederik Ramm

Antigua – English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour © / Frederik Ramm

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands. The permanent population number approximately 85,000 (2010) and the capital and largest port and city is St. John’s, on Antigua.   read more…

The Virgin Islands

21 October 2011 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Saint Thomas Harbor © Calyponte

Saint Thomas Harbor © Calyponte

The Virgin Islands of the United States (commonly called the United States Virgin Islands or U.S. Virgin Islands) are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas, along with the much smaller but historically distinct Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands. The total land area of the territory is 133.73 square miles (346.4 km2). As of the 2000 census the population was 108,612, mostly composed by those of Afro-Caribbean descent. Tourism is the primary economic activity, although there is a significant manufacturing sector. Formerly the Danish West Indies, they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies of 1916. Today tourism is the primary economic activity. The islands normally host 2 million visitors a year, many of whom visit on cruise ships.   read more…

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