The Island of Spice
Leaving behind Saint Lucia, we depart onto a last island-country in this cruise through the Caribbean before ending up at the starting point Barbados. Here we are in Grenada, docking at its capital city Saint George’s. First sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1498 during his third voyage to the Americas, and although claimed for the Crown of Spain, there was never found any evidence of settlement there. It was not until 1650 that the French settled and founded the capital at the eastern edge of the harbour named Saint Louis, however not a good location due to flooding and malaria, hence a new capital was built, Ville de Fort Royal.
After the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the island was ceded to Great Britain who named it Saint George’s Town, after the patron saint of England. It remained ever since British until its independence on 7th of February 1974. The Queen of England is still the Head of State as Grenada is a member of the Commonwealth Nations.
One of the main economies in this small island is the production of Nutmeg. Although this is not a tree from here, was back in 1843 when a merchant ship called in on its way to England from the East Indies carrying some Nutmeg trees that they left behind. This was the beginning of a booming industry in the island that now produces 40% of the world’s annual crop. Other spices such as clove or cinnamon are also very popular crops and wealthy economically speaking. Tourism is, of course, the most important direct influx in the economy of the island these days. (more…)