Why Not Go to Barbados

September 18th, 2011 - Author: Elena Novopashina

Barbados Island Photo: Sand Beach

What do we know about Barbados? The famous symbols of the Islands are Caesalpinia pulcherrima, also called the Pride of Barbados, rum and of course white sandy beaches that border the coast line.

Let’s look closely at Barbados and surely we’ll discover a lot of curious and fascinating facts.

Photo of Barbados

Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean east of the Caribbean Sea. The original name for Barbados was Ichirouganaim, there are several possible translations of this word: “Red Land with White Teeth”, “Redstone island with teeth outside (reefs)”, or simply “Teeth”. It seems that all of them refer to the landscape features of the island’s coast – much of the country is circled by coral reefs.

Today the official state language is English. It is due to the fact that Barbados was an English colony and the third major English settlement in the Americas. From the first English settlers in 1627 until independence in 1966 when Barbados retrieved its former status of the state, the Island was ruled by the British government.

Of course Britain exerted a great influence on the Island’s culture and on everyday life of Barbadians. A good example of British colonial heritage is typically English sports. Cricket is very popular on the Island, polo and golf are played amongst the rich “elite”.

Tourists from all over the world head to Barbados, and the Island does not disappoint. It responds to all tastes of visitors which can be relatively divided into two groups.

Photo: Surfing in Barbados

The first one, attracted by the famous white and pinkish sandy beaches and the calm light blue Caribbean Sea, prefers the southern and western coasts of Barbados. This area with Bridgetown, the capitol of Barbados, is the most populated. Bridgetown is the commercial and cultural center of the Island. It is a district of duty-free shopping and nightlife. Within a half a mile of Bridgetown other attractions can be found, for example the Parliament Building and National Heroes Square, the Barbados National Museum.

Meanwhile, the second group of tourists heads to the east coast, which faces the Atlantic Ocean. Its lesser populated areas with tumbling waves are perfect for light surfing. Though, these waters are risky to swim due to under-tow currents.

Whichever category of visitors you belong to, arriving in Barbados, you can always expect a warm weather. Barbados is regarded as a Tropical monsoon climate, given to the Island by gentle breezes. The average temperatures range from 21 to 31 °C in December–May, while between June–November, they range from 23 to 31 °C. As you can see the country is generally split into two seasons. The “wet season” runs from June to November, in contrast with the “dry season” that lasts from December to May.

Besides attractions such as wildlife reserves, jewelry stores, scuba diving, helicopter rides, the tourists may really enjoy Barbados’ local cuisine and exotic drinks.

Barbados cuisine is a colorful mix of African, Indian and British culinary traditions. Almost all food is imported to Barbados, which is no good for assortment of dishes, but the abundance of seafood compensates this disadvantage.

As national dish of Barbados people know Cou Cou, a kind of porridge made of corn, and flying fish in all variations. Generally an important place is given to fish and seafood. As a side dish rice is usually served with various sauces, as well as local vegetables and root crops, which are widespread.

Barbadians use widely a variety of meats and poultry. But pork is the most popular, a lot of dishes from traditional schnitzel and burgers to a kind of kebab with spicy sauce are made from it. Specific local seasoning, which is often called “pepper sauce”, is also a particular feature of the local cuisine.

Rum is one of Barbados’ visiting cards. Hundreds of tiny bars and a multitude of colorful shops selling Rum are straggling throughout the Island and became an integral part of local life. Rum is prepared here in dozens of recipes, on its basis Barbadians make all types of cocktails, rum punch, “Pina Colada” and the local version of sangria.

Handmade goods from mahogany, jewelry and local rum are great souvenirs and gifts to buy.

Planning a trip to Barbados, one will never find a good reason why not to go.

Related Photos from Barbados Island:

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