Castries, St. Lucia – Day 5

For years now, Joy and I have spent a significant part of our vacation energy in pursuit of works of art that will remind us of where we’ve been. We have been very fortunate in finding some wonderful works of art. I am aware that many collect art with regard to its monetary value. Our collection, on the other hand, is completely aesthetic and sentimental with regard to what motivates. Is it beautiful? Do we have a place for it? (Although, in very special cases, we buy it even though we will have to make a place for it.) Is it locally created? Is there a story behind it? Can we meet the artist?

While searching the local market stalls for some token of St. Lucia, I found a nice beach towel and Joy a Christmas ornament carved out of a coconut, but mostly we came up empty. I did find a guy with a small runabout that promised us a one hour trip to the Petons. However, after the incident in Belize, Joy talked me out of another local water taxi ride.

As we stepped out on the sidewalk we were greeted by the many taxi drivers hawking their tours. One young man seemed like a pretty good bet. As he made his spiel an older man came up and said, “He’s okay. Tony’s a good boy.” So we decided to accept the offer of $40 for a two hour tour. Tony quickly caught on that we did not want to shop for trinkets but wanted to take photographs and find local art. He took us to the war park at the top of the mountain above Castries. There he passed us off to another guide who explained some of the island history and a bit of botany.

He drove us through the University of the West Indies St Lucia Open Campus. The kids wore various kit depending upon their majors. Some of the building were made of stone and historically had served as military barracks. The campus enjoys an auspicious setting at a high peak above the city. While I began to fantasize about retiring to teach here, our driver hustled us off to our next stop.

At Eudovic’s Art Studio, we met various artists, and ultimately purchased a carved wooden piece that was tied to the traditions and culture of St. Lucia. Melinda explained the significance of the various aspects of the piece. We met the artist who kindly carved his signature into our piece.

Tony then took us to see some beautiful coastal scenery and then back to our boat. It was hard to let loose of St. Lucia. I hope it will only be for a while.

As a surprise, the Captain announced that he would take us right past the Petons on our way out of St. Lucia. I was so glad Joy had not wanted to take the water taxi. We saw a couple of those little boats dwarfed by the seas as the Serenade of the Seas floated past in complete comfort and luxury.


  • Kelly says:

    I have a friend who studied at the University of St. Lucia. He is now studying for his PhD in Florida, but plans to go back to his island soon. I hear it is beautiful! Sounds like fun!

  • Tom says:

    Wouldn’t it be an interesting “retirement” to teach at a school like this?

  • ris says:

    I really identify with this post! Art is such a great way to remember your trip. bartering FOR the art is fun, too. 🙂 Asking folks about their art and inspiration is a good way to get into conversations and learn more about the values of the place you’re visiting. so much fun.

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