This island is not known for Russian travelers. The reason is a long and rather expensive flight. Rest here mostly tourists from the US, Germany and the UK. But if you are not afraid of a difficult road and visit Barbados, then you will definitely want to come back here again.
Welcome to Barbados!
First about pronunciation. It is correct to say the name of the island with an accent on the second syllable. But in Russia, even many tour managers make a sound accent on the first one.
Barbados is a state in the West Indies, located on the island of the same name. Refers to the group of the Lesser Antilles. The capital of Barbados is the city of Bridgetown. The official language on the island is English. Here you will find a local dialect, the so-called bajan. Do not be surprised if you do not understand a word, even if you speak English well. Bajan assumes extended pronunciation, the ending of one word, as it were, smoothly passes into the beginning of another. Dismantling is really difficult. In such cases, gain gestures. But the local dialect is not widely distributed.
His melodious name Barbados received in the XVI century from Portuguese sailors. The first thing they saw when they entered the island were palm trees whose crowns reminded them of their beards. And this word in Portuguese sounds like “Barbados” (“bearded”).
The west and south of the island is washed by the Caribbean Sea, the eastern shores are the Atlantic Ocean. But swimming is recommended only in the Caribbean. The Atlantic here is restless, with underwater currents. It remains only to admire this beauty. True, there is a place on the Atlantic coast – Oistins (Oistins), where surfers gather around the world. It’s dangerous to swim there, the waves of the ocean break down on the shore with such force that it’s even scary to stand close.
According to Greenpeace reports, Barbados has the cleanest Caribbean Sea. The water is actually the most transparent, but it is very salty and when accidentally gets into the eyes, you start to “get blind”.
My advice is to swim with water glasses. Not very convenient, especially since there is no unusual underwater world in Barbados, but you will save your eyes. By the way, despite the large amount of salt, the skin does not dry the skin! There is no feeling of tightness after water procedures. But be sure to take care of the skin from the sun. Sunbathe and burn here instantly. Cream with a protective factor SPF25 will be enough. The sun on Barbados rises early, at five in the morning it’s really light, but it’s too early – at six in the evening it’s night already. Local time lags behind Moscow for eight hours (before the transfer of hours in the winter it lagged behind for seven hours, and in the summer – for eight hours).
Go to the island is recommended from December to June, then until November comes the rainy season. But not be afraid of bad weather. Rain flies only a few minutes once or twice a day, dries quickly, the sea does not become cold. Therefore, the mood of the weather will not spoil it exactly, but it will be possible to save on a voucher during the rainy season (prices for accommodation at this time are one and a half times lower than in the period from December to June).
It should be noted that the island “Little England” is called not without reason. More than three hundred years, until 1966, Barbados was a colony of Great Britain. This left the imprint on everything. The capital of Barbados has its Trafalgar Square, a monument to Admiral Nelson and a small copy of the English Big Ben. True, Trafalgar Square in 1999 was renamed Heroes Square, but the monument to Lord Nelson and Big Ben has remained. From the English, the inhabitants of the island also got the tradition of drinking tea at 5 pm, a passion for cricket and golf, as well as the popularity of sailing.
Flight to Barbados
There are no direct flights from Russia to Barbados. Foreign carriers offer flights to the island with a transfer in London or Frankfurt. If you fly British Airways, then keep in mind that you are waiting for the change of airport. From Moscow, the plane will fly to Heathrow airport, and to Barbados you will get from Gatwick Airport. The road from one airport to another takes 45 minutes. Getting to Gatwick is easiest with National Express buses. For two adult one way tickets, we paid 49 pounds. Take only pound sterling at the airport ticket offices. Therefore, exchange money in advance or have a bank card with you.
I draw your attention to this, because I witnessed the situation when a Korean girl buying a ticket for a bus was refused, since she wanted to pay the euro. She had to look for an exchange office. It’s good if you have time between flights. But imagine, if you get from one airport to another you need very quickly, since there is little time between flights.
You can legally stay in the UK for 24 hours. An officer at the airport will put a seal in his passport about it. If time permits, take a stroll around London and even visit a museum (for example, Madame Tussaud’s wax figures). Just keep in mind that the capital of Great Britain is a huge metropolis. And to get from one end of the city to another takes time. Therefore, if you plan a walk around London, it is better to plan your route at home and calculate the travel time from one sight to another.
We flew to Barbados in November. In London it was warmer than in Russia, but we still did not take off the jacket. But in Gatwick, all those who checked in for the flight to Bridgetown were dressed in shorts and slates. We also changed our clothes, which was very helpful, because the capital of Barbados will meet you with hot and sunny weather. And change clothes at Bridgetown airport, until you go through the registration, there will be no possibility.
The flight from Moscow to London takes 3.5 hours, London-Bridgetown flight lasts eight. By the way, about the price. For two adult round-trip tickets (economy class flight), we paid 88,000 rubles (price for 2011).
Accommodation and meals
In Barbados, you can rent a hotel room or apartment. The second option, no doubt, will come out cheaper. We chose the option with a hotel and an all-inclusive system. Week of accommodation in Sea Breeze Hotel Beach 4 * cost us $ 2000 for two. The room was magnificent, with a terrace overlooking the sea. Furniture, bedding, towels and bedspreads are made of natural materials (bamboo, rattan). On the territory of the hotel three restaurants – Mermaid, Azul and Beach Prezzo Beach Bar, two swimming pools, tubs, children’s club, laundry, gym, SPA zone (compliment from the hotel: during check-in you will be presented with a massage certificate for one person in the SPA zone ).
In Barbados, all the beaches are municipal. That is, you can sunbathe on the beach of any hotel that you like. Of course, it is not allowed to use sun beds, hotel towels, but to sunbathe, swim – please.
The kitchen at Sea Breeze is European. Breakfasts and lunches – buffet, dinner of restaurant type (with menu). We leaned on fruits and, of course, seafood dishes. And at supper tried cocktails from the famous Barbados rum. The local bartender knew, probably, hundreds of recipes, but everything was delicious! If you do not drink alcohol, try fruit punch. It makes from fresh fruit with the addition of various syrups. Necessarily like it!
From local products and drinks we liked everything except coconut water. Sell it in plastic bottles at a price of $ 15 per liter. Many mistakenly believe that coconut water is the same as coconut milk. But this is not so. Water is in the center of the coconut and it is from it that the fruit is formed. As long as the nut is young (as we were told on the island, so it is considered to be up to five months), there is a lot of water in it and it is useful (contains zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, B and C vitamins). To taste something like a serum, only transparent. We did not like this drink, although we tried to improve our organisms honestly.
Local Mc’donalds – fast food chain Chafette. The food is quite decent. Try ice cream and burgers with chicken. Just keep in mind that the portions are rather big. Therefore, for two, one sandwich and a serving of ice cream is enough.
A local culinary feature is the flying fish. It is served as an independent dish, and also added to salads and sandwiches. Be sure to try “Ku-ku” – a dish of cornmeal and shrimp, “Peperpot” – an acute stew from different types of meat, sweetness of “Konkiz” from corn flour, coconut, pumpkin, grapes, sweet potatoes and spices (all this is cooked for a couple in a banana leaf. Very tasty).
Electricity in Barbados
The voltage in the network in Barbados is 110-120 V, the frequency is 50 Hz. US standard plugs and sockets are used. To use European electrical appliances you need an adapter. In hotels 4 and 5 * it is given free of charge. In the extreme case, such an adapter can be bought (you will find even in souvenir shops, the price is within $ 10).
In our hotel room we found that you can charge the appliances in the bathroom using a shaver outlet! True, a sign was posted near it, warning that the outlet was intended only for razors. But toothbrushes, mobile phones, batteries for the camera quietly “fed” its energy. This is a note.
Excursions and shopping in Barbados.
Barbados has a network of public transport. Therefore, it is not difficult to get from one corner of the island to another. Many and taxi services. But it is most convenient to get acquainted with Barbados, of course, by car. Renting a car is easy. Find a firm help at the hotel. A representative of the company will drive the car wherever you ask. Leave the keys to the car at the end of the lease can be at the reception desk of the hotel. No “representative” firm will arrange any “control” checks. The cost of renting a car of the middle class will cost around $ 130 per day. The more days you rent a car, the cheaper it will be if you count on days. You will be given local rights (valid in Barbados for two months, $ 5), insurance (approximately $ 20), GPS-navigator (within $ 10), island map (free of charge).
The movement in Barbados is left-handed, cars with a right-hand drive. Therefore, if the driving experience is small or you are not very confident, it’s better not to take risks and use public transport. By the way, the roads on the island are in good condition, although they are rather tortuous.
The choice of excursions on the island is great. True, there are no Russian-speaking guides and audio guides.
Visit the museum of the plane “Concord” (located next to the airport Grantley Adams, where you will fly to the island and where you will leave it). The museum is a barn, like those where aircraft are waiting for flights. On the tour you will be told how in the mid-60’s. The last century, France, Great Britain and the USSR joined the battle for supersonic, developing a model of supersonic passenger aircraft. In the USSR, he received the name “Tu-144”, the Anglo-French model was named Concord. The guide will talk about the technical characteristics of the aircraft, thanks to which he traveled from London to Barbados in 3.5 hours, and also tells about the tragic death of the Air France company in 2000, after which the Concords stopped flying. You can take pictures everywhere.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve – a national reserve in which animals and birds live in a natural environment (at large). Here live hundreds of green monkeys, tropical birds, turtles, hares, deer, lizards, raccoons, otters. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up on their feeding. It is very interesting to observe the behavior of the families of macaques or how turtles surround the ring with food and no one else is allowed to enter it. In cages live only snakes and parrots of cockatoo. Even crocodiles live in open water.
Near the reserve there are several tables, behind which you can have a snack or just relax. When we spread out the bananas and grapefruits, the macaque suddenly jumped off the palm tree and began to collect all our food from the table insolently. She did so in a businesslike way, that she did not have the strength to resist her, we just laughed. When the monkey collected all the bananas, she realized that there was a bag on the table, in which she had not yet looked. Having released one hand, she opened the bag and, making sure that there was nothing to eat in it, grabbed her booty and walked calmly towards the reserve. It was very funny.
As the theater begins with a hanger, so is the visiting card of Barbados – rum factories and shops. On the island there are more than a thousand (!). We bed the rum factory St. Nicholas Abbey. It is located in the old plantation estate. The house is more than three hundred years old. It was built by Colonel Benjamin Barringer, who was later killed during a duel by his wife’s lover. By the way, this is the only house in Barbados, in which there is a fireplace. He is also famous for being a model of the era of the English King James I (there are only two such houses in Barbados). Inside you will see a collection of paintings, porcelain. The last heir of this estate died in 2003, the estate was redeemed. Now they make an excellent rum here. And you can watch this process, going from a large plantation house to a factory. With her running a store, where you can buy rum. If you plan to bring a bottle as a gift, order an engraving. By the way, in Barbados this is the only factory where such a service is provided. Apply the inscription for 15 minutes. You choose it from the catalog or offer something of your own. Only, of course, the inscription will be made in English. One bottle of Roma eight-year-old extract volume of 0.8 liters, along with engraving cost us $ 70. The taste of a drink, on assurances received a gift, excellent. One bottle of Roma eight-year-old extract volume of 0.8 liters, along with engraving cost us $ 70. The taste of a drink, on assurances received a gift, excellent. One bottle of Roma eight-year-old extract volume of 0.8 liters, along with engraving cost us $ 70. The taste of a drink, on assurances received a gift, excellent.
The next item for inspection is Harrison’s cave, where you can see stalactites, stalagmites, waterfalls and rivers. It is named after the former owner of these lands, although, according to many scientists, Harrison did not even go down into the cave, or even hardly knew about it (it’s about the 18th century). Scientists discovered it was only in the 70-ies. XX century, and to visit it was available in 1981. On a cave of tourists carry on an electric tram. Inside, it’s not cold, but be prepared for a slight blot, as it drips constantly from the ceiling.
Among the sights of the cave are the Great Hall, which covers an area of half a football field and the height of the upper vault of 30 meters, and the dazzling Twin Falls is a place where two cave rivers merge together.
About the water. She’s amazing in Barbados. On the third day of life there, I noticed that my hair was shiny, my skin stopped flaking and small irritations disappeared. To care for myself, I did not even need a cream and conditioners, without which I can’t do without in Russia. As we were told, it has such qualities thanks to corals – natural filters. Therefore, you can safely drink water directly from the tap. Dangers, it does not carry.
Another place to visit is the oldest church on the island. St Johns Parish Church. It dates from the 17th century and is close in style to Gothic aesthetics. Outside it is dilapidated, but inside it is quite modern and very much reminiscent of churches from American films in which a happy father leads his daughter to a crown. Photographing is also allowed.
If you are traveling around the island, take a look at the tour to Animal Flower Cave. It is a cave inside the rock, hollowed out by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Admire the anemones that grow here in the water, but do not attach themselves to the soil. When you bring your hand to them, they close their heads. It is only necessary to remove the hand, as they again draw to the light. But the cave is often flooded by the ocean, washing away anemones. Therefore, you can get on a tour when these unusual flowers in the cave will not be. When we visited it, there were very few anemones, but still we could admire these little heroes fighting for life with the Atlantic.
Of course, we enjoyed and the dazzling beaches of the island. Especially struck Bottom Bay, Foul Bay and Bathsheba. All of them are on the Atlantic coast. Therefore, they can’t be bathed. Just admire the scenic landscapes.
And now about shopping. Shops and shopping centers operate in Barbados from 9am to 17pm. On Saturday until 2 pm, Sunday is a day off. The most popular shopping streets are Broad street and parallel to it Swan street. Here are located the so-called duty-free shops. When presenting a passport, you can purchase the goods at a special price. It is indicated on the price tag next to the mark “Sale price”. Discount is good. As a rule, this is 50% of the total cost of the goods. Barbados can also be haggled. We, for example, made a good discount for the simultaneous purchase of two hours.
Bring from the island natural coffee, local sweets, homemade jam, spices. Exquisitely beautiful in Barbados jewelry, especially with tanzanite. This is the first time I saw this amazing stone there. It is mined in the only place in the world – Tanzania (Africa) and is also called the African sapphire. This stone was discovered relatively recently, only in the 60s last century. But, according to the estimates of the researchers, it remains in Tanzania for no more than ten years. The stone is unusually beautiful, shimmering in different colors depending on the angle of view. We saw stones of blue, burgundy and violet shades. The most beautiful and expensive in the world is the blue stone.
Ornaments with tanzanite are not cheap. Small gold earrings and this stone will cost about $ 900. But they are worth it. In addition, in Russia this stone is practically not represented, it is difficult to find even in Internet shops. If possible, be sure to buy jewelry with it. It is believed that the stone patronizes family and love relationships . Let it be your argument for the husband.
In Bridgetown, there are problems with parking spaces. They are few, and the most convenient take a taxi. Ordinary cars can’t be parked on them, they will write out a fine. Keep this in mind if you go for shopping while driving. It’s easier to get to shopping centers by taxi or buses, which are usually at every hotel. A trip on such a micro bus from our hotel to Bridgetown’s main shopping center – Shepard – cost $ 20 round-trip for two.
At the box office stores you will be given along with the purchase of the seller’s completed declaration. Do not be lazy, give it to the officer when you check in for the plane when you fly off the island. For you it will not be difficult, and the store will receive from the state unpaid taxes. You got a discount, why not make a reciprocal gesture?
Barbados is an amazing island. Its area is only 430 sq.km, but the opening is waiting for you at every step. It captivates everything here – and exotic nature, and the extraordinary beauty of the sea, and white sand, and the hospitality of the inhabitants. And most of all, the peace of mind that comes on the second or third day of rest. Try to remember this state. It will surely help you into working, non-vacation days. Wonderful discoveries!