A January 2000 trip
to Barbados by friskycelery
Quote: Barbados is the only island in the Caribbean that has been continually British since its colonization in the early 1600's. It has beautiful beaches, good shopping, and interesting history.
Take a trip to Andromeda Gardens, which is now part of the Barbados National Trust. This former private estate is now open to the public, and the gardens are stunning. And all the plants are labelled with their latin name, which is a nice touch.
The Bajans have done a great job of preserving their history, and since the island has been settled for almost 400 years, there is a lot of history to browse through. The oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere is in Barbados, and well worth the trip. George Washington is said to have worshipped at Saint Michael's Cathedral in Bridgetown.
The Barbados Garrison, just south of Bridgetown, is home to an open air museum of cannon, as well as the local race track. I found both to be pretty interesting.
During busy times of the day, be prepared to stand cheek to cheek with your fellow riders, as these buses get packed with people.
Walking is easy in Barbados, as there are few steep hills, and there is so much at which to look.
Bert's is across the street from Rockley Beach, and is connected to a guest house. The bar itself is rather tame, and boasts cable TV - usually tuned to CNN or sports - and several slot machines. Tables are around the perimeter, and are adjacent to the pool.
The steak here is good, and comes to you sizzling on a hot plate, all for about US$12. There are other dishes on the menu, but the steak is what brings me back to Bert's.
Shhh! I'll let you in on a little secret: Right as you come up the steps into Bert's ther is a caged window to your right. This is the best place to change money on the island. No service fees, and a very favorable exchange rate.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 3, 2002
Rockley Beach, Christchurch, on the southwest end of the island, is a marvelous beach, and a pleasant place to spend a day or two. The beach here is broad white sand, and is very popular with year round residents. There is a breakwater towards one end of the beach, on the other side of which exists schools of bright fish and colonies of interesting coral. You can rent snorkel equipment (and boogie boards and beach chairs) right on the beach.
There are a couple of vendors who set up shop underneath the trees adjacent to the beach. Selling bright shirts, jewelry, and Bajan souvenirs, these folks will not follow or harass you. You can dicker with them on price, but remember that this is how they support themselves.
Across the street from the beach is a small shopping area called Quayside Center. This has a couple of pretty good, very inexpensive restaurants, along with a book store, a convenience store, some souvenir shops, and a one hour photo place. There is also an espresso stand, which serves a surprisingly good iced cappuchino.
Starting about a block away from the beach is a very pretty residential district. A number of countries have their consulates in this area, including Germany, Brazil, and China. (Probably not considered a hardship posting!) If you are a gardener, a walk down these lanes is a must. Orchids growing wild in the crooks of trees, bougainvillea twenty feet high, oh my. It made the heart of this Michigan girl go pitty pat.
You can get to Rockley Beach by public transportation. Look for the Hotel Accra, the bus stop is close by.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2002