Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum

The Robert Louis Stevenson museum is a must-see if you are in Apia, Samoa. The house is lovely, the tour guides are knowledgeable, and the walk to the grave on a Mount Vaea is beautiful. Stevenson spent his last 4 1/2 years in Samoa at the end of the 19th century. He wrote 5 books here and was popular with the Samoans because he spoke out against colonial abuses and inefficiency. Stevenson was given a Samoan name of Tusitala - "teller of tales".

When Stevenson died (aged 44) hundreds of Samoans watched over his body, cleared a path to the top of the mountain, and bore his coffin to the grave site.

Stevenson did much of his writing from his bed as he was quite ill during his last years.

Grand hall at Vailima

Recent portrait of Stevenson

On the veranda at Vailima

Cat rug in smoking room

Sculpture comemorating the end of cannibalism. Legend has it that the chief's son had himself wrapped in leaves as a sacrifice to save a chosen victim. His father, upon seeing his son, chose to substitute fish for the feast from then on. 

Cook house at Vailima

Epitaph on grave - written by Stevenson for himself

Camilla and Joanna - our Norwegian friends, joined us on the hike to the grave high above Vailima

Stevenson's grave. His wife, Fanny is also buried here.

Vailima - the right hand wing was added by the German governor who lived here after the Stevensons left.

1 comment:

Adrian & Jackie said...

Pleased to see our photo of you both on the Vailima verandah made it to the blog, and pleased too that you all enjoyed the trek to RLS's tomb. We are Jackie and Adrian, and we have other photos of our own that you might like to see, especially one of you both walking off the marina at Apia a day or two before we actually met you! (Rani said you had seen us earlier, so must have been that day.) If you can contact us we'll send them to you.