Sweet Samoa and Stevenson

One of the fun things about island-hopping in the Pacific is the feeling of time warp when crossing the international dateline. Leaving Fiji on 15 April, we arrived in Samoa a few hours later on 14 April, miraculously gaining a day – then promptly lost it when going to Tonga. Then there’s Stevenson.

Samoa - Apia skyline
Apia skyline

The girls and I adored Samoa!

Natural pools…
Samoa - Piula pools
Piula pools

Clear, green water and fascinating caves to swim through…

Samoa - Piula pools 3
Piula pools and blurry kids

Pretty waterfalls…
Samoa - Falefa falls
Falefa falls

Quirky bits of history…

Samoa - Baha'i Temple
Bahá’i Temple on Upolu

The Bahá’i community, builders of extraordinarily beautiful temples, have built one of only 7 temples in the world on Samoa. The prime minister, Malietoa Tanumafili II – who died in 2007 – was the first reigning sovereign to follow the Bahá’i faith.

And one of our favourite hotels in the world, worthy of a post all of its own…

Samoa - Aggie Grey's
Aggie Grey’s

Samoa Stevenson

Plenty of others have adored Samoa as well – including Scottish novelist, poet and travel writer Robert Louis Stevenson. After sailing around the Pacific, looking for a place that would be beneficial for his lung ailments, he finally settled in Samoa. Locally he was known as Tusitala, the story teller. He died at Vailima, much too young, at age 44. Today, his home houses an excellent museum. His grave is in the hills of Mount Vaea nearby, at a spot overlooking the sea.

Samoa Stevenson
Vailima, Robert Louis Stevenson’s house on the Samoan island of Upolu

Stevenson was a staunch supporter of Samoan independence. He would have been happy today, I imagine. Formerly known as German Samoa, the tiny country has been tossed around a bit and only gained independence (from New Zealand) in 1962.



13 Responses to “Sweet Samoa and Stevenson”

  1. Alli 19 March 2010 1430 #

    Samoa <3

  2. kim 20 March 2010 1537 #

    You have been everywhere! Samoa looks nice and I like Stevenson. Maybe this was the inspiration behind Treasure island?

  3. Robert 22 March 2010 0011 #

    Wow! Interesting. I’m not familiar with this part of the world at all. Is Samoa different from American Samoa?

  4. Sharlene 22 March 2010 0332 #

    Island hopping around the International Date Line. Sounds like heaven to me…

  5. Sabina 26 March 2010 1245 #

    You go the coolest places. I’m glad the Pacific roaches left you alone here.

  6. Heather on her travels 27 March 2010 1914 #

    I’ve been reading about Robert Louis Stevensen and his wife and their life on Samoa where he enjoyed good health that he couldn’t get in cold, damp Scotland. It’s an interesting story and I wouldn’t mind going to see where he lived.

  7. Sophie 8 April 2010 1954 #

    Thanks guys!

    @Kim: That’s a good question. I shall have to look that up. (And read Treasure Island as well – haven’t since I was a teen).

    @Robert: Yes. Samoa used to be called German Samoa, then Western Samoa. American Samoa is, well American (a so-called unincorporated US territory), like Guam and Puerto Rico, as far as I understand – meaning the people are US nationals but not citizens, i.e. they can’t vote.

    The two are neighbours and there are boats between Apia and Pago Pago in Am. Samoa. We didn’t go – not enough time, but I’m sure it would have been interesting to observe the differences.

  8. ebookssurfer 3 August 2010 1633 #

    gracias, interesante

  9. Camels & Chocolate 24 June 2011 1851 #

    I love the “time travel” visiting Australia and the South Pacific allows. And, sitting in 40 degree cold, what I wouldn’t give to be in the tropics right now!


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