Monday, May 21, 2012

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you better stay at home.

Beautifully stated by James A. Michener, a prolific author and a world traveler. No one can tell a story about a nation and its unique history better than him. I'm neither a savvy traveler nor a historian, but I've learned the value of getting to know the local people, exploring places far away from tourist destination and enjoying the beauty beyond resort and hotel spots, which always enriches my journey. In the words of Moslih Eddin Saadi, "A traveler without observation is a bird without wings."

When I decided to tour few Caribbean Islands with my friend, some of the places I wanted to desperately visit were St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Barbados. St. Lucia in particular have been my top choice because this mountainous Island has so much to offer beyond the usual sensuous beaches that the Caribbean is famous for. Whether you want to explore it on foot, on a horseback or suspended from a zip line, the Island will definitely leave an impact on you. One of the first places I wanted to check were the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, build in 1897 and Derek Walcott Square, a quit park surrounded by 19th century wooden building and the Cathedral. And of course, ending my long tiring day at the beach, preferably a spot known to the locals and less to tourists. I hate crowded beaches, so I always make sure to mark at lease 2-3 beaches that is far from most tourist destination and St. Lucia has so many amazing locations to unwind, swim and enjoy water sport.

 Derek Walcott Square

  The Cathedral, with its unique stone structure and inside painted interior of colorful biblical scenes

Cathedral of Immaculate Conception richly incorporates both the Caribbean and African heritage of the Island, including an image of Black Madonna and Jesus, with its use of vivid bright colors: green, red and yellow.

La Toc Beach
 We wanted to go to a beach that was off the tourist radar and it was a wonderful discovery

don't be surprised to see more locals than tourists here, a mother breast feeding her kid, local boys playing volleyball, etc

 La Toc Beach is hidden behind Sandals resort and most often less crowded

 There will be more to come from my trip to St. Lucia.

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