Tuesday, November 23, 2010
We left the boat in Young Island Cut and took the bus into Kingston. But as we dinghied in and waited for the bus we were entertained by the ongoing screw up abaord a Moorings charter yacht. He finished up aground with a half raised sail and I presume a rope around his prop as a diver went to his aid.
Walking around Kingston the first impression was so many people all trying to sell the same things. As promised by the guide we walked under the covered walkways created by the builders extending the first floor over the pavement, which was just as well as it was pouring with rain.
After some undistinguished buildings we came into a church littered section. We decided to concentrate on only two. St. Marys Roman Catholic Cathedral and The Anglican Cathedral.
The Anglican Cathedral is the clear winner in terms of size. It occupied a significant expanse of Central Kingston and was longer, wider and probably higher than St. Marys. However, it was relatively uninspired being something a child could design easily with it's building blocks. But we were warmly welcomed by the Verger, Mr. Ulrice Doyle who showed us around and pointed out the highlights. One of these was a magnificent stained glass window which had been destined for St. Paul's in London until Queen Victoria saw it and 'was not amused' by the red robe on the angel and thus the window was rerouted to St. Vincent. On the way out we noted that even churches out here have termites and parts of this significant old building were closed off and under repair.
St. Marys was a complete contrast. The Anglican Cathedral was deserted. We had been the only visitors and the Verger plus the cleaning lady were the only people we saw. St. Marys was full of happy children who used part of it as a school, several very old ladies were resting and snacking on the entrance benches, a nun said please come in then disappeared into a doorway leaving us to explore on our own.
It was full of interesting nooks and crannies adorned with the essential statues of the Saints.
But it was the architectural part of the church that catches the eye. We would not have been surprised to see Harry Potter come around the corner as the soaring Gothic spider work of the spire could have come from Hogwarts.
But it would appear not all Vincintians are God fearing and law abiding citizens, I went into a pharmacy to buy some shampoo and found I was heavily guarded by at least three security staff. Gisela needed a stamp so it was off to the Post Office where we found a magnificent figure of a man, immaculately turned out with the shiniest of toe caps on his police issue boots guarding the stamp counter. Gisela escaped from this encounter possibly as she resisted the temptation to photograph him.
However, Gisela did not escape from the terrors induced from the local bus driver who clearly was in training for the Caribbean Grand Prix. Extracting maximum speed from his Japanese van fitted with shiny polythene seat covers, we all slid from one side to the other and prayed that on coming traffic would give way whenever he undertook an overtake maneuver. Gisela stated she did not think it was the end of her days yet and still felt queasy at dinner time.
Posted by John Duncker at 4:44 PM