On approaching the Virgin Islands in a window flashed like otfotoshoplennye scenery: sea broad bands passed from cheeky-cobalt in a deep turquoise and blurred off spots of color, I have seen before only on boxes before Tiffany. Plane sank lower, and I have already reconciled with the idea of splashdown, suddenly emerged from his belly betonka and starboard drew storey pavilion, windswept – later found out that this is the airport. Passengers unceremoniously dumped directly on the airfield, and the crowd is dressed for the weather people walked into the terminal, pulling off the move himself scarves and sweaters. At that moment I thought that I love New York – including warm sea and flowering bougainvillea, to which of the dank New York in March to fly only some four hours.
We landed in the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands with courtly name Charlotte Amalie – so it was named in honor of the wife of the Danish King Christian V. Before becoming a possession of the Danish crown, the town was called this less glamorous (Tapphus in Danish means “beer” or “tavern” ) and was a refuge for pirates: they came to rest in the local bay and share the loot. Times have changed, and now, enjoying the lack of sales tax, the passengers of cruise liners here voluntarily leave the budget of a small country. Yes, USVI formally considered U.S. territory – that territory, not a full-fledged staff. Therefore, the locals do not have the right to vote in presidential elections, and the state, in exchange for the infringement of rights, allowing them to avoid paying taxes to the federal budget. All very confusing, but it seems that everyone is happy.
The fact that we are still in the U.S., only resembled bright red fire hydrants yes yellow road markings. Otherwise the impression of a typical USVI Caribbean nation with a funny set of gags from the colonial past. Why should only the left-hand traffic, strikes fear into the hearts of drivers from the mainland! Another highlight of these places – the Danish place names. So, instead of the usual street in Charlotte Amalie half streets called Danish gade. But if you weigh in the balance two years of Danish colonial past one hundred years of American history, it becomes clear why this region is so little resemble the rest of America.
Blame it on the Ritz
All this I told the guide carefully, I struggled to read on the plane. But somewhere in the middle of the chapter on the history of the islands I fell asleep – still rise at four am laughing matter. But sleepless night was worth it: we arrived around noon, and by renting a minivan soon rolled to the recommended speed of 40 miles per hour in the opposite direction (as we all thought) band, under the indignant honking local drivers. In our company, there was no noisy fans of entertainment, so we decided to settle on the eastern tip of the island, away from the cruise port, bustling promenade, dense rows of jewelery shops and bars round the clock – the holiday frenzy we prefer a quiet holiday in twenty meters from the beach in Elysian. This resort is two-thirds of the private apartments, which the owners rent directly. Apartments were significantly different from each other depending on the aesthetic views and financial capabilities of its owners – it should be considered when trying to find the best option. We rented a very nice penthouse with three bedrooms and four balconies, approximately corresponding to the level of a four star hotel. (But, judging by the reviews on the website TripAdvisor, not all apartments are as follows.) Apart from hotels on St. Thomas can be rented private villa for every budget, but if you want luxury prohibitive, that is there and Ritz-Carlton. Consciously choosing resort amusements without night, we got into the habit in the evening to go to the nearby Ritz drinking cocktails and bourgeois walk along the sea, then gladly return to your backwater, where the nights were silent even cicadas.
Road to the sea
By the way, all the beaches on the USVI «belong to the people”, so you can lie on any level you like a piece of sand, and no one will even words can say. But to be fair to say that in the quest for the perfect beach with palm trees weeping, white coral sand and water color Tiffany could not climb so far to the east. Could never take the car, but just roll your suitcase at the airport gates, walk ten meters down the road, pull off the road sharply and decisively to spread beach mat. All beaches in the Virgin Islands – whether large hotel with livery attendants or in small wild overgrown bays – are an advertising image and likeness of chocolates “Bounty”. Just lying under these palms citizens not indulge in afternoon chocolates with coconut and very real coconuts, whose murky moisture generously splashed local rum Cruzan. And everywhere the same turquoise water and the sun is equally bright, and pelicans flying everywhere as one of the incubator. However, local pelicans disappointed me: upon closer examination they were gray indyukopodobnymi beings, falling into the water with a loud sound of the well bucket.
Besides the beautiful beaches of St. Thomas More, and I liked the fact that, despite a rich history itself attractions here – enough to swear: Guide mentioned second oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere and about 99 steps of the ladder, the top of which supposedly offers stunning views of the bay. But if your personal four balconies offer stunning views of the four bay climb for fifth on some stairs rather silly. Synagogue, of course, it would be possible to see, but I confess that I have a hard combine leisure with comfortable beach informative. “Problems with compartmentalization,” as one of my clever friend. But, be that as it may, if not on the horizon looms any Leaning Tower lying on the beach is much quieter, and gnawing conscience.