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Charlotte Amalie - A travel report by Terry
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Charlotte Amalie,  United States - flag United States -  Virgin Islands of the U.S.
6644 readers

terje's travel reports

A Paradise invaded by cruise ships

  14 votes
Page: 1 2
In the carribean sun, protected from the rest of the world by the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Carribean Sea in the south lies one of the most breathtaking paradises in the world.

Charlotte Amalie
Charlotte Amalie
The US Virgin Islands was a danish colony until they were sold to Unites States for 25 million dollars in 1917. This happened because of poor danish economy and the strategic position for a american harbour close to the Panama Canal during the Great War of 1914-1918.

The streets of Charlotte Amalie and even some of the beaches still have their original danish names.

The islands produced sugar during the slave periode, but they are now tourist magnets, specially St. Thomas. Other important happenings from the history is the presens of pirates, the 1733 slave revolt at St. John, and Laurence Rockefeller donation in 1956 to establish what is today the Virgin Island National Park. We hade the opportunity to drive though the forest in a local bus from Cruz Bay as the only whites.

I was surprised by the local attitude of the black people. They seemed happy with a job as bartender or cleaner, while alle the managers were white americans. I found one black manager only, and he was "imported" from Martinique.

Another attitude from the locals, which I found both brilliant and strange, was there general serviceminded behaviour. I was their guest, and they wanted me to really feel like a guest. Thanks a lot, all you guys! But, after the hurricane had struck, I wanted to help them clearing up all the sand that was washed up in the pathways, and they wouldnt let me do it! Should I really sit there watching these good men work harder than they deserved?? I managed to help in the end, and never have my blisters felt much better!

Favourite spots:
Magens Bay
Magens Bay
Magens Bay, on the northern shore of the island, has been rated as a top-ten beach of the world. Personally, I found the private beaches belonging to the two hotels where we stayed good enough to be called paradises.

If you search other places with natural beauty, I recommend Mahogany Run Golf Club, where you can try one of the most picturesque 3-par holes in the world, at hole 14.

Charlotte Amalie also features some traces of fascinating history. The two pirates castles, Bluebeards Castle and Blackbeards Castle, loking at each other from two hills. Fort Christian with its museum is worth a visit, the same is a walk up the famous 99 steps.

What's really great:
Me at Jost van Dyke
Me at Jost van Dyke
I strongly recommend a day-your to the British Virgin Islands. We went with a speed boat called "New Horizon II" and vistited several of the other islands in the group, and we received loads of interesting information on some other. Tortola, where one of the most luxurious yacht club (Alan Alda is a member), the vacation home of Britains richest man (Richard Branson had an easy choice with VIRGIN islands...) and the bay where some of the most feared buccaneers of history hide themselves. Norman Island, where they shot the film "Treasure Island". Virgin Gorda with its caves and the famous Baths and Devils Bay. Dinner at Marina Kay. Snorkeling outside Guana Island. The truth behind the drink "Painkiller" and the two beaches at Jost van Dyke. See also

Bluebeards Beach Club
Bluebeards Beach Club
We stayed in an apartment at Bluebeards Beach Club & Villas, which was a perfect spot for us, until we were evacuated due to the big hurricane "Georges" who struck the islands in september 1998. We spent the last week at Elysian hotel, where we were safe during the hurricane. Although we had 4 days without electricity (airconditioning) and could not swim at the beach, we would like to thank the staff at the hotel for exellent service during the hurricane itself and the aftermaths that followed.

Skinny Legs logo
Skinny Legs logo
Eating out in St. Thomas is not particularly inexpensive. We tried many different restaurants during our stay, and here is our list:

The Green House - This is an exellent choice for eating and entertainment. We came her at least 3 nights. American food, a pool table that favourizes your wife and evenings with reggae.

Hard Rock Cafe - A safe place, where you can have excellent cheeseburgers with bacon while you watch those cruise ships leave the harbour. The Hurricane drink is a must for us, as we experienced one during our stay.

Hotel 1829 restaurant - A classy restaurant with excellent seafood

Pollie's Mexican restaurant - a bit out-of-town, but great food.

Wendy's - Fast food close to the cruise docks. A good alternative when your funds get low.

Pizza hut - You know what you get there...

Skinny Legs - At St. John, and an excellent way of trying our the local transportation (bus and ferry). When you get there, it a normal american grill, food is quite OK.

Other recommendations:
Two tips that can be useful:

Taxis are often shared, as there is the same price from one place to another, regardless of how many passengers.

Avoid the agressive salesmen in Main Street (Dronningens Gade) but make sure to explore all the cosy small street with shops and boutiques.

Published on Friday February 10th, 2006

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Fri, Feb 16 2007 - 02:40 PM rating by travler

I've been here any your report was excellent.

Sat, Feb 25 2006 - 06:49 PM rating by ehs1193

This will help me on my trip to St. Thomas

Fri, Feb 10 2006 - 09:06 AM rating by davidx

Good first report but try to fill them out a bit.

Fri, Feb 10 2006 - 07:56 AM rating by rangutan

A nice very brief first report on a most amazing place. Pictures borrowed but correctly credited atleast. Not the "British Virgin Islands" but this surly should be under "Virgin Islands" Central America: see
which shows the correct map and flag, not continent USA?
See also
Nat. Geographic lists Magens Bay as one of the ten best in the world!

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