Not Sunshine In All Ports
We looked at the advance weather forecast for the Caribbean portion of our 21 day cruise when we started our cruise in Miami. A week out, it looked like we might get rain and thunderstorms every day. Since it was the second time visiting all of the Caribbean ports for this journey, we were a bit less concerned about rain days. On the first three Caribbean ports, the weather had stayed nice. We enjoyed the beach in St Barts but we knew we would be visiting colourful Antigua in the drizzle.
On our last visit to colourful Antigua, we had taken an amazing full day excursion. We got an island tour, a trip to the mangroves by kayak and then the chance to snorkel off a deserted island. On this trip, we pre-booked a catamaran excursion to see the island from the water. But as the weather forecast deteriorated, we cancelled the excursion. The plan was to wander into town if the weather held. We were prepared for the fact that we might not find sunshine in every port!
Docking in St John’s
The ship docked right in the downtown area of St John’s. From the ship we could see colourful Antigua. Even with grey skies, we delighted in the the brightly coloured buildings and boats of this Caribbean town. The pleasure boats were waiting for passengers to depart the ship. You could see the shopping area that you would need to escape before you found the real town.
Once the ship was docked, we put our rain ponchos in the backpack. We were prepared for Antigua in the drizzle. The sign welcoming us showed bright and colourful Antigua. We strolled through the port shop area. As we continued to downsize, we stopped less and less in port shopping areas.
The taxi drivers tried very hard to get passengers for an island tour. Since we had done our island tour on the last visit, we were not really interested. The canny taxi drivers waited beside the few downtown tourist sites, hoping to snag tired or wet tourists.
Heading Up Hill
Leaving the port shopping area we found smaller street markets. We stopped to take a picture of the monument that talked about the Antigua flag. Even the flag demonstrated colourful Antigua!
We slowly wandered up and up in the small town. David’s target for our walk was St John’s Cathedral. We could see it high on the hill from our cruise ship.
Restoring the Beauty of St John’s Cathedral
It was easy to navigate to the church on the hill. We followed Church Street until we got the first view of the church.
Entering through the cemetery, we stopped to see the history of Antigua reflected in the headstones. While we have visited cemeteries that were statue galleries, this cemetery was quite plain.
It was obvious when we entered the church that it was undergoing major renovations. Most of the church was roped off. You could see that major work had been done on restoring the mahogany pews. They shone with a deep red glow. This was a different hue of colourful Antigua!
When you looked up, you could see the ceiling mahogany beams. It was quite amazing to see so much rich red wood.
The uncovered windows were quite plain. We were not sure if there were stained glass windows being restored somewhere else. This was certainly not like the stunning stained glass windows we had seen earlier on this trip when wandering in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Leaving the church we got a good view of the front of the church against the stormy sky. Colourful Antigua looked almost black and white!
We slowly made our way back to the ship.
Antigua in the Drizzle Offered a New Perspective
Colourful Antigua is an island with 365 beaches, one for each day of the year. There are resorts and water sports when you head out of the port area. On this trip, the grey day offered us the chance to walk the small town. We are sure that St John’s Cathedral will be quite stunning when fully restored. It will be worth another visit on a return trip.
Our next Caribbean port was Bridgetown, Barbados. We hoped for better weather. We planned to do a submarine ride to explore the undersea world in Barbados.
Have you visited colourful Antigua? What was your favourite thing to do?