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Bridgetown, Barbados

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Link to YouTube video on the port is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GG8iBVuK0eQ

Barbados was first visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown.  The island first appeared on a Spanish map in 1511.  When an English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625, the men took possession of it in the name of King James 1. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England.  Barbados became an English, and later, a British colony.  On November 30, 1966, Barbados gained its independence from England.  The island has retained many of the English customs, such as driving on the left, afternoon tea and cricket.

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Bajan cuisine is a mixture of African, Indian, Irish, Creole and British influences. The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou  & fried Flying Fish with a spicy gravy.  Flying Fish sandwiches are also served at many of the beach bars and are a popular snack.  We visited a local grocery store and bought several packets of Bajan seasoning.  Can’t wait to try it!

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We walked into town from the cruise port and found a fish market.  Oh how I wished I had a way to cook some of it!

In the center of downtown lies Broad Street.  It runs directly through the center of the city and passes the Parliament Buildings.  Here you will find the center of city’s shopping area.  Just across from the Parliament buildings is a statue of Lord Nelson, which is actually older than the one in London.  On the other side of the street, there is a canal which leads directly to the ocean and a small draw bridge for larger, private vessels.

The Mount Gay Rum visitors center in Barbados claims to be the world’s oldest remaining rum company, with an confirmed deed from 1703.  It was originally called “Kill-Devil” by the Barbadians who first distilled it.   Cockspur Rum, which began in 1884 when Valdemar Hanschell created the rum and Malibu, which began in 1893 and is now owned by Pernod Ricard, are also from the island.

After exploring the town, we walked back to the ship to grab our swimming and snorkel gear.  Barbados has some of the cleanest water in the Caribbean and is known for its expansive beaches.  After a short taxi ride, we found a spot on the white sand beach near Shipwreck Beach.  We didn’t see any turtles, but did see some fish.  The water was a little cooler than St. Thomas, most likely due to the fact that is situated with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. Barbados is the easternmost island in the Lesser Antilles.   Even though it was a little cooler,  we were able to stay in the water for a long time and really enjoyed ourselves.  I highly recommend visiting the beaches of Barbados.

At sail away, we spotted a turtle swimming alongside the ship.

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This is one island I would consider returning to for a land stay.  It is a popular destination for the English and other European countries.  One thing to remember when packing though….camouflage wear by the non-military is illegal in Barbados….even by children.  It is actually a good idea to NOT wear this type of clothing in ANY Caribbean country.

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