After a night-time arrival in Barbados, I am all curious the next morning when I wake up in a small town on the south coast. I first walk towards the west, and then take one of the many minibuses which drops me right in the heart of the capital of Barbados: Bridgetown. Originally settled by Amerindians who built a bridge here, from which the city derives its name, it became a British stronghold in the Caribbean. Much of the heart of the city is still defined by colonial buildings and street pattern, and Bridgetown is a World Heritage city. There are plenty of things to discover here, and I start by taking in the Parliament Buildings, a complex of neo-Gothic 19th century buildings with a clock tower which appear on the north side of the Careenage.
This is the very heart of Bridgetown, and the side streets are closed to traffic to underline its importance. From here, I start meandering through the streets and alleys, coming across busy spots and forgotten alleys until I reach St. Michael's Cathedral, which unfortunately is partly hidden by construction works. In its cemetery, I find old tombstones, just one more reminder of the British presence here. From here, I walk to Constitution River, and walk west towards Chamberlain Bridge. Named in honour of the British Secretary of State for the Colonies in the 1870s, it is topped by an Independence Arch on its southern side. On the other side, I find Independence Square, with a statue of Errol Barrow, the Prime Minister who led Barbados to independence in 1966 and was declared a national hero after his death in 1987. In front of his statue: a circular decoration on the floor with a trident-head, the symbol of Barbados that also appears in the flag of the country.
After crossing Chamberlain Bridge again, I walk the wooden boardwalk towards the west, on the north side of the Careenage. Across the water, there is a row of small and large docked boats. An important reason for the existence of Bridgetown is that it has the only natural port of Barbados, and the city is still focused on its link with the sea. There are a few more boats at the end of the boardwalk, where I cross into the western part of the Bridgetown. I find some more impressive colonial buildings and square St. Mary's church before leaving the historic part and entering newer parts of town. When I come back to Bridgetown in the evening, most of the bustle is gone, and the streets are almost empty. Most people appear around the bus station, where I fetch a minibus back to my small town.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bridgetown (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bridgetown.
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