April 18, 2018
First thing this morning we called our son, Adam, for his 35th birthday! We reached him just before he had to go into a meeting and before we were heading out for the day. Happy Birthday, Adam. He is the one who set up the blog for me and does troubleshooting when I need it.
Tom and Alice and Norm and I went out to get a driver to take us on a tour of the island. We have been here twice before – one quite a number of years ago and all we remembered was touring the Mount Gay rum factory! And two years ago we chartered a catamaran with 8 other people for sailing and snorkeling. So this time we wanted to see more of Barbados.
We were in a van for 10 with our driver and guide, Rudolph. He was a great guy and told us a lot about his island as we traveled all through it.
Barbados facts –
- The main industry used to be sugar but now only 20,000 tons are produced here.
- Bridgetown is the capital and largest city.
- The present location was established by the British in 1628 and is a major tourist destination. There is still a strong British influence here.
- There are lots of customer service centers located here.
- It is the only city outside of North America that George Washington visited!
- Rihianna was born here and still maintains a condo in a VERY upscale location which we passed in our tour.
- Education and health care are free here in the public hospitals and schools. All children in both public and private schools wear uniforms.
- For university studies, the government pays 75% of the tuition.
We visited the house where Rihianna lived. The street was recently named for her.
Many of the homes are colorful like this one. And then there are mega mansions that sell for hundreds of millions of dollars. At some of the resorts it costs $30,000 a night to stay there.
Our next stop was the St. James Parish Church. This is a charming place made from the coral limestone that is plentiful on this island. There is a bell that predates the Liberty Bell by more than half a century. The pipe organ was also very interesting. And those candles on the rafters are electric now.
Beautiful beach views from many of the sites we passed or visited.
And gorgeous flowers.
We visited the old windmill that still operates. It is 350 years old!
Here are some of the other sites. The island is quite beautiful once you get out of Bridgetown.
And of course, there are always signs!
And some of the historic monuments and buildings.