Only Jim Knopf and Lukas, the locomotive driver, have a similarly spectacular view. As you know, there are two mountains on the famous island of Lummerland, a long-distance telephone, a railroad and a king. Although there is no railroad on St. Lucia, there are two funny mountains that are as bizarre as the two mountains on Lummerland. They are called Petit Piton and Grand Piton, are 750 and 798 meters high and have the shape of green sugar loafs.
Villa Caribbean Deam on St.Lucia
Just between the two mountains sits the Ladera Resort, one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The six luxurious villas and 19 suites are open to the south, from the huge, softly padded beds you can see the two mountain cones, a semicircular bay with white sand and a palm forest. As the sun goes down in the Caribbean Sea, guests can watch the spectacle of nature from the bath, from the pool or from the bar. A Ladera Resort villa costs more than $ 800 per night in high season. Most residents of St. Lucia can not afford to go to Ladera for brunch with their family on Sundays.
Helicopters and speedboats bring American tourists from the airport to the secluded resorts; The people are rumbling over bumpy, unlit slopes over the mountainous island. Some tourists spend several thousand dollars a day; one third of the population is unemployed. Independence from the changing colonial powers has not brought wealth to the majority of the population. If you really want to get to know the island, you should not rent in an all-inclusive hotel anyway, but in a small guesthouse. For example, in the "Villa Caribbean Dream" at Vieux Fort. The German-born ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Maronie and her husband Alphonse, who comes from St. Lucia, have created in their house an island on the island. ChroniquesDuVasteMonde sits with her guests on the terrace for dinner and tells stories from the area.
Colorful: the vegetables and fruits of the Caribbean
St. Lucia is a very diverse island. We take a shower in the Saltibus Waterfall, walk through the rainforest, visit the sulfur springs at Soufrière. It stinks like hell here, but that should be good. From a crater between the two Pitons flows 100 to 170 degrees hot, sulphurous steam, very healthy for the respiratory tract. The greasy yellowish mud around the funnel, applied externally, helps with skin diseases of all kinds. For a long time, the hot spot was marketed as the "only drive-in volcano in the world", because you can easily drive by car right up to the hole. However, some people took this too literally and ended up in the crater. Now the security is tightened and we're watching the bubbling and steaming from a fenced platform.
Rastafari: with dreadlocks under the cap on the beach
St. Lucia is full of treasures coming from the ground, we just have to reach for it. Just what exactly? We walk with Keyson Matharin, a Rasta, through the bush. He not only knows plants that serve the expansion of consciousness. "Here's where hibiscus grows," he says, "that can be used as a shampoo." Cocoa nuts are not just there to make chocolate and kaba, Keyson uses the cocoa powder to form his hair into dreadlocks. "Basil," he suddenly exclaims, "that's better than any shower gel, I'll wash with it." The jelly-like mass inside an immature coconut he uses as a skin cream. A walk with Keyson on St. Lucia is like going through a pharmacy. We feel prepared for the hard life.
On road: Minibuses go regularly over the island and are very cheap. To rent a car, you get a visitor's license on presentation of a driver's license and a fee at the airport.
Phone: the area code for St. Lucia: 001/758.
hotels: Balenbouche Estate: Historic ambience in a 150 year old plantation house, surrounded by tropical plants. The German hostess cooks Creole, Asian and sometimes German. Guest rooms and apartments tastefully decorated, bathroom under the open sky. (P.O. Box VF 707, St. Lucia, Tel. 4551244, www.balenbouche.com).
Fox Grove Inn: quiet house in the mountains at Mon Repos. Franz Louis-Fernand worked as a chef for a long time in Europe, his wife Esther comes from Switzerland. From the balconies overlooking a nature reserve, a bay with islands and the large pool; (Mon Repos, Tel. And Fax 4553271, www.foxgroveinn.com).
The Genmar Apartments: small resort, ten minutes walk from Reduit Beach at Gros Islet. Simple rooms equipped with fridge, stove and fan; (P.O. Box 213, Reduit, Tel. 4520834, Fax 4520165).
Banana Split: cheap and located directly on the sea.The friendly owner rents nine simple small rooms with fan and bath, some have sea views; (Gros Islet, Tel. 4508125).
Villa Caribbean Dream: friendly guesthouse, run by emigrated German ChroniquesDuVasteMonde Maronie and her husband Alphonse. Quiet rooms and an apartment overlooking the beaches of the area near Vieux Fort. ChroniquesDuVasteMonde provides its guests with tips of all kinds, they know everything and everyone in St. Lucia; (Moule á Chique, P.O. Box 288, Tel. And Fax 4546846, www.caribdreams.net).
Hummingbird Beach Resort: on the beach of Soufrière overlooking the Pitons. Ten rustically furnished rooms with mosquito nets and cable TV. The complex has a pool and a nice restaurant right on the beach; DZ / F from 51 euros, twice in high season (P.O. Box 280, Soufrière, Tel. 4597232). restaurants: The Lime: good seafood restaurant in Reduit Beach with fresh seafood and Caribbean side dishes like plantains. The "Late Lime", a club where live music is danced on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (Reduite Beach, Tel. 4520761, Mon. closed).
Doolittle's Beach Bar: cozy beach bar, sandwiches, salads, fish and chicken dishes (Marigot Bay, Tel. 4514974).
Fedo's: "Rotis" are the specialty of this restaurant in Soufrière, a type of wrap stuffed with vegetables, seafood or meat with a delicious curry sauce (Church Street, Soufrière, tel. 4595220).
Money: On St. Lucia, the Eastern Carribean Dollar applies, but US dollars are accepted everywhere. ATMs that use European credit cards are hard to find.
Info: St. Lucia Tourist Board, 1 Collingham Gardens, London SW5 OHW, England, Tel. 0044/8709007697, Fax 2073417001. On site: St. Lucia Tourist Board, P.O. Box 221, Shoal Building, Castries, Tel. 4525968, Fax 4531121, www.st.lucia.org.