June 17, 2016 | Flight distance: 963 nm | Hours in the air: 2.25
What a difference two hours of flying over the ocean make! Everything here is nice & neat, clean, organised and in good shape. The people are a joy and our hotel finally a place again one likes to stay the night.
We now are at the easternmost point of our journey (UTC + 13 hours) and it is nicely hot and humid, but very tolerable. A tour of Apia (capital and main town) in beautiful late afternoon light reaffirmed our opinion that this island would be worth a second visit. On top came a long awaited proper dinner (including the red stuff) and a very intriguing short glimpse of Samoan night live, albeit nothing to write home about.
This small nation is very proud of its history spanning back over 3000 years and still follows very traditional lifestyle and values. Samoans are the first to regain independence after European colonization.
The origins of the Samoans date back to the eastward Lapita expansion period from Southeast Asia and Melanesia between 2,500 and 1,500 B.C.
Intimate sociocultural and genetic ties were maintained between the eastern Lapita colonies and indicate inter-island voyaging and intermarriage between prehistoric Samoans, Fijians, and Tongans.
Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century. Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutchman, was the first known European to sight the Samoan islands in 1722. Contact was limited before the 1830s which is when English missionaries and traders began arriving. Later the Germans showed great interest in copra and cocoa bean processing until New Zealand took control with the outbreak of WWI in 1914.
Unlike most other islands Samoa was mostly passed by WWII. Independence movements were present and violent for decades but did not amount to anything until 1961 when Samoa became the first “free nation” from colonization.