Palm trees in the Trade Winds

Cruises are not only a great way to enjoy a smorgasbord of travel experiences in a short time, but also a great travel sampler that points the way to return visits.

 

My first taste of Barbados as a cruise ship port of call made it quickly clear that a return visit was needed to experience the best of what the island had to offer.

Bridgetown’s impressive city center

 

Bridgetown has the look of a seat of government, much of it dating from the days when the possession was administered by the British colonial service.

 

 

Tail end of a military parade

Boats of all types are anchored here

 

 

 

 

 

 

For many, bicycles are the transit of choice

 

 

 

Today it’s the island nation’s capital, and the city has a free and easy tropical gait.

 

 

Boats of every type constantly move in and out of its harbor.

 

 

 

Bicycles and donkey carts share the streets with cars.

 

 

Cars share the roads with horse-drawn carts

 

 

The British ruled and planted sugar cane here for more than 350 years, and as in in so many former British possessions, Barbados marries English culture and African heritage to produce delightful contrasts.

Cottage near Bridgetown

Island cottage near Bridgetown

There are cottages and hedgerows and floral gardens and red postal letterboxes.

There are also Rastafarians, dreadlocks tucked up under rastacaps.

Waiting for the bus

Fruit-vending Rastafarians

Coastal hamlet

 

About 2 in 5 of the island’s quarter million inhabitants live in and around Bridgetown.

 

The rest are scattered among small villages and hamlets across barely more than 150 square miles and along 60 miles of coastline.

 

Village transport

 

If you can avoid going in circles it’s hard to get lost here for very long!

 

Situated around 100 miles beyond the Grenadines into the Atlantic, Barbados is the easternmost of Caribbean islands and on occasion a hurricane bellwether.

Atlantic coast

The rugged coastline of the Eastern shore faces into the Atlantic wind and waves.

Beach facing the Caribbean

The western and southern shores are marked by fine, white sandy beaches and aquamarine water.

Rainbow at day’s end

There’s lots yet left to see in the days ahead:  Plantation great houses and tropical gardens and a rum distillery.

It seems a good omen that the day closes with a beautiful evening rainbow enjoyed over a rum punch!

Advertisements