Wednesday, October 20, 2010


From the minute you enter the environs of Cyril E. King International Airport on St. Thomas, you know you're in the tropics. The check-in area is completely open-air, with a roof and a few columns separating ticketing agents from the elements. Baggage pick-up is in a large, hangar-like facility with heavy-duty ceiling fans spinning so fast they look like they're about to have a flight of their own. The eight departure gates all lead to a tarmac where you will be met with a flight of stairs leading to your plane.

There are no jetways at STT, and it is unusual to see passengers clad in much more than shorts, shirts, and flip-flops. The western end of the only runway at STT is surrounded on three sides by water.

Landing during the daytime is especially exciting, as planes usually approach from the west to land on the runway, the western end of which is pictured above. To feel the plane steadily lowering, with nothing in sight but water, until suddenly, a runway materializes just a few feet below you, is certainly a thrill.

Of course, taking off from STT has its own joys. You take off over Charlotte Amalie, the largest city on St. Thomas, and continue to gain altitude with the rest of the island unfolding below you. Soon, your view is dotted with fluffy white clouds, blue green waters and enticing Caribbean islands

The view coming into New York at sunset was nearly as spectacular as the one leaving St. Thomas, as the Jersey shore came into sight, the first bit of land since we'd run out of islands four hours before.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog