Thursday, January 20, 2011

In and around Kingston: A trip to Port Royal

Over the weekend, we took a trip to Port Royal, a place I always imagined would be of greater interest to a man just because of its association with old-time pirates and battleships.  Then, I thought, "Well, Negasi is a man, right?"  Sure enough, he was crazy about the idea.  He's on board with anything pirate-related.

OK, so I will give you a brief (taken from the internet) synopsis of Port Royal before I get to photo sharing.
Port Royal was called "the richest and wickedest city in the world". It was founded in the 1650s by the first British settlers who came to Jamaica. The town grew up around Fort Charles and soon became packed with traders, shopkeepers, innkeepers, soldiers, buccaneers and pirates. There were also a number of craftsmen including carpenters, bricklayers, tailors, goldsmiths and silversmiths. By 1690, there were between 8,000 and 10,000 permanent inhabitants at Port Royal. Some houses were three or four storeys high. Everything was available including bars, taverns, restaurants, coffee houses and brothels.
At a few minutes before 12 midday on Tuesday, June 7, 1692, an earthquake struck Port Royal. A huge tidal wave destroyed ships in the harbour and carried one of the ships into the middle of the town. Many of the buildings were destroyed and most of the city disappeared into the sea. Over 2,000 people died and more than 3,000 had serious injuries. Many of the victims were swallowed up by the earth. There is a very exciting story about Lewis Galdy; he was swallowed alive into the earth by one shock and then was thrown into the sea by another shock. He swam until a boat took him up. Galdy lived forty-seven years after his miraculous escape and is buried in the St. Peter’s Anglican churchyard in Port Royal. (Big up yuhself, Jamaica National Heritage Trust Website for this bevy of information.) Pretty interesting, no?
This appears to come a little too naturally to him, don't you think?

Negasi as he tells a very detailed story of how 'the pirates' would go into the garden you see behind him and play football.

Fort Charles, canons...

More canons...

The Giddy House-tilted at a 35 degree angle by a 1907 earthquake.  This structure used to serve as an artillery storehouse.

Some folks who took the tour with us. They stand upright, yet leaned over in the Giddy House. 

Better pic of the slant.

Lo and anchor!

1 comment:

  1. Imagine standing in the Giddy House after a few shots hehe. Great pics! The story you provided above reminds me of the Biblical tale of Jonah. He was swallowed by a big fish but then spit back out for another chance at life. Port Royal seems like it is a great stage for a story about rebirth.