SVETI KRISTOFER I NEVIS – ST. KITTS AND NEVIS

Popodne na plazi - An afternoon on the beach

Popodne na plazi – An afternoon on the beach

Popodne na plazi-An afternoon on the beach

Popodne na plazi-An afternoon on the beach

Turisticki vozic kroz ostrvo-St. Kitts scenic railway

Turisticki vozic kroz ostrvo-St. Kitts scenic railway

U suton na plazi-Sunset at the beach

U suton na plazi-Sunset at the beach

Usamljena palma u polju secerne trske-A lonely palm tree in a sugarcane field

Usamljena palma u polju secerne trske-A lonely palm tree in a sugarcane field

Limena kucica duginih boja na plazi-A tin house on the beach in rainbow colours

Limena kucica duginih boja na plazi-A tin house on the beach in rainbow colours

Mislilac-The Thinker

Mislilac-The Thinker

Napustena fabrika ruma - An abandoned rum factory

Napustena fabrika ruma – An abandoned rum factory

Napustena fabrika ruma-An abandoned rum factory

Napustena fabrika ruma-An abandoned rum factory

Pogled na vulkan na holandskom ostrvu Saba-A view of volcano Mt. Scenery on the Dutch island of Saba

Pogled na vulkan na holandskom ostrvu Saba-A view of volcano Mt. Scenery on the Dutch island of Saba

U svojim osvajanjima Nove zemlje Kolumbo je najpre prolazio pored karipskih
ostrva i svakom od njih, koje bi se našlo na njegovom putu, dao ono ime
kojim je trenutno bio inspirisan. Ovom ostrvu dao je svoje ime ili ime svog
sveca, a dok je posmatrao manje ostrvo, čiji su vrhovi bili u stalnoj
izmaglici iza koje kao da se krio sneg, izgovorio je nieve, što na španskom
znači sneg, i tako, u engleskom prevodu ostade Nevis. Kristofer su skratili
u Kitts. Ipak, Britanci su ta ostrva ujedinili u labavu zajednicu, s pravom
da se mogu odvojiti kada žele. A ne čini mi se baš da žele, jer ono drugo
uvek zovu sestrinkim ostrvom. Dve sestrice, dakle, u dalekom kutku Karipskog
arhipelaga žive zajedno i dočekuju turiste, jer svima je bavljenjem turizmom
najvažniji izvor prihoda. Što su severnije i bliže Americi, to su više pod
njenim uticajem: ova dva ostrva, zatim Tortola, Angila, Sveti Toma…
Beskrajno zelenilo i jedan vulkančić u središtu ostrva, za koji niko ne zna
kada je eruptirao i ostavio nekoliko plaža pod crnim peskom – to su motivi
koji prate jednu zanimljivu atrakciju zvanu “pejzažni voz”. Naime, u vreme
velike eksploatacije šećerne trske, u XIX veku, napravljena je uska kružna
pruga oko celog ostrva, koja je služila za prevoz šećera i šećerne trske sa
polja i mlinova. Ti stari kameni mlinovi za trsku, sa velikim kupastim
dimnjacima iz kojih viri drveće, služe kao romantično svedočanstvo “slatke”
prošlosti, od koje im i danas struji šećer u krvi – kako u šali kažu lokalni
stanovnici. Ipak, crna robovlasnička prošlost sigurno nije bila tako laka i
slatka. Uskim tračnicama sporo se kotrlja otvoreni vozić kroz pejzaže
svetlozelene šećerne trske, iz koje izviri po koja palma ili dimnjak, preko
trošnih mostića nad kanjonima i kroz seoca sa veselim crnim i kreolskim
dečjim glavama, koje vas pozdravljaju kraj puta. Voz je zaista idilična
turistička atrakcija jer i izgleda kao da je s početka XX veka, a male
horske grupe se trude da vas zabave, najčešće duhovnim pesmama.
Glavni gradić još nosi francusko ime Basseterre i, osim nekoliko
anglikanskih crkvica i kamenih kolonijalnih zgrada, nema mnogo toga da
ponudi osim trajekta za sestrinsko ostrvce Nevis. Tamo su lepše plaže i
glavni gradić Charlestown. On bar ima britansko ime, ako je to više uopšte
važno. Veliki brat iz severnog susedstva je sada glavni.
Ipak, ono najlepše je jastog na plaži, u malom, improvizovanom drvenom
restoranu zvučnog imena Shiggidy Shack, na zalasku sunca.
I jedrilica ispred užarene lopte, koja tone u more.

Novembar 2008.
________________________________________________________

In his conquests of the New World, Columbus first passed by the Caribbean
Islands and to each and every one on his way he gave a name that crossed his
mind at that moment. He named this island after himself, or rather after his
saint; while looking at the smaller island whose peaks are always shrouded
in mist, giving off the impression that snow is just hiding behind, he said:
‘nieve’ which means ‘snow’ in Spanish, and so it stayed as ‘Nevis’ in
English translation. Christopher was shortened into Kitts. Yet the British
brought the two islands into a loose union, with the right to independence
if they wished so. And I don’t think they do because they always call each
other – the sister island. Hence the two little sisters, in a faraway corner
of the Caribbean archipelago, live together and welcome tourists, because
tourism is the most important source of income for all. The more to the
North they are positioned, and closer to America, the more they are under
its influence – these two islands, Tortola, Anguilla, St. Thomas.
The Scenic Rail takes you around the island through endless greenery and
past a small volcano in the middle of the island; no one knows when the
volcano erupted and left a few beaches covered in black sand. Namely at the
time of the great exploitation of sugarcane in the 19th century a narrow
circular rail track was built around the periphery of the island; it served
to transport sugar and sugarcane from fields and mills. These old stone
sugar mills with conical chimney tops through which trees stick out these
days serve as a romantic memento from a ‘sweet’ past from which they still
have sugar coursing in their blood – as the locals like to say jokingly. Yet
the history of black slavery was neither sweet nor light.
The open roof scenic train rolls slowly along the narrow track, through
landscapes filled with light green sugar cane, occasionally interrupted by
an odd chimney or palm tree, across rickety bridges above canyons and
through villages where children’s happy black and Creole faces pop up along
the road, greeting you. The Scenic Rail is a truly idyllic tourist
attraction as it looks like it’s from the beginning of the 20th century,
while small choir troupes are entertaining you, most often with gospel
music.

The capital still has a French name, Basseterre, and apart from a couple of
Anglican churches and a few stone colonial buildings, there is not much on
offer, apart from, perhaps, the ferry to the sister island of Nevis. Beaches
are prettier there and the capital is called Charlestown. At least it has a
British name, if that is important at all anymore. Big brother from the
Northern neighbourhood is the important one now.
Yet the most splendid thing is the lobster at a beach restaurant which is a
wooden makeshift hut, with a resounding name Shiggidy Shack, at sunset.
And a sailing boat against a backdrop of a fiery ball sinking into the sea.

November 2008

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