Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Report # 114 bridgetown, Barbados April 22, 2014 Tuesday Partly cloudy, 72 degrees, breezy

Welcome to Barbados
Where are we?  Barbados, of course.
Many Barbados bags
Well, today's port of call is our first one in the Caribbean...Bridgetown, Barbados. It is the capital of the island, and one that we have visited numerous times on previous cruises. The population of this island is 290,000 people. The size of Barbados is 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, with an area of 166 square miles. According to the guide on the map, the water is safe to drink and it is safe to walk here. That's always nice to know. Another tip is that taxis are easy to find. There is no doubt about that, because there were at least 50 of them outside the cruise terminal this morning. And we must have said "No, thanks" at least 50 times to each taxi driver as we attempted to walk to downtown. They are very persistant here. Anyway, the VAT is 17.5 %, built into prices, except for the expensive jewelry, which is duty free to a certain extent. That is one reason why there are the Diamonds Internationals, Tanzanite International, Colombian Emeralds International, and Little Switzerland high end stores here. 

Little Switzerland  -  highend shopping
One of many highend stores
Pink and white are Little Switzerland's colors

Another clocktower
And we will surely see these in the next three stops.
Local lady who posed for gangway photos
Cruise terminal
Old sugar conveyers for loading ships

Waterfall from the anchor

Amsterdam docked
Amsterdam docked
The way out

Port of Bridgetown
There were many tours here today to see the island, the beaches, Harrison's Caves, Orchid World, the Wildlife Preserve, and the Mount Gay rum distillery. Been there, done that, we opted to explore downtown and eventually work up an appetite for lunch and beer. Despite the warm, humid weather this morning, there was a strong breeze which made walking a bit more pleasant.
Surf's up

Bridge across the creek

A sailboat

We found some side streets this time, and discovered a souvenir market, much like what you would see in the Night Market in Hong Kong, only smaller. Right in the middle of the street market, was a fabric store. We were able to find some nice yardage for a couple of blouses for a really good price. One of us is going to be busy sewing day and night to make these clothes, hopefully in time for our next adventure.
A supermarket

Local shops downtown

Old church turned into a bank

Carlisle Wharf

Harley Davidson Store


Jolly Rogers Rum Boat

Shops on the wharf
One place we found interesting was the local feed store and garden supply. Why, you may ask? Well they had crates of peeping week-old baby chicks for sale. 

Crates of chicks for sale at the feed store

Baby chicks
Sure reminded us of home. Talking to the vendor, he said this time of year, he will be able to sell up to 5000 chicks a week to the islanders. They cost about 50 cents each, and they are raised for egg laying and meat. The chicken feed of crumble or pellet was about half of what we pay at home. 

The fish market

Busy cleaning the fish

A tub of flying fish

Cleaning a dorado

Fileted fish

Scaling the small flyers

Filleting takes all day

Sold to restaurants fresh daily
We made our way back to the Marina Restaurant located at the footbridge over the small boat harbor. 

The Bridge House building
Stairway to Marina Restaurant
Marina Bar and Restaurant

Diners below us

Well-stocked bar

Upstairs in the Marina

View of the marina

Balcony diners
There was a great spot upstairs to sit on a balcony that overlooked this marina. Now the best part was that they served pizza, along with $2.00 beers. How good was that? 

Daily menu

Ice cold Banks beer
Our buddies Barb, Ellen and Aart were already sitting with their beers when we arrived. They had also ordered pizza, like us, but it looked like there was going to be a while before we got them.

Aart and Ellen
There's Barbie
Here's to Barb!
Buddies leaving the restaurant
Down below us in the marina, were several fishing boats that offered tours to catch wahoo, marlin, dorado, barracuda, sailfish, tuna, and even shark. By the time we were into our second beers, one of the boats pulled into the berth below us with four guests who had caught a large barracuda. 

A catch of barracuda

She probably caught it

More fish
One of the boat hands cleaned and fileted the fish within minutes. It appeared that he cut it into pieces, then bagged it up for the people to take with them. As he was dumping the fish guts into the water, a big green turtle came up to snatch the fish parts. We watched as the turtle surfaced every five minutes or so.

Finally, the margherita pizza arrived, and we were very pleased with it. 

Really good margherita pizza
We figured that the six beers we had cost a little more than one beer we had in Singapore. Hard to believe, but true. The pizza was about $11 US, about what we would pay at home. They do not rush you in Barbados, since we had to wait a long time for the bill. Not a problem today, since all aboard time was at 5:30pm.

Taking our time, we walked back to the pier, checking out the shops in the terminal. Nothing jumped out at us in the way of more souveniers, well except for the extras large bars of chocolate candy. 

Independence Arch


Lord Admiral Nelson (Rod, this one is for you)

This is where you book fishing expeditions

Chamberlain Bridge

Parliament Buildings 
Caribbean colors

Masks of Barbados

Captain Jonathon and Karen shopping like us

Fountain at Independence Square

Local dove

Mary Ann enjoying the shade

Independence Square

One of many Burger Kings

Fresh veggies

Veggie stands

Locals shopping after Easter Monday

Potatoes and other root veggies

Shopping near the bus station

Inner basin

Lots of traffic today

Apartments above the businesses

A beter type of rum boat

Local barber shop

A bank and a KFC, really popular here

Old church

More shops

Another bank

Lots of tourists today


Outdoor flea market

Some neat balconies

What a sign......

Small fruit market

Clocktower of government buildings

Healthy veggies

Seen better days

For sale

Banks.....the locally-brewed beer

Black pigeon


The fountain

Johnnie and Yvonne at work


Lots of jewelry

Honey Bea, my mom would have liked that

But we really did not need those. We got back to the ship by 3:30pm, and worked downloading photos for the rest of the afternoon.

A truly fun rum boat tour

Having lots of fun

The rum will do it every time

Pelican Craft Center

Tree-lined beachfront

Blackbird was singing

A bar in the Pelican Center


Crabs on rocks

Barbados Hilton

Nice way to spend a day

Even better way to spend a day....on Jolly Rogers

Amsterdam in view

Cool sailboat

Pelican Center
Back to the pier

Enter this way

Cruise terminal

Forever Christmas in Barbados

Cruise terminal
The very windy sailaway party at the aft pool was jumping to the music of a local musician who played the steel drum to the beat of Caribbean music. 
Sailaway party
One steel drum player

This was the first time on this entire trip that we saw folks dancing, and even doing a congo line to the lively and loud tunes. 

Pier jetty

Dropping the lines

Leaving the dock
A very nice private yacht

Wonder who owns it?

Leaving the pier

Conveyor system

Pier building


Room for several ships

Small boat near a public beach

Local vessels

Pilot boat

Saying goodbye to Barbados

Hope this sends the message to those involved with the music selections that we love something different. By the time the ship cleared the harbor, the sun went down and it was dark. 

Getting dark

Still celebrating
At dinner, the subject of having a passenger contest as the evening show was discussed. We are referring to the Dancing with the Stars at Sea and the final competition. Instead of the regualr entertainment with professional acts, they substituted this contest tonight at 9:30pm. They do this enough with showing a movie in the Queens Lounge while we are overnight in some ports. That sure saves HAL some big bucks by not paying for real shows. And besides that, if everyone wanted to go see it, there is only one show. How do they expect everyone, 1000 passengers or more, to fit in the show lounge? Some of our table mates went, so we will get their report tomorrow.

The newly-added port of St. Lucia is one the agenda for tomorrow.

Sailing into the sunset

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