Barbados, Pride and Industry
If you were wondering about the title, rest assured: that’s the actual, official motto of Barbados, a small insular country located in the Caribbean’s Lesser Antilles islands.
By small, I mean that Barbados only has a land surface of 167 square miles and a petite population of ~280,000 souls, as per the 2013 census.
Regardless, Barbados which means “the bearded people” is a top-notch tourist destination, and that’s why we are here, right?
Being located in the western part of the Atlantic Ocean, Barbados sits right in the path of hurricanes, in an area that’s named “the hurricane belt”. Nevertheless, this is a country that boasts with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with fine white sands and deep, blue, crystal waters.
The Platinum Coast of the island is a legendary tourist trap, filled with high end resorts, luxury hotels and spas, golf courses, gourmet restaurants and all the benefits of modern civilization.
Along with the 21 th century blessings, a trip inside the island (using a Jeep preferably) will reveal old and decrepit sugar mills, ancient plantation houses, traditional/colonist era churches and maybe the best rum in the world.
What to see, what to do in Barbados
Let us start with the country’s capital and largest city, Bridgetown, the place to be in if you want to learn about the colonial history of the place. You can visit National Heroes Square, which harbors a 19th century old statue of Lord Nelson, the neo-gothic Parliament building, one of the oldest synagogues in the Western Hemisphere (Bridgetown Synagogue that is) and the vividly colored DaCosta’s Mall.
Chalky Mount Potteries are famous for their quality yet inexpensive art works; while you’re here you can pay a visit to local craftsmen that still do pottery work using 300 years old designs, tradition and machinery.
If you’re a colonial architecture buff, there are quite a few places to enjoy while in Barbados: The Jacobean St Nicholas Abbey (Persian arches and beautiful gardens), Farley Hill (hibiscus and poinsettias covered ruins), The George Washington House and Museum(an epically restored plantation) or Tyrol Cot(the former residence of Sir Grantley Adams, Barbados’s first premier and an awesome piece of architecture from the colonial era).
Crane Beach brags with its pink sands, being an idyllic location, perfect for spending your honey moon with your loved one. The waters are calm here, making for a nice surfing party if you’re into water sports.
The national sport in Barbados is cricket, a boring sport suitable for old people yet a national obsession here.
Carlisle Bay is a legendary place where you can discover ancient ship wrecks, as in wreck diving, maybe the most romantic type of scuba diving that is. There are a couple of hundred reported ship wrecks waiting to be discovered here.
Go driving on the East Coast Road, a rough and tough coastal highway taking you to one of the most popular tourist destinations, Bathsheba, and letting you admire along the way the beautiful coral reefs and the inland sugar cane plantations.
Fishing in Barbados is an art in its own, and if you’re a fish lover, here you can catch everything, ranging from tuna to shark, since all kinds of fish enjoy Barbados clear and deep waters.
Barbados harbors a magnificent botanic garden, Welchman Hall Gully’s, where you can admire exotic spice trees and rare fruits.
If you’re into lakes, waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites, Harrison’s Cave has much to offer in what is usually called a jaw dropping scenery.
Scuba diving and horse racing are local delicatessen to say the least. You can go galloping along the white sandy beaches, in the sunset, or enjoy Barbados’s coral reefs, where seahorses and giant sand eels are a common occurrence.
The oldest rum producer in the world is in Barbados, on the west coast of the island, under the improbable name of Mount Gay Rum. You can drink responsibly and rest assured, it’s okay to be gay after you’ve sipped a couple glasses of the sugar cane made liquor.
Food and Drink
Barbados’s cuisine is an eclectic choice of foods where you can eat virtually anything, from fish and chips snacks in good ol’British tradition to global cuisine.
Specialties include cutters (big fish sandwiches served with spiced cornmeal, tomatoes, peppers and onions), conkies(the same cornmeal, this time blended with pumpkin, coconut, raisins and all sorts of spices, put together and steamed inside a banana leaf), rice’n’peas(coconut flavored), sea eggs, pickled pork, grilled pigtails, crane chubb, breadfruit and plantains.
As for drinking, rum is awesome here and there are myriads of rum based cocktails to choose from.
If you want to enter and have fun in Barbados, you’ll require a valid passport but no Visa. Have fun.