Living the "life of luxury" has been busy lately and I have gotten behind on blogging about a few of our adventures. A few weeks ago we visited one of the historical sites of the Caribbean, Brimstone Hill Fortress, here in St. Kitts. We saw some beautiful views from atop the hill, learned some history that has changed lives and nations, and had a fun outing with our good friends. And, the excitement didn't end there. A herd of goats ran down the hill and in front of our car as we drove home. We missed all but one, but it ran off so I don't think we killed it. The goat left its legacy on our new mini-van with not only some fur stuck to the front of the car, but also with scratches and dents and a broken blinker and light.
If you want to read some of the history behind the Fortress and St. Kitts, I'll include it at the bottom of the post.
Brimstone Hill Fortress is a fort built by the English and French, who shared the island for many years. It was built in the late 1600’s through most of the 1700’s as the largest and most complete military structure in the Caribbean.
Before this time, in the early 1600’s, French and English settlers staged a surprise attack on the native Carib Indians and exterminated the entire population of Cannibalistic people that once inhabited the island.
There was then a 300 year battle for supremacy between France, Britain, Holland and Spain, and Brimstone changed hands many times as these countries fought for control of the island. During this time, African people were brought in as slaves, and this was when the plantation industry, based on sugar cane and slavery, flourished and great wealth was made by plantation owners. Almost all of the local people in St. Kitts/Nevis are descendants of these African slaves.
The sugar industry ended in St. Kitts about 5 years ago, when the government decided that they would soon be "forced" out of the market, because sugar is now cheaper to produce from beets, etc. than sugar cane. A lot of local people who had worked in the sugar fields their entire life lost their jobs, and it was about that time that the Marriott Resort was built here, which changed the entire industry of the island to tourism.