Day 2 - Charlotte Amalie - St. Thomas - Morning
In the morning we walked through the town ourselves. Although it was quite a walk, if we took the taxi, we would have missed a lot of things. The boat docks on a pier, it's easy to get off.
St. Thomas is an interesting place. The first thing you'll notice right off the boat is the assault of the taxi cab driver. There are a lot of them, and this is a mere sampling compared to the other islands. Taxi cabs are open area tour buses. The type you would see in a large parking lot, they look like a tram. The hold about a dozen people.
St. Thomas, has gorgeous water, and boats to take pictures of. The main bird you'll see is the pelican. A large clunky bird that is easy to focus on and easy to find. They are the Seagull of this area.
The people, are nice here - but watch out - look out for people that look totally out of place. There was one guy, a Rastafarian type guy. Jet black skin, dread locks, and a donkey dressed like a clown. He thought it would be an entertaining picture if he got is mule, put a hat, sunglasses, nose, and lipstick on it. It looked really dumb. I might have actually paid the guy for the picture, if he had a natural looking animal. I don't want a shot of a freak show. I was able to get a sneak shot from across the street, the mule's face isn't it, and I doubt I could do anything good with the picture. He quickly hid behind some phones.
I noticed only after being here, that when ever they show this area in a magazine or something, they only show two things. One is the water, the other are condos. I see why now. The town is a real dump. Photogenic to a point, but a lot of the houses were locked down and abandoned.
This area is NOT wheelchair safe. Nor is it safe for people on crutches, anyone with a limp, or anyone who doesn't walk a lot. The roads are about 12-15' wide. Cars are parked on one side, one way traffic for the most part. It's very hilly here as you will see in the pictures. The road has two large gutters on the side. There is no underground sewer system. On top of that there are very few sidewalks. The only place to stand when a car comes are little sidewalk bridges leading to someone's front door.
So wear very comfortable shoes. Don't carry a lot, it is very hilly, and what sidewalks you can find, they are broken, and lumpy. You can tell this area never has snow, as it would be impossible to shovel.
Walking off the boat and walking around the harbor is a treat. Though I had no sleep and I was still quite sick. I managed to do it anyway, after all, when is the next time I'll be here? This area has a rocky foreground, hills in the back, open sky, very few planes. And of course lot's of small boats.
"By the Harbor" - Cute little building added a touch of color. Though I shot it too dark, and suffered a little when I tightened it.
I don't remember what that red and minty green buildings are. But we did walk to that area to get to town.
A few more boats at rest. The top picture, I think there's a small fire in the background.
"Complementary Noose" - As I never actually saw them dock the boat, I still don't know what that hanging rope is for. The boat makes a nice frame for the rest of the picture. The one thing I forgot to do is to get a family shot in front of the boat for scale. But I was tired, I wasn't thinking straight.
More and more boats out there. See the condos in the back? Those are the red roof's you see in pictures of the harbor area, from scenic look out points. Most of the houses on the island, they don't look like that.
I think that's the Jolly Roger boat out there. That pink hotel, as I understand, was hit by a hurricane, and it never recovered. Now it sits there abandoned, like everything else on the island.
This is the hill leading to the Jewish Temple - the oldest one of this hemisphere, so they say. They state this on another island as well. This hill is horrible. It goes straight up, and it must be wild when it rains. Note how there are no sidewalks. You can see the gutters pretty well on the right in one shot. This is an active street, and cars will be going through.
This is the temple, it was a hard climb - and look, it's closed! We could only see it on the outside. But if you think, that hill is hard to climb, and the hill keeps going further on - imagine doing it every week to pray. That's some faith. An older couple was there posing for pictures.
"Reserved for Rabbi's only" - Fixed for perspective distortion, it's pretty self explanatory. The cars there are smaller in some cases, and the parking spot was really small. This was something you don't see everyday, I just had to get a shot of it.
Literally right off the beaten path, there lies this street. One of many I'm sure. This is but a mere sample of the photo's I took of this street. I like pictures of run down houses, I like the texture. This place had plenty of those. This road is right near the temple. Boarded up, a nest in the door, locks on the windows, yet still a little cheer left, with those happy Caribbean colors. Someone asked me why I took pictures of stuff like this, why not colorful houses and water. It's because, this is the real St. Thomas. This is what you mostly see, provided you don't stay on the beach.
Each building has their own charm. But again there are a lot of wires in the way. The top shot is a zoom of the bottom shot. The bottom, you can barely see the sky with all those wires there. I can remove all of that pretty easily, but you can't with a normal film camera.
There are a lot of these small, very closed looking buildings. There's a security sticker on the door, so I guess someone live's here. I don't know if they shut the house totally down in the day. Or if it's another empty house.
This looks more modern, but I don't know what it is. It looks locked pretty tight as well, but only on the bottom, I wonder why?
This is probably normally open, just not in the morning. A splash of color to show you what you'll be seeing. This is very near to the boat.
Great isn't it? NO PARKING, such a friendly looking sign. I turned this into a black and white.
Typical of what you see in the town itself. The top one you can see the taxi in the back, that white thing. The middle: you can see great looking buildings, but cars are ALWAYS in the way. The bottom one you can see for yourself.
You may be able to get a nice shot looking down a street. This was a fast shot I like the pink house, but the cars, and those wires, no good.
A closer look at those condos
Pelican's are the main bird here. They perch on tall things like any bird does. These were on light posts. A good zoom will let you get tight. A fast focus should allow for a clean picture of them plunging into the water to get a fish.
A view from the room, I think this is full wide. People on the dock.
"Summers Dream" - This is one of the main flowers you will see here. This was just outside the boat. Poinsettia also grows in these parts. And you can see them growing as large bushes if you look around.