14 February 2015

Guadeloupe - The French Episode. Île des Saintes

The French know how to live.

I’m sitting on a balcony, overlooking a beautiful bay. Colorful little birds fly by, turtles crawl through a garden filled with fruits: bananas, papayas, breadfruit, coconuts, guavas, pomegranates, mangoes, limes, passion fruit, tomatoes and plantains. We had a number of these for breakfast. Everything looks tropical and very European at the same time.  It’s ridiculously perfect.
Very French. -No one speaks English. We’re on Terre de Haut, an island in the archipelago of Guadeloupe.
The food is EXCELLENT. Good wines, fine cheeses, crusty baguettes, baked fresh every 4 hours, delicious yogurt, fresh fruits and tasty vegetables. Not expensive. Many grown here.The restaurants, ON the sand: Starter, main course, (usually fresh fish, and delicious) and dessert, for a set price - just like in France. With a half bottle of good wine.
Ah, how wonderful.
Everything closes down completely from 12:30-3 pm for lunch. It really is the main part of their day, a long lunch, spent with friends and families, talking, lingering at the table, taking forever, in our minds -! No wonder they think we tend to eat and run. We do.
No crime - everyone knows each other. Doors are open and nothing is locked. It feels colorful and organized. The houses are freshly painted, gardens are tidy. Of course, the population on this island is only about 1400.  

The bays are glass-clear. Sailboats scattered tastefully about. 

Visitors can rent scooters, or golf carts, but most people walk. 
It's hilly, but you can walk from one end of the island to the other in an hour or two. 
This place is going to be pretty hard to beat.