Monday, April 11, 2011

Hanging with Mr. Springer in Bridgetown, Barbados (March 19)

The flag of Barbados...devilish!

Gina’s creation of the day…a stingray!

We arrived in Bridgetown early in the morning and this ship sailed past our window…

And then we spotted these ships already docked. There were going to be a lot of people in Bridgetown today!

Barbados gained its independence from Britain in 1966 and is described as “more English than England sheself.” It celebrated its English tradition, but at the same time had an African heritage from the slaves who were imported to work on the sugar plantations. The earliest inhabitants were the Arawak, a peaceful tribe from South America that inhabited many of the Caribbean islands before European colonization.

It was going to be a hot day so Jim opted to stay on the ship. Barb and Ed and I went out in search of a taxi. We found a very nice driver, Mr. Springer, who agreed to take us on an island tour for $25 each. Sounded good to us! Our first stop was this little beach.

Look at the roots on this tree!

A little rocky, but there was a nice sandy beach farther on.

Mr. Springer decided to tour us through the rich neighbourhood first. These are beach condos…

And then the swanky places…the flowers everywhere were so beautiful.

Sandy Lane resort, where Tiger Woods got married…

And the golf club…definitely out of our league!

Flowers, flowers everywhere!

We saw a lot of gated homes…

Mr. Springer informed us that Cliff Richard stayed here, which didn't mean anything to me because I was thinking Keith Richards. Now I know he is an English singer!

These are the trees for which Barbados is named. Barbados means the "bearded ones” for the shaggy exposed roots of the ficus trees.

The piece hanging down on the right was just like a coiled rope.

A monument to commemorate the first landing of the English in 1605.

Our next stop was St. James Anglican Church, the oldest church in Barbados, built around 1628.

The lights on the beams looked like candles.

This unique sculpture of Mary was dedicated to the church in memory of a Canadian lady who loved Barbados. 

The old registers going back to 1694…

Lovely stained glass…

This modern stained glass depicts a tropical garden with the beautiful blooms between the blue sky and the Caribbean sea. It was locally designed in 1991 and was made from 987 pieces of glass.

A very unique chandelier!

The pipe organ overhead is approximately 130 years old.

The original burial ground was closed in 1887. The earliest legible stone is dated 1700.

No parking!

Wonder what is in here...

From the church we carried on to the Atlantic side of the island where many condos are being built. Look at that black sky!

We stopped at the Polo Club so I could hop out and take pictures of the flowers. They were truly amazing...what a beautiful island!

And then we drove in to the see polo grounds. There were benches with signs reserving them for Lady Williams and Sir Charles Williams, and so on…definitely not for the little people!

This guy was carrying away the dead fronds…a nice laid back method.

You can rent these homes at the polo club…uh, theoretically!

And then we toured a lower class neighbourhood. They build the houses on pedestals and then if they need extra room they add the room below.

Most of the island is made of this white limestone.

The limestone is burned in the kiln on the right, and then ground in the buildings on the left. The lime is then sent to Guyana to add to their soil for growing sugar cane.

One of the poorer parts of the island…

The lake for the nearby golf club…

Seriously now…this is not what I thought Barbados would look like! It looks like Ireland!

This cow was not letting the barbed wire stop her from getting her grass. They looked like they could use a good meal...

This was all sugar cane at one time. Mr. Springer told us that as a child, when he wasn't in school, he used to work all day in the fields for one penny a day.

We mooed at this cow until she eventually mooed back. (Don't ask me seemed right at the time!) Mr. Springer was thinking we were crazy Canadians.

This girl was quite hefty!

These candlestick flowers are the national flower.

The Atlantic Ocean in the distance…

This is an old plantation. It would have been fun to rent a bike, but it was stinking hot!

Barb was hoping for a beach stop. She came prepared!

Barb and Ed with Mr. Springer…

Old sugar cane…

Our car for the day…we were very comfortable.

Of course, there was a little tourist shop and a bar. Mount Gay is supposed to be the best rum in Barbados.

Sugar cane…they have a quota that they must send to the UK and the rest is for island use.

Heading back to Bridgetown…

The Governor General lives behind the wall. We could see the police guarding the entrance.

These were the barracks for the English officers who protected the colony…it reminded me a lot of Fredericton.

An old fort…

We whizzed by the fancy new Hilton Hotel which was built about five years ago.

And more flowers...

The Prime Minister's Office...

The attractive sidewalk across from the P.M.'s office...

He can gaze across the street at a beautiful beach while he's working…

Barb and I did wade in. The water was so warm and the sand was very fine. You could see all the cruise ships on the right, but the ship on the left is actually a private yacht. Crazy!

Look at those clouds! We saw them all day but it never rained.

We whizzed through Bridgetown and we were quite happy not to make any stops. It is very much a Caribbean town with hundreds of jewellery shops.

The Museum of Parliament…

And with that we were back at the pier. It was a very nice tour. Barbados is certainly not a poor island!

The front of the P and O ship. The bridge is huge!

The stern of our ship…

Those clouds looked so ominous, but it still didn’t rain.

Another yacht…after seeing the huge one, this one looked tiny!

It was a wonderful day in Barbados...would definitely return here. And now it's all aboard for Antigua…

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