Road Town - Tortola, BVI
Sunday Morning Well
Perhaps the most meaningful, historic site in the British Virgin Islands, is the Sunday Morning Well. This is where many slaves learned of their long awaited freedom nearly 200 years ago.
A bronze plaque commemorating this solemn event simply states: "On August 1st, 1834, the Proclamation of Emancipation was read in the territory of the Virgin Islands proclaiming 5,133 Negro slaves free. This historic site, popularly known as the Sunday Morning Well is one of the sites where the order was read, abolishing the English plantation slavery system.
The government administration building (below) sits at the water's edge, overlooking Road Harbour and beside the new and improved cruise ship pier.
Today, the BVI is recognized as one of the most affluent of all Caribbean nations and Road Town, Tortola is testament to advancements made. The capital still has a lot of improving and beautifying to do, but whenever I drive into town, I am amazed by all that is here. When you consider the entire population of the Islands is less than 30,000 people ... it's really quite remarkable!
BVI Government Administration Building
While in town, you will find many shops to visit including the always popular Sunny Caribbee Spice Company
, Bamboushay Gift Shop
and the lovely Mi Amor Jewellers
(seen above) replaced an unsightly tent city that had popped up beside the cruise ship dock many years ago. Here you'll find some local crafts, some original artwork by Joseph Hodge
the obligatory T-shirts shacks and some wonderfully colourful Caribbean Apparel.
Entrance to Road Harbour
Inner Harbour, Road Town
Road Town's commercial center is wrapped around Road Harbour, the entrance to which is seen in the photo above. Further into the bay is the Inner Harbour, seen below. No fewer than 29 restaurants, delis and bakeries
, dozens of shops and several bareboat yacht charter companies are based here.
This is the home of the first bareboat charter company in the world. In 1969, Charley & Ginny Cary launched "The Moorings" bareboat company with only three boats in their fleet. That number quickly grew to six and has continued to grow exponentially! Today, The Moorings is the largest charter company with bases all over the world and the British Virgin Islands are hands down, the number one sailing destination.
Road Town Ferry Terminal
Peebles Hospital, Road Town
BVI Supreme Court and Legislative Council
Many visitors opt to fly into St. Thomas and take the ferry to Tortola. The Road Town Ferry Terminal is right in the heart of the business district and is close to banks, many restaurants, grocery stores, etc.
V.I.S.A.R. (Virgin Islands Search & Rescue) and the BVI Marine Police are based at Road Reef Marina which is just a stones throw from Peebles Hospital (above). The hospital is also serviced by a helicopter landing pad, located a hop-skip-and-jump from where I was standing to take the photo.
The BVI Supreme Court and Legislative Council building stands just a few hundred yards from the Sunday Morning Well.
Noel Lloyd, a BVI hero
has a park named in his honour.