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Royal Clipper

St. Lucia

sunny 80 °F

We arrived at St. Lucia this morning to the beautiful harbor of Marigot Bay. Although the bay is spectacular there is not much ashore so we stayed aboard saving our excursion to the afternoon in Soufriere.

There were large estates run by colonizers of French origin in Soufriere, and their descendants still live in the area. The French Revolution of 1789 resulted in many Royalists being executed and the enslaved Africans were released from enslavement. However, Napoleon reintroduced slavery when he came to power. The British invaded St Lucia shortly afterwards, but the enslaved Africans and French deserters fought them in a guerrilla campaign until 1803 when they were defeated and St Lucia became a British colony. Also, during that time, Castries became the capital of St Lucia. Over the years, Soufrière has had to deal with hurricanes in 1780, 1817, 1831, 1898 and 1980, a major fire in 1955 and an earthquake in 1991. Many of these events have had to result in the town being rebuilt several times. Today, Soufrière is more dependent on tourism rather than agriculture. The Pitons are just south of the town and there are several attractions in the area. Many of the old estates are still there such as Soufrière Estate, Fond Doux Estate and Rabot Estate.

Our first stop was the wonderful Diamond Botanical Gardens, one of the best in the Caribbean, and is home to the Diamond Waterfall. Baron de Laborie, Governor of St. Lucia, built Sulphur Baths in 1785, using funds sanctioned by King Louis XVI of France. Troops and invalids used the baths for medicinal purposes, comparing the waters to those found at Aix-la Chapelle.

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We then headed to the volcano caldera - the St. Lucia version of Yellowstone.

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We finished the day with a cold drink, high above the harbor, before heading back to the ship for our return to Barbados.

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Posted by rpickett 23:02 Archived in Saint Lucia Tagged soufriere Comments (1)

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