A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Antigua Comes First

Antigua is Spanish for "Ancient"


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2008 Lighthouses and a Wedding in CT & 2008 Winter Road Trip & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Antigua and Montserrat & 2007 The Sparkling Emerald Isle & 2009 Baltic Cruise & Five Visits to Barbados & Bermuda & 2015 Costa Rica (plus 1996 and 2008) & 2008 Med Cruise & 2008 Panama Canal & Grand Turk on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Antigua is an island in the West Indies, in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region. Wikipedia says that it was named by Christopher Columbus after an icon in Seville Cathedral, Santa Maria de la Antigua — St. Mary the Ancient

large_899944504785735-Afternoon_su..nd_Barbuda.jpg
.
The island name is NOT pronounced as you might think if you just sounded it out. The local pronunciation is NOT
an-TEE-gwua. The U is not pronounced so they say an-TEE-ga;.

There are other places named Antigua, so when you look this up on the internet, be sure you are not seeing something about either

Antigua Guatemala, a city in the central mountains of Guatemala or

Antigua, Fuerteventura, a municipality of Fuerteventura Island, Canary Islands, Spain

We visited Antigua by cruise ship and we could see Montserrat from one of the overlooks there. So the second time we visited Antigua, we took an excursion to Montserrat by helicopter from Antigua.

large_4733836-Helicopter_blade_Montserrat.jpg

When Catholic-Irish settlers fleeing from persecution on St. Kitts arrived in Montserrat sometime between 1632 and 1633, they nicknamed it ‘The Emerald Isle’ because of the lush green giant ferns and forests climbing the sides of Montserrat’s two volcanoes, and the island’s resemblance to Ireland.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:47 Archived in Antigua and Barbuda Comments (0)

First Visit - First Part

Two Overlooks


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Our ship the Pearl docked in Antigua on 18 December 2007.

waterfront from the quay - Saint John's

waterfront from the quay - Saint John's

There were three other ships in this port. One was the Astoria. (I know because I took a photo of her)

Other ships in port

Other ships in port

It was overcast and looked like rain.
817362414738694-On_the_dock_..nd_Barbuda.jpg

Our excursion today was a tour to Nelson's Dockyard which 80 other people had signed up for. They divided us up into 4 groups, each in a separate small van.
Our tour van

Our tour van


Our guide was named Jane. Bob was sitting in a jump seat and two black ladies whom we had eaten dinner with the previous night were also on the bus. The one in the first seat was bantering back and forth with the driver whose name was Charley.

Jane was concerned that we'd be caught by the rain, so we hustled (and Charley was driving REALLY fast - I'm sure over the speed limit) out to the first place. I took some photos as we drove

Bus shelter - Antigua

Bus shelter - Antigua


There is some local bus service; schedules and routes can be obtained through the hotels.
Field with Brahma cows

Field with Brahma cows

On the way we passed a place where they had a combination fountain and car wash (there was a ramp in the side of the pond with the fountain where people could drive their cars down to the water).

Fountain with car washing ramp on the far side

Fountain with car washing ramp on the far side

Antigua has many water sports activities, but one of their main passions of a land based sport is cricket. They have this in common with many other formerly British countries.
We Love WI Cricket Pepsi billboard

We Love WI Cricket Pepsi billboard


There are also golf courses and playing fields for football (aka soccer), baseball, volleyball and rugby union. There are three large cricket grounds in St. John's. One is the Antigua Recreation Ground which is the national stadium, a second is the Stanford Cricket Ground and third is the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The latter stadium was built for use in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The stadium is named after former West Indies cricket captain Viv Richards.

Sir Richards cricket stadium

Sir Richards cricket stadium


The stadium constitutes two main stands: the Northern Stand and the five story South Stand. Other facilities include a practice pitch for the various cricket teams, training infrastructure and a media centre. Sir Viv Richards Stadium is one of the few state-of-the-art venues that encompass underground passageways for the cricket teams to move about in

There was also a village (in the All Saint's Parish) with 13 churches including 10 different denominations.
Holy Family Cathedral: Antigua Church

Holy Family Cathedral: Antigua Church


All Saints Parish Church

All Saints Parish Church


Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church


The stone in this area has a lot of copper and has a greenish tint . It's very unusual looking.
ST. BARNABAS ANGLICAN CHURCH

ST. BARNABAS ANGLICAN CHURCH


When I took the picture of the church "of the parish of St. Paul with St. Barnabas, on the island of Antigua, in the Anglican Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba - Province of the West Indies", I didn't know that it is one of the most photographed churches in Antigua or that it was the oldest church on Antigua at over 250 years old. I had to do a good bit of searching of photos on the internet before I even found the name of the church in my photo. One source says that the bricks that were used to build this church were brought from England on HMS Royal Navy Ships but The brick may have come from England, but I'm pretty sure that the green stone originated on the island. This church is still in use to this day.

The book "The Birth of the Village of Liberta, Antigua" says

As you enter Liberta from the north on the main road that runs through the village is Barnabas Hill.... as you climb to the summit, you find a quaint little chappel called St. Barnabas Church, better known to the people of the village as Barnabas Hill Church..

It was built of indigenous green limestone in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century, long before Anglican Communion started to accept Afro-Antiguans as members, several years after the emancipation of slaves. According to Ms. Flannigan, an English writer who wrote extensively on the lives of the island's people, regarding the 1842 earthquake that pummeled the island and caused widespread damage, St. Barnabas Chapel, which was not only used as a church sanctuary, but also a kindergarten school, was among the buildings destroyed. The structure was rebuilt.

large_x100_0391-027.jpg
We drove up a large hill to reach a place called the Blockhouse which was a lookout point for the British military. The building there was built in 1787 and stands 46ft above the sea atop a sheer cliff above the mighty Atlantic Ocean. We looked at the view more than at the ruins.
Block House

Block House

We were the first group there. It offered wonderful of the sea below. And we could see Monserrat from there - at least we could before it rained.

large_526284824784994-Bobs_photo_o..nd_Barbuda.jpg
Warning sign at Blockhouse

Warning sign at Blockhouse


Bob standing at the overlook - no fence

Bob standing at the overlook - no fence

Looking down from where Bob was standing

Looking down from where Bob was standing


Unknown plant

Unknown plant


Looking down at the Prickly Pear Cactus from where the sign was

Looking down at the Prickly Pear Cactus from where the sign was


There are several varieties of cactus that grow here - Candelabra or dildo cactus, and Turks head are two of them and there is also Night blooming Cereus and Monkey-no-climb

We could see the rain coming, so..
Rainstorm approaching - Antigua and Barbuda

Rainstorm approaching - Antigua and Barbuda


..we left there and hustled to the second overlook which was Shirley Heights, the most southerly point in Antigua. One of the most outstanding views of English Harbour is from Shirley Heights. It is named for Sir Thomas Shirley, Governor of the Leeward Islands, who strengthened Antigua’s defences in 1781. Britain had lost all her West Indian colonies (including North America) at this time except Antigua and Barbados. Much effort, therefore, was put into Antigua’s defences, mainly because of the island’s great sugar producing value and the important Dockyard. This high point (about 490 ft.) affords a superb view of English and Falmouth Harbours, the best view in Antigua.
530218794785693-Look_to_the_..nd_Barbuda.jpg
649728444785692-View_from_Sh..nd_Barbuda.jpg913625264785695-Looking_down..nd_Barbuda.jpglarge_4172874785694-Telephoto_vi..nd_Barbuda.jpg
Bob taking a photo of the souvenir sellers

Bob taking a photo of the souvenir sellers

large_x100_0391-101.jpg
We all took shelter in the Shirley Height's Pub "The Lookout" when it rained.
Outside of the restaurant

Outside of the restaurant


Apparently in the evening, they have a steel drum band and it is a nice place to go for dinner and drinks. Behind the gun platform is the site of a flagstaff that once sent signals all around Antigua.
x100_0391-034.jpg

Some of the other cruisers took the chance to get some food (we were to have a fairly long tour), but I was afraid we wouldn't get our food in time to eat it before we had to leave.

470905354785698-Bottles_behi..nd_Barbuda.jpg
26545774785699-Specials_sig..nd_Barbuda.jpg
161936204785700-Fellow_cruis..nd_Barbuda.jpg
Even though the CFTC historical architect drew restoration plans, the historic planners regret that the building was reconstructed as a profit making investment, the main problem being the use of dormers and the battlement built on where another section further north had been designated. The site is still a fine tourist attraction, mainly because of two of the best views (of the Atlantic and of English Harbour) to be had in the island.

Jane told us that the only snow on Antigua was a flowering bush called "Snow on the Mountain"
Bush called Snow on the Mountain

Bush called Snow on the Mountain


This is a plant which is not generally eaten by wild animals, as it is somewhat poisonous. Mourning doves eat the seeds
Snow on the Mountain bush

Snow on the Mountain bush


More Snow on the Mountain

More Snow on the Mountain


Also there the various tropical flowering plants like hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Poinciana, Frangipani, and Plumbago

When the rain let up, we got back in the bus, and drove to Nelson's Dockyard, which is a National Park.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 07:09 Archived in Antigua and Barbuda Comments (0)

Nelson's Dockyard

First Visit- Second Part


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Grandeur of the Seas and Pearl & Antigua and Montserrat & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Although we had rain showers earlier, by the time we got to Nelson's Dockyard it was sunny. I picked this ship's tour because my husband was in the Navy and I thought he would be interested in the dockyard. We also planned to look in the marina for sailboats like ours just as we have done on other Caribbean islands.

Cannon at the entrance

Cannon at the entrance


419414734026436-Sign_at_the_..nd_Barbuda.jpgSigns at entrance

Signs at entrance


Originally called "His Majesty's Antigua Naval Yard", Nelson's Dockyard is a National Park around a harbor called "English Harbor" - a really good protected harbor for boats. It was a boat repair facility for the Royal Navy.

Actually, it was not named "Nelson's Dockyard" until after the British Navy abandoned it and turned it over to the Antigua government. Nelson WAS based here at English Harbour from 1784 to 1787. He was temporary Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands for a short time.

Walking into Nelson's Dockyard

Walking into Nelson's Dockyard


At Nelson's Dockyard as you walk in, there are some gift shops and boutiques in which to shop for souvenirs as well as some stylish items of clothing

Small boutique selling clothes

Small boutique selling clothes


Sign about designing the totem for the Dockyard

Sign about designing the totem for the Dockyard


. In addition there are also banking facilities, and a bakery. The gift shop next to the museum in the Naval Officer's House is one of the best in Antigua (although I didn't buy anything there). It carries old maps, plans and charts of Antigua as well as a quantity of local handicrafts.
Guide telling us about Nelson's Dockyard

Guide telling us about Nelson's Dockyard


The local guide at the Dockyard was very good and informative.

1788 Pitch and Tar Store (the Admirals Inn)

1788 Pitch and Tar Store (the Admirals Inn)



Courtyard type area

Courtyard type area


Dockyard building similar to the museum

Dockyard building similar to the museum


We toured the Mast House and other shipyard areas such as the Wet Dock. The old Boat House and Sail Loft was partly destroyed by a hurricane in 1871. All that remains of the original building are the massive boat house pillars.
Nelson's Dockyard

Nelson's Dockyard


Wet Dock Pillars in Nelson's Dockyard

Wet Dock Pillars in Nelson's Dockyard


Reconstruction of Nelson's Boatyard continues up to this day of places such as the Seaman's Gallery built in 1778 (now a boutique and restaurant), the Pay Office (shops) and the 1788 Pitch and Tar Store (the Admirals Inn).
Marina

Marina


At the end of the tour, we were given a free rum punch (or in my case a fruit juice) at the Copper and Lumber Store Hotel at the Copper Kettle.

Courtyard at the hotel

Courtyard at the hotel

There are two restaurants in the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel. They are:

Copper and Lumber Hotel sign

Copper and Lumber Hotel sign


Detail of the windows of the Copper and Lumber

Detail of the windows of the Copper and Lumber


The Wardroom Restaurant which has an international cuisine mixed with all the flavors of the Caribbean.

The Mainbrace Pub which is open for breakfast from 8am each morning and serving lunch daily(and dinner during March and April). The menu is traditional British pub with a Caribbean flavour.
Dining Options at Nelson's Dockyard

Dining Options at Nelson's Dockyard

There are several other excellent restaurants are nearby, including The Admiral's Inn, HQ, The Inn at English Harbour, Abracadabra, The Galley Bar & Restaurant, Calabash, Le Cap Horn, Trappas, The Gallery, Club Havanna, The Pizza Oven, Catherine's Cafe, Last Lemming, The Spotlight Bar, Mad Mongoose and Famous Mauro's Pizza.

Our guide pointed out to us that some of the stones on the island have a high copper content which makes them turn green. I have been unable to find out if the copper content is actually the reason for the color although I do see that green limestone is quarried in the hills of the south coast. Some of the stones used in the paving in Nelson's Dockyard were green in tint.

Green stone in Nelson's Dockyard paving

Green stone in Nelson's Dockyard paving


I also saw for the first time a phone booth where you could use a credit card. I was tempted to try it, but did not. Area code 268 is the telephone area code of Antigua and Barbuda. The 268 area code, or "(ANT)" was created during a split from the original 809 area code which was done on or around the date April 1996. The 268 area code is part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).
Credit card phone

Credit card phone


When in Antigua and Barbuda, use the seven digits alone. When calling to Antigua and Barbuda from anywhere in the United States or Canada simply dial 1(268) + seven digit phone number.

We also saw the post office at Nelson's Dockyard.
Post Box

Post Box

Mail Your Purchases

Mail Your Purchases


Inside the post office

Inside the post office


You could mail your souvenirs home to yourself. I liked the red metal post box. Antigua's post office hours are 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Offices are open until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturdays, the post office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For more information on the island's postal services, call the main post office branch at 268-462-0023.

Police Station at the Dockyard

Police Station at the Dockyard


Then we fought our way back through the traffic in St. John's to the ship.

4786584-Steps_Antigua_and_Barbuda.jpgStreets of the city

Streets of the city

Building in St. John's - Saint John's

Building in St. John's - Saint John's

Main street - Saint John's

Main street - Saint John's

Driving on the left

Driving on the left

Street looking up toward the Cathedral

Street looking up toward the Cathedral


Antigua has branches of Scotiabank and the associated ATMS
Scottia Bank ATMS

Scottia Bank ATMS


Returning to the ship 2007

Returning to the ship 2007

We had lunch in the dining room. We sat with some teachers (and a man who was the husband of one of the teachers who drove a bus). I had the Tropical Fruit Medley with Coconut Sherbet (very refreshing), beet soup (I think it was borscht although the waitress said it wasn't like what her mother made) which one of the teachers pronounced the best thing she had all week, Bob had the Herb Grilled Salmon, and I had the Fusili Pasta and BBQ Pork. Most people at the table had marinated berries for dessert. Bob and I had ice cream

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:50 Archived in Antigua and Barbuda Comments (0)

Take Off for Montserrat

January 2010

sunny
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Antigua and Montserrat & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The islands are kind of running together - if I didn't write up each day's trip as we did it, I'd not be able to remember which place we saw the nesting egrets, and which place we saw the lighthouse.

Webcam on TV

Webcam on TV

Today I finally did the wake-up call as Bob has been telling me to do - instead of pushing the button marked "Wake Up Call" on the phone, I did *93 and then the time I wanted to be waked up. We also ordered room service for breakfast. So this morning, the wake-up call came as ordered and the breakfast came a few minutes later. This was because today's tour is a helicopter tour of Montserrat, and I don't want to be late. We actually had plenty of time - I even had time to take a shower.

The ship backed in to the dock. Next to us - bow in- was Ocean Village, and on the next pier over was NCL Gem.
large_230644844743948-Celebrity_Me..nd_Barbuda.jpg

On the dock before the tour

On the dock before the tour

I dressed as much as possible to look thin, because there is a 230 lb weight limit for this tour. We were to meet on the dock at 9:30, so we started out at 8:45. We didn't see the tour person with the sign on the first pass through, and Bob went all the way to the dock entrance.
Taxi tour booth at the dock

Taxi tour booth at the dock


I decided not to do that, and I started back and found the person. Apparently there were to be 5 of us, but it was only 0900, and there was another couple already there. Bob was waiting at the entrance to the pier, so I had to go and jump up and down and wave to get his attention to come back. The other lady on the tour came and then we just had to wait for someone from "staff" who proved to be the excursion lady.

We walked around to the taxi, and the excursion lady got into the front seat which annoyed me, because I didn't think she needed to be there and that was the seat I wanted.

Logo

Logo


laminated card of directions

laminated card of directions

Instruction card

Instruction card


There were several dogs at the heliport. One was named Radar and he had beagle coloring but was more the size of a small Rottie, and there was a female named Miller Lite because she was originally found at a nearby bar
Radar

Radar

402837974742508-Helicopter_c..nd_Barbuda.jpgHelicopter coming in for a landing

Helicopter coming in for a landing


Heliport on Antigua

Heliport on Antigua

They lined us up more or less by size and put me secono ladies next to me and the wife of the other man next to the pilot. They seat belted us in, and gave us ear phones with a device to push if we wanted to talk.

Bob getting settled

Bob getting settled


We took off about 10:00.

View from a helicopter

View from a helicopter


Beach from the helicopter

Beach from the helicopter


Ship at the dock below

Ship at the dock below


Cruise ships from a helicopter

Cruise ships from a helicopter


We flew over the harbor with the ships in it and in 10 minutes we were over the ocean heading to Montserrat
Sandy Island Lighthouse?

Sandy Island Lighthouse?

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:00 Archived in Antigua and Barbuda Tagged antigua cruise_ship_visit Comments (0)

New Pyroclastic Flow Boiling the Ocean

Helicopter Tour

sunny
View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Celebrity Cruise 2010 & Antigua and Montserrat & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We were heading to Montserrat.
Island in the distance

Island in the distance


Approaching Montserrat - all looks calm

Approaching Montserrat - all looks calm

black sand beaches

black sand beaches

Inhabited part of Montserrat

Inhabited part of Montserrat

Beach/shoreline

Beach/shoreline

House among the trees

House among the trees

Cliff edge

Cliff edge


Abandoned Sugar mill

Abandoned Sugar mill


Remains of a sugar mill

Remains of a sugar mill

Looking down on a destroyed village

Looking down on a destroyed village

Black sand beach from the helicopter

Black sand beach from the helicopter


We were over the old airport by 1020.
Defunct Bramble Airport

Defunct Bramble Airport


Exclusion zone

Exclusion zone


Bob looking out the window

Bob looking out the window


The pilot was saying that he was going to take us over to the old capitol but then he said - Hey there's a pyroclastic flow that is fresh. I took a short video of it
Pyroclastic flow coming down the mountain

Pyroclastic flow coming down the mountain


coming down the  mountain

coming down the mountain

Pyroclastic Flow coming down the mountain

Pyroclastic Flow coming down the mountain


It was coming down and turning the sea water to steam
Steam at the edge of the sea from the sea side

Steam at the edge of the sea from the sea side


Pyroclastic flow boiling the ocean

Pyroclastic flow boiling the ocean


Another picture of the steam

Another picture of the steam

Flow from farther away

Flow from farther away


Ocean water turning to steam

Ocean water turning to steam

Water turning to steam along the beach

Water turning to steam along the beach

Steam at the edge of the beach

Steam at the edge of the beach


Clouds of ash, smoke; steam from pyroclastic flow

Clouds of ash, smoke; steam from pyroclastic flow


Smoke rising from burning buildings

Smoke rising from burning buildings


The buildings that had been there were burning and marked by smoke plumes. So we couldn't get over to the old capitol because of ash in the air. We couldn't see the top of the volcano because it was in a cloud, and we didn't see any red lava or anything - it was all grey.
Lava River

Lava River

But the flow of ash was very dramatic and we got some good pictures. The pilot tried a couple of ways to get over to the old capitol but was blocked each time by dust clouds.
Ash clouds

Ash clouds


Mountain with clouds of ash

Mountain with clouds of ash

By 1050 we were on our way back to Antigua
4786455-Harbor_from_a_helicopter_Saint_Johns.jpg4786599-Trash_dump_Antigua_and_Barbuda.jpg276454504786598-Antigua_from..nd_Barbuda.jpg879022014786597-Antigua_from..nd_Barbuda.jpg4786600-Mangrove_estuary_Antigua_and_Barbuda.jpg62215144786454-Beach_is_lin..aint_Johns.jpg654384004786467-St_Johns_sub..aint_Johns.jpg
931969234785732-Windsock_at_..nd_Barbuda.jpg
and we were back on the ground by 1100
large_551648864742261-Me_getting_o..Montserrat.jpg
I bought the DVD that they had of the history of the eruptions.
DVD holder

DVD holder

DVD

DVD


370478624786636-Overlooks_an..nd_Barbuda.jpg
By 1120 we were walking back down the dock to the ship. They had divers working on the props
225909804738735-Scuba_diver_..Montserrat.jpg
and they were painting the ship in places too. We went to our cabin and rested up and I downloaded the photos.

About 1400, we walked back to the stern and went out on our deck and took some photos of the town of St. John from that vantage point
Huge catamaran at the dock - Antigua and Barbuda

Huge catamaran at the dock - Antigua and Barbuda

4786451-Boat_on_up_shore_Saint_Johns.jpg383118784786406-Aqua_buildin..aint_Johns.jpg4786453-Boatyard_Saint_Johns.jpg4786452-Boats_in_the_harbor_Saint_Johns.jpg250966484785754-City_from_a_..nd_Barbuda.jpg

and then went to lunch. I got some pizza and an Italian wrap thing which proved to have capers in it. I don't like capers, so I picked them out.

We went to trivia which was a Visual Trivia and this time was vocabulary where they gave you a word and three definitions and we were to decide the correct one. The first two words (Twee and Tomalley) were pretty easy. We also got the correct definitions for those two and Kecking and Cretinze. Cretinze means to make into a dwarf, which I'm not sure how to actually DO that

But we missed Jehu (reckless driver) and Fadge, and I thought that Curpin meant one thing but the person doing the writing put down something else. Then I insisted that Ranivorous meant someone who ate frogs, and I was right. So we ended up with 6 right out of 10. Three of the groups had 6 right. So they gave us a tie-breaker and unfortunately it was a true false question. I decided, based on the fact that it was a long detailed question that it had to be true, and two of the groups had true as the answer. Since he didn't have another tie-breaker, he gave us both the prize which was luggage tags.

For dinner, Bob and I both had shrimp cocktail (he had two) and cauliflower soup, and then I had Shrimp Scampi which this time had carrot flan. I don't care for the vegetable flans, but I did like the crunchy carrot curls on the top. Bob, of course, had salmon. He had apple pie for dessert, and I had the marbled cheesecake.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 16:00 Archived in Montserrat Tagged volcano montserrat eruption Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 5) Page [1]