The Adventurous Chickens Of St. Croix

My mother and I had planned a rather ambitious set of travels around St. Croix yesterday, but ended up exploring the area of the small town of Christiansted instead, which proved to be interesting enough and also relaxing. It does not take long in St. Croix to realize that there are some very puzzling patterns and the island itself misses a lot of opportunities for the sort of tourism that its historical significance and natural beauties would merit. St. Croix is leaving a lot of money on the table, and it is hard to understand why this is the case, why an island that has so much to offer offers so little of it to tourists.

Even a short deal of time spent in St. Croix can easily point one up to the lassitude of the people when it comes to the tourism business. A short hike of about half a mile or so from the Gallows Bay ferry terminal around the harbor of Christiansted leads one to historic Christiansted, which is made up of a set of brightly yellow colored buildings in a state of some disrepair, most of which were closed off, but one of which, the local fort, had a lot to offer about the role of fortresses in defending islands during the period between the French & Indian War and the Napoleonic Wars that allowed the Virgin Islands to remain Danish during a time of ferocious international hostility in the region that lasted for more than 50 years. Interestingly enough, the fortress served both as a place for defense against external threats like rival colonial powers as well as internal threats like slave insurrections, thus proving their flexible purposes. Similarly, the fort served as a prison for criminals, and there appeared to be disparities between how they were treated here as well, with white criminals holed up in the above ground prison while runaway slaves and the like were consigned to dungeons below.

By and large, the town of Christiansted features a lot of beautiful buildings, especially churches and other historical sites. But one of the striking aspects of the city is that the mixture of gorgeous old buildings as well as fancy new constructions sits side by side with ruinous heaps of buildings that have been allowed to fall into a state of considerable decay. Even the city itself, which appears to be a bit dull to the naked eye, comes alive in vibrant color when one looks at the buildings through polarized shades. There are, of course, the poor quality roads to be found without any trouble as well, and then the island has the issue where there are simply not enough taxis to take people throughout the island. We encountered taxi drivers, for example, that were unwilling to be hired to drive around the island, which is quite a ridiculous attitude to have. The island has tourists willing to pay to see the island, but its people cannot be bothered to take such obvious opportunities for profit.

While the people can be said to lack a spirit of adventure, though, the same cannot be said for the islands many chickens. Wherever one travels one can see a variety of chickens, largely hens with their chicks close by, making beautiful chirping sounds while the occasional rooster crows at all hours of the day, with the hens and chickens scratching about for food, foraging for themselves. The chickens seemed an appropriate metaphor for an island that more or less allows everyone and everything to fend for itself without having a lot of spirit for catering to the interests of those people that come across the island. When an island only gets at most a handful of ferry travelers a day, it might not feel it is worth it to cater to the few tourists it gets. The people and animals who find themselves on the island can shift for themselves as best as they can under the brutal sun. That’s life, I suppose.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to The Adventurous Chickens Of St. Croix

  1. chapmaned24 says:

    I just wanted to stop by and say that I love your posts! There is so many of them that I can’t hardly keep up with my busy days, but when I do have the moment, they are a breath of fresh air and it relaxes me.

    Thank you, and keep it up!

    Ed Chapman

    • I’m glad you appreciate them and thanks for the comment. I’m busy too so I can’t always write as much as I would like but I am glad that they refresh and relax others :D.

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