Bridgetown, Barbados

Coral Rocks at Bathsheba

Sad to say, this cruise is almost over.  Starting today we have four port days in a row, in the beautiful Caribbean.  We have been to Barbados before, and were happy to have a return visit.  Unlike most of the Caribbean islands which are volcanic, Barbados is mostly a coral island.  

We had originally been scheduled for snorkeling with the turtles here, but our American Express excursion was rescheduled for Barbados, and we opted to go on that one because we knew we’d see things we wouldn’t get to see on regular tours.  Our excursion got off to a bit of a messy start, because our group host did not understand where the bus would be.  Those of us who are familiar with the area were able to figure it out and find our bus.  When we got to the bus, the first thing we discovered was that our tour guide would be the same one we’d had two years ago, whom we really liked.    

Our first stop was the Petrea Garden, a private garden that Marcus, the owner and a professional landscaper, sometimes opens to tour groups.  Marcus has 5 acres of land, and he is building a gorgeous garden, complete with water and bridges, fish and turtles.  It is a work in progress.  He guided us through the garden and told us about the various plants he has.  There are many exotic plants as well as plants that are native to Barbados.  He sometimes rents the garden out for parties and weddings.  It would be a beautiful setting for either.

Our second stop was at the St. James parish church.  It may be the oldest church on the island; it is very simple in design, but very beautiful.  This church has artifacts from 1684 and a bell (no longer operational) which predates the U.S. Liberty Bell by 50 years!

We then went to the Arlington House Museum in Speightstown.  This museum has a number of technical gadgets and presentation schemes which are quite modern and interesting but overall the visit was somewhat lacking.  The gadgets don't draw you through the museum and there was not guide or pamphlet (that we saw) to do that.  We did see a pretty good historical video as part of one room's exhibits.

We drove past one of the only two remaining windmills in the Caribbean (the other one is on another island).  This one was used in the production of sugar.  We had a couple of scenic stops for photographs, one high on a hill, and the other at Bathsheba.  Bathsheba is a small town with a beautiful beach that has some iconic coral rocks that make it instantly recognizable if you have seen it once.  Our last stop was at the nearby Atlantis Hotel for a buffet lunch.  The most interesting part of the lunch was that they served fried flying fish.  It was a little bit hard to bring ourselves to eat it, because just the day before we had been watching them from the deck.  But we did eat it, and both of us found it to be delicious.  We also tried their rum punch and two local beers.  After lunch we took a walk down to the beach, where we found plenty of snail shells that were occupied by their original owners, and also a lot of sea fans that had washed up.  We picked up several of them, which actually made it home successfully.

There are additional photos in the album.

                                                                           Saint James Parish Church

© Susan L. Stone 2015