Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, has plenty of historic buildings and quiet areas to explore, once you get away from the hustle and bustle of the shops.
After purchasing bottled water at P.J. Clarke Ltd. Drug store, I made my tracks. I meandered around side streets and finally found the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The interior is old (built in 1897) and rustic, with colourful green yellow along the sides. The rework was done in 1985, prior to Pope John Paul II’s visit. After I made a small donation and was given permission to take pictures, I went toward the altar. To the left was a statue of Jesus surrounded by flowers and lots of lit candles in front.
Across the street is the quiet Derek Walcott Square, bordered by Brazil, Laborie, Micard and Bourbon Streets. The blue and white uniformed school kids behaved as they ate their lunch under the gazebo. When I entered the park, I noticed the “Do not walk on grass” sign right away. There are two statues of Nobel Prize winners, both St. Lucians – honourable Derek Walcott won for literature in 1992 and Sir William Arthur Lewis for economics in 1979. Down further is a beautiful 400-year-old samaan tree providing welcome shade. I sat at the gazebo; the children were still eating their lunch. I sipped my water focusing on the tower of the cathedral.
Down the way on Micoud Street is Carnegie Public Library. You might say, "big deal". Well, I work in a public library, plus mine was once called Carnegie. This library opened in 1923, though it looks older; I saw mostly old books. It was quiet, some students sat quietly at a desk working. The open windows let in the cool breeze – refreshing.
As I made my way back to the ship, it began raining. I stood under an awning, watched people waiting for the rain to subside. I love observing people, wondering where they’re going, what they’re doing. Although it poured, the air was warm.