My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Saturday’s scene: Napoleon Slept Here

2011/08/20by Donna Hull

longwood-house-saint-helena

Longwood House, Saint Helena

Not only did Napoleon sleep here at Longwood House on the South Atlantic island of St Helena, this was the location of his exile from 1815 until his death in 1821. Boomer travelers interested in visiting the historic location will need to book a cruise. Since St Helena has no airport, arriving by ship is the only way to reach one of the most remote places in the world. Alan and I visited when our Regent ship, Seven Seas Navigator, sailed from Cape Town, South Africa to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Options for touring include booking an excursion through the ship’s travel desk, finding a tour company online or negotiating with one of a few taxi/car services waiting by the port. If you decide on the taxi, plan on being first off the ship. They go fast. And don’t forget to stop by the Governor’s House to see the giant tortoise.

Have you visited St. Helena? Post a comment to share your experience. Alan and I are amazed that we made it to one of the most remote places in the world.

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A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Betty August 20, 2011 at 10:42 am

I loved my visit to this beautiful island. Reminds me of the New Zealand countryside north of Auckland. Wish the stop had been longer. It would have been nice to spend more time chatting with the residents. Many come down just for the opportunity to met the visitors. Very open and friendly people. And I agree with Donna, those tortoises are something to see.

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
August 20, 2011 at 11:12 am

Betty, I agree, it was fun meeting the locals who were so happy to chat with new faces. I can’t imagine what it must be like to live on an island where the only escape is a mail ship that comes once a month, if you’re lucky. And I was surprised how beautiful the flowers were.

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Mark H August 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Wow, I never knew where St Helena was and boy, is it remote. Great story on this unusual location.
Mark H recently posted..The Viking Ship Museum (Oslo, Norway)My Profile

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Spinster August 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm

This makes me curious. Gonna add this to my travel list. Thanks for sharing.
Spinster recently posted..The Riots 4 – street debate.My Profile

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
August 21, 2011 at 6:34 am

If you like remote places, Saint Helena is a pleasant surprise.

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lily riani August 21, 2011 at 3:57 am

looks so peaceful and quaint

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
August 21, 2011 at 6:33 am

Yes, it was quaint, but very isolated. If you get really sick on Saint Helena, you have to wait for the boat to come to take you to Cape Town.

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Adelyn Lee August 22, 2011 at 8:38 am

I’ve never been out there; actually, I hadn’t even heard of it, which is embarrassing for a history buff! Another one for the bucket list. What inspired you to head out to St. Helena?

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
August 22, 2011 at 10:20 am

Adelyn, it was on our cruise itinerary. And we were lucky to actually visit St. Helena. It requires riding a tender and oftentimes the seas are too rough to allow the landing.

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Vera Marie Badertscher
Twitter:
August 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

What a wonderful adventure. So glad you got to see it. Were you inspired to read a biography of Napoleon after that?
Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..What I Learned About ItalyMy Profile

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
August 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Alas, Vera, I just moved on to the next thing. The story of my life. This boomer needs to take more time to read. Do you have a biography of Napoleon to suggest?

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Heather on her travels
Twitter:
September 18, 2011 at 8:59 am

Wonderful that you could get to this remote place – I’d be interested to see where Napoleon spent his last days
Heather on her travels recently posted..Glorious Autumn Colour at Hidcote Manor Gardens – VideoMy Profile

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John Coyle November 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Just came across your site while searching for an image of a St. Helena lily. I was lucky enough to live on St. Helena for just over two years: you are right, it is an amazing place with the best people I have ever lived amongst. One day I’ll go back, the new airport will make it so much easier. If you would like to see why landing can sometimes be next to impossible, have a look at:
http://www.members.iinet.net.au/~jcoyle@iinet.net.au/Rollers/index.html

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Donna Hull
Twitter:
November 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Hi John, Thanks for stopping by to comment. I’m glad our ship didn’t arrive during the growlers that you photographed. I’m sure they would have kept us from visiting St. Helena, which would have been a great disappointment. I checked news reports and the airport is scheduled to be completed in 2016, just in time for the retirement of the RMS Saint Helena, the ship that now delivers provisions, mail and people to the island.

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Lee February 20, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Hi Donna
I visited napoleons house last summer where he was also exiled. This was on the isle of Elbe just off the north east tip of Corsica. What surprised me though was. When I found out how long he was actually there. Less than a year a great island and a great place just didn’t seem quite the same when I found out he was there only for a year.

Great post thanks lee

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Ray Hambley May 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

I went to St Helena as a young electrical officer on a ship owned by the British and Commonwealth Shipping Company in the late 1960’s or early 70’s. We delivered amongst other cargo,beer,and the one pub there opened so the townsfolk and ourselves could drink the place dry until the next supply ship arrived a couple of months later. Visited Napoleon’s place,and now aged 67 living in Australia I remember it well,and consider myself very fortunate to have sailed on that voyage to such a remote and wonderful place.

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