Come to Barbados
By Trevor Fordyce
Barbados is a popular Caribbean nation located near Saint Vincent & Grenadines and Saint Lucia on its western side and Trinidad and Tobago on its southern side.
Barbados derives its name from the old Portuguese word for "bearded ones" however historically it is not clear as to whether this name was given because of the bearded inhabitants of the island, or because of the prominence of the bearded fig-tree on the island. Further speculation has further added to the confusion behind the origins of the name as some have gone further to suggest that the name was given due to the foam that sprayed over the outlying reefs on the island which made them resemble a beard.
Barbados was first inhabited by the Amerindians and after that by the Arawaks, then the Caribs, it was sometime after this period that the Portuguese came to inhabit the island. From the mid-1500 to the 1600's, the Portuguese were in control of the island until they left it for other locations and by this time it was left uninhabited. The British were the next set of people to reach Barbados in the 17th century and they met no inhabitants on the island. They held control of the island until 1966. The Barbados of the 17th century is much different than the Barbados of today.
The country in the 17th century was overwhelmingly Celtic while by the 19th century it had become overwhelmingly black.
The main city and the capital of Barbados is Bridgetown. It is also the largest city in Barbados and a major destination for tourists coming to the Caribbean. It is also one of those cities in the Caribbean reputed to be a financial/offshore tax haven.
The Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) is the only Airport which provides access to the city. It is also a tourist spot because it is one of the few sites where the supersonic Concorde which has now been retired from service is on display.
Holetown is another important historical town in Barbados, partly because it hosts a lot of firsts in the country. A number of institutions in the country were first established here.
There are plenty of things to do in Barbados and a lot of famous tourist hangouts other than just those in the main cities. Popular activities in Barbados usually have to do with water sports, boating, scuba diving and the like. Other activities could be had as well as there are various monuments and locations of historical importance which can be visited to get a better insight into the history of Barbados and the Caribbean in particular.
Some locations include:
* National Heroes Square
* Parliament Buildings of Barbados
* The Cathedral Church of Saint Michaels and All Angels
* The St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral
* The Jewish Synagogue
* Fountain Garden
* The Pelican Village and Craft Centre
* The Nelson Statue
* The Barbados Museum
* Kensington Oval (site of the 2007 Cricket World Cup final)
* Carlisle Bay Beach
* Cheapside market
* The Tom Adams Financial Complex
* The Frank Collymore Hall of the Performing Arts
* The Cathedral Plaza
* The Red Light District
* The Garrison Savannah and National Historic Area
Barbados is usually warm and sunny throughout the year. The average temperature during the day is usually in the 85F range. At night you can expect the temperatures to reduce the substantially cooler levels. Despite the fact that Barbados is mostly sunny, the northeast tradewinds which criss-cross the location, ensure that it does not become unbearably hot for its visitors as well as its inhabitants. The dry season exists from January through to June; when the rains come they often do so in quick short showers. Tropical rainstorms however, tend to occur in hurricane season which comes in between the months of June to October.
Trevor Fordyce is a serial traveller to the Caribbean. For more fantastic articles www.caribbeanbug.com
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.