by Helle & Flemming Kjærulff
KIERMEET 94 March 5th -17th
Virgin Islands - previously Danish West Indies
There were many good reasons for participating in Kiermeet94:
Meeting other Kjærulfs
Historical and cultural bonds to Denmark
Cap´s grandfather Carl Andreas Kierulff (1786 –1849) was "overretsprokurator" in Christianstad (Saint Croix)
A brief of the trip:
After a successful journey from many parts of the world the Kjærulfs were installed in Hotel Windward.
Kiermeet is a good base for contacts between different Kjærulff´s – Kierulf´s – Kjerul´s –Kjærulf´s – or whatever our name is.
Tours were arranged to the most important tourist places, e.g. the market place, synagogue, 99 Steps, Governors House, Fort from 1672, and a refreshing little museum.
For a Dane it was a nice familiar feeling to walk about in the main city of Saint Thomas, Charlotte Amalie. The street names are Danish – Adelgade – Borgergade – Kongensgade – Pilestræde – Vestergade etc. but supplemented with American names.
Also, the buildings were familiar - red tiled roofs - warehouses and other buildings very similar to those in Denmark 150 years ago.
Today, the town is a busy Americanized tourist city and every day several thousands of tourists are set ashore on a short trip from the large cruise vessels docking daily in Charlotte Amalie. It was almost impossible to move without being hailed by a taxi for a cruise ship.
A trip in open busses to various tourist destinations was a wonderful experience.
Here we are at Mountain Top, the highest point on the island. It is said to be among the 10 most beautiful views in the world.
Beautiful view accompanied by drinking of Banana Daiquiri.
Sailing 15 minutes and what a difference from Saint Thomas. Today, most of the island is a nature reserve.
It has only sparsely built-up areas and at "Annaberg" you can get a very good impression of the conditions of living during the Danish colonization (including the slaves).
A small road accident caused the Kjærulfs to walk more than 400 meters.
At Cruz Bay it was time for swimming and snorkeling.
That was where we were surprised by an enormous tropical rain shower for 10 minutes. Everything was wet.
We stayed at "Hotel on the Cay". That is sailing 2 minutes from Christiansted to the hotel island.
It was luxury - air conditioning - balcony with a view - palm trees - the harbor.
Painted by Buster Bruun
We could see the "the yellow fort" from our hotel. A very beautiful building. It is difficult to imagine what it was once used for.
Again guided tours to he most important sights: - Fort Christiansværn –Steeple house – Governors Palace - Rum factory with sample tasting - Frederikstad - visit at "Little La Grange" where we met Kai and Irene Lawaetz who were living there.
The culmination of the trip the "KIERMEET GALA BUFFET" was held at the restaurant "TOP HAT", owned by a Danish couple.
It was possible to arrange your own tours.
Cap was looking for his grandfather's house in Kings Cross Road and found a ruin. It is now in a parking lot.
Cap at the ruins of his grandfathers mansion in Kings Cross Road
Other Kjærulfs went on a trip with a catamaran to BUCK ISLAND. It is a protected island with plenty of snorkeling next to corals in peculiar shapes and fish in beautiful colors. Everything appeared untouched and wild.
Conservation meant that everything being brought to the island had to be removed again, including fag-ends! Very impressive.
The Kjærulfs were here
Altogether a fantastic KIERMEET. For my part the meeting led to a closer study of genealogy as I met a Kjærulf who strikingly resembled my own family. So now, we are no longer just scattered Kjærulfs but have drawn a clear line back to ANDERS Wulff.