While driving through the streets of Basseterre directly after our arrival, we soon realized we had arrived in a relaxed corner of the world. There was surprisingly little traffic on this weekday morning, there were not many people out on the streets. In one of the streets, we saw policemen escorting men dressed up in a working uniform; the driver explained that these were convicts on their way to forced labour. A few blocks away, we arrived at the ferry dock and had passed the central area of Basseterre almost without realizing it. While waiting for the ferry to leave, we walked around the bus station area, chatted with a few locals who seemed very relaxed and friendly, and had a snack at a shack in one of the alleys. We almost felt bad seeing Basseterre disappear when we sailed away, but knew that we would be back after our visit to Nevis.
An afternoon boat took us back to Basseterre at the right time: a soft, warm light was making the wooden front porches of the traditional houses look even better than before. It turned out that there was little choice in accommodation: most visitors are cruise ship passengers or those staying at one of the resorts around the island, but this country capital offered surprisingly little choice for hotels or hostels. The main street was more lively now than on our first visit, with people shopping and other offering goods for sale on the streets. The next morning, we made an early morning walk in town, visiting the lovely Independence Square with a gracious fountain and the cathedral. Despite it not being located centrally in Basseterre, it still made me think of the main squares that are common to Spanish colonial towns in South America.
One of the great things with Basseterre is, that the town is so small you can walk around the central area in less than half an hour, taking in some of the most remarkable buildings and places. After a day of exploring the island of St Kitts, and thanks to problems with our flight, we had an unexpected second morning to see more of Basseterre and made sure we saw more of the market where the colourful inhabitants of the capital were negotiating over vegetables and fruits, saw some beautiful Rasta men, and ended up invited to the house of an interesting figure who had turned his house into nothing less than a curious museum, full of old furniture, live animals, paintings, black and white pictures, and much, much more. When we finally left, we had the feeling that yes, we had seen all the streets of this town, but also, we would have gladly stayed longer in this attractive, laid back town.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Basseterre (Saint Kitts and Nevis). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Basseterre.
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