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All about Barbados


After about 300 years of British heritage, Barbados has become 'veddy British,' and Bajans, as Barbadians call themselves, are not about to stop now.

Cricket is huge in the sports category of Bajan lifestyles. There is a statue of British Royal Navy Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson in Trafalgar Square, Bridgetown, the Bajan capital.

There is also a dress code; formal attire isn't just for weddings and funerals. Businessmen dress up, even to the point of sometimes wearing a jacket as well as a tie. And, here, bathing suits are strictly for the beach.

Topping it all off is the Bajan obsession for education. Literacy is around 100 percent. Bajans overseas are so highly educated that they are the first to be hired, the last to be fired.

It should come as no surprise that Barbados was the first British Colony to back England in its 1939 declaration of war against Germany. Bajans fired off a cable to London and informed the Mother Country that they had nothing to fear - because "Little England is with you."

"Little England," as Barbados was called in Colonial days, also has a Scottish section. The so-called Scottish District can best be viewed from the top of Cherry Tree Hill about 850 feet above sea level.

From that vantage point, you can see all of St Andrew's Parish, named after the Patron Saint of Scotland. No more cherry trees, though. They have been replaced with mahogany trees.

What to do on Barbados? For starters, there is kitesurfing, windsurfing, spelunking (exploring caves), golf and tours ranging from safari to rum, submarine, helicopter and catamaran adventures.

Highly recommended are the so-called Seven Wonders: Harrison's Cave, for its gallery of stalactites; the huge Baobab or Monkey Bread tree; two of the Western Hemisphere's three Jacobean mansions; the intact and restored Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill; the 17th century Jewish synagogue; the world's rarest collection of 17th century English iron cannons; and the place where a Bajan citrus cross-fertilization produced the world's first grapefruit.

In addition, there are many romantic plantation houses, a zoo, and the world-class Pelican Crafts Centre. At Orchid World, there are thousands of orchids in and around the cane fields of St George Parish.

What's for dinner? Your choices are mind-boggling. Bajans are known for their tasty flying fish dishes, but there are many non-Bajan eateries, ranging from Chinese to Japanese, French, Polynesian, Italian, French and Greek.

If you arrive by cruise ship, as thousands of visitors do, the capital city of Bridgetown is only about a mile from the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal. If you arrive by air, you will land at an airport so advanced that it was named the best in the Caribbean in the World Travel Award competition in New York City in 2003. Barbados, at the same time, was named best Caribbean destination, best Caribbean tourist board, the leading Caribbean golf centre, and head of the pack in boutique hotels.

On the windward (east) coast, there is a constant breeze to temper the island's marine tropical climate. Bajans enjoy a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as many caves and underground lakes. The drinking water is considered to be one of the purest in the Caribbean.

In short, Barbados is a beautiful place with much to offer in the arts, entertainment, hotel and restaurant fields. In the science category, you can find geological phenomena unlike any other formations throughout the Caribbean.

And the people couldn't be nicer or friendlier. Try to arrange your visit during the gala "Crop Up," when Bajans celebrate the harvest season.


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