We were driving in a speedboat to Paradise Island. Ruins of a building were rising on our left on the island when we were approaching. I learned later that the ruins were the former famous hotel of Santa Carolina. Bob Dylan was writing the song “Paradise Island” in the hotel’s ballroom and many other artists like Elton John had a great time there. But it all changed when the hotel owner’s wife died and the hotel eventually was closed. The cyclones, the sea and the plunderers made from the place what it is now. Even the windows from the small chapel were stolen. But there is something nobody can steel or destroy. The spirit of Paradise Island is still there; one can feel it with every step. It’s easy to imagine Bob Dylan in the ballroom, although it is now just a floor with some pillars and an open view over the ocean. Maybe that’s what the song anyway captures, the spirit and not the buildings. It’s just such a pity that this beautiful old Portuguese architecture is lost. The promenade to the beach is majestic and then this amazingly beautiful beach. There are rumors that an organization bought the hotel and is going to built a new resort. That’s just the point; it will be new. I hope when a new project starts the people will remember the paradise spirit and integrate some old parts of the architecture to continue the story of Paradise Island.
View the video about Paradise Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcQFqqQsy5o&feature=g-upl