Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Friday, February 1, 1074 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD t More people discovering British Virgin Islands Getting away from it all Vacationers walk along a secluded beach on the island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Virgin Qorda offers one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the Caribbean, but, unlike the neighboring U.S. Virgin Islands, develop- ment on the British isles has been kept in check. By EVELVN OLDHAM ROAD TOWN, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (CP) The Virgins in Caribbean travel talk are frequently the target of quips and sallies. This is true both of the quiet, relatively unknown British isles, and the neighboring American Virgins with their numerous, hotels, milling crowds of duty-free shoppers and busy night life. The little jokes abound and even the tourist office in the United States Virgins hands out stickers proclaiming in capi- tal letters, "I AM A VIR- followed in small let- ters by the word "islander" The British Virgins may be the quiet ones but they are no wallflowers, although they re- semble their American sisters in being hilly, dry and blessed with many dreamy beaches To new arrivals they some- times seem to be mixed-up kids For example, they cele-- brated 200 years of the British connection last year by hav- ing special coins minted in the U.S. These bear the Queen's head but the denominations are in cents and have bracketed (U.S. Pictures still are displayed around the island of a visit the Queen and Prince Philip made here a few years ago. and this year Princess Margaret came for the bicentennial ceremonies. The islands' stamps have been collectors' items for years because, like the coin- age, they display the Queen with the value stamped in U.S. currency The stamps sell so well that the small post office in Road Town has long played an important part in the islands' economy. The flag is red, white and blue and looks like the Union Jack. Cricket is the popular sport here and when people feel like a drink they drop into a pub and perhaps have an English beer and play some darts. St. Ursula, who inspired Co- lumbus to name these islands, is shown on the coat of arms and in the British Virgins St. Ursula's Day, Oct 21, is a holiday. Islanders for generations have owned their own plots of land and homes and, although many of the men work in the nearby U.S. Virgins, they re- main tied to their own soil. Surprisingly, two of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the whole of the Ca- ribbean are Rockefel- ler-built layout on Virgin Gorda and a Norwegian mil- lionaire's complex on Peter Island. The rest are small hotels which include efficiency units with pools and beach cottages where the doors and windows are open night and day In one, a myna bird welcomes guests in a fine Oxford accent and the zonk of the BBC time signal. Another inn, rich in paintings and antiques, reposes inside an old fort and has the at- mosphere of an English club Still another covers most of an islet and here guests sit around big tables passing ca- rafes of house wine and later gather for coffee laced with rum The wife of one hotel owner summed up the British Vir- gins this way: "We don't get Die swingers here We get peo- ple who like beaches, the sea, boats and informal living. They arrive white and tired and after a few days they look like different people. It's nice to see what the Virgins do for these men." The Virgins enclose a sea that offers some of the best sailing in the world. There are coral reefs and schools of fish to snorkel over, and skippers take groups out to the blue marlin world record catch was made in these wa- ters. These unsung beauties are being discovered by more and more people each year. But islanders say development will be kept in check so that they may keep the even tenor of their ways These Virgins may have hangups resulting from a mix- ture, of British heritage and American proximity but they are no mixed-up kids 'Fly now pay later9 plans are outdated -The Herald Travel MONTREAL Use of credit cards to purchase air travel has made redundant the existence of "fly now pay later" plans and British Airways has announced a new system of deferred payment for travel available through two major Canadian banks. Long the butt of many a joke, the "fly now pay later" plan showed a sharp drop in use when the public routinely began using credit cards. The sharpest drop in the use of the plan developed the year Chargex cards came into existence.- Passport Photos Candid Weddings Picture Framing Photo Supplies A. E. CROSS STUDIO Phone 328-0111 7103rdAve. S. Phone 328-0222 Britain seeks to allay fears of vacationers LONDON (CP) The British Tourist Authority is continuing its policy of trying to offset bad publicity overseas because of the country's economic crisis by 2 new ships being built for Cunard Two new cruise ships now being constructed by Cunard will be named Cunard Countess and Cunard Con- quest The sisterships, which will enter service in mid-1975, are being built to serve the warm-water, vaca- tion cruise market. Cunard Countess and Cunard Conquest will be 543 feet, 9 inches in length and 74 feet, 10 inches in width. They will have a cruising speed of 20 5 knots Both ships will carry 748 passengers in lower beds Among the 382 passenger ac- commodations will be 26 deluxe staterooms, 217 outside doubles. 123 inside doubles and 16 outside singles. All rooms will be air-conditioned and have private bath shower, and toilet. Each ship will have ten decks and sq. ft. of open deck space. Public rooms will include a 500-seat dining room. 500-capacity main lounge. 200-seat night observation lounge for 225 and a specially equipped meeting and conference room which can accommodate 125. A secluded starboard lounge will hold approximaleh 40 bringing over 11 Canadian journalists and broadcasters to see the brighter side of life in Britain. Jim Stewart, a special assignments reporter 'with Montreal Star, said he found things "fairly normal" in London since arriving, although the darkened streets and candlelight in many stores had come as a bit of a surprise The tourist authority, alarmed by what it believes is a distorted picture of Britain being given by foreign jour- nalists and broadcasters, is anxious to reassure prospective vacationers that things are not as bad as they sound. Officials recently brought over a clutch of U.S. writers to visit London and similar visits are planned for European groups. Stewart, who lived and worked here in 1968 and 1969, said the Canadians were taken to theatres, restaurants "and all the places tourists usually go-" He said he did not have a bad impression of life in Britain before leaving on the trip, "although I thought ordinary people might be suffering more than they are" He said the theatres were cool because heat was turned down voluntarily but added they were not uncomfortable. "As far as a tourist is Stewart said, "things are fine here." Dates changed The dates of the upcoming meeting of the American Camping Congress have been moved ahead to May 8 and 9, 1974. These dates are concurrent with National Family Camping Week. May 5-11 Charter Flights to. LONDON Aboard WARDAIR luxury iet Weekend departures 2. 3 and 4 weeks Return fares from S254-S339 For further Infe rth contact A.M.A. WORLD TRAVEL SERVICE BLEMISHED RADIAL PLY SNOW TIRES Sears Tire and Auto Centre GUARANTEED MONTHS agamst tread wear-out Personal Shopping Please While Quantities and Last ER70-14 ER70-14 GR70-14 HR70-14 FITS 7.35-14 7.75-14 8.25-14 8.55-14 BEG. I SALE 34.49 3849 3849 42.49 25.87 28.87 Made with 2 radial ravon body plys plus strong rayon belts for longer mileage superior control. 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