Barbados is an island nation located in the Caribbean. It is the easternmost island in the Caribbean and is in fact completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and not touched by the Caribbean Sea at all. It is 166 square miles in size.
Barbados is a beautiful paradise full of luxury and charm and friendly people waiting for you. It is a location that many like to enjoy time and time again and somewhere that any traveller on any budget or with any style can find appropriate accommodation. It has a history set deep in the days of slavery and colonialism and vast plantation homes show the wealth of the settlers that came here. Surfers enjoy the untouched coastline and the white sand beaches attract half a million visitors a year.
The weather here is generally warm and sunny all year round with an average daytime high of 30 degrees Celsius and the nights are usually cooler. Rain typically comes in cool showers and the dry season lasts from January to June.
For a long time the history and food of Barbados have been influenced by food and traditions from England, Portugal, Spain and West Africa. Slaves from West Africa who were brought here in the 1600s were very influential in these ways. Most foods came from foods that could be found on and around the island including rice, fish and guava. The British started the cultivation of sugar cane on the island which made sugar one of the most common foods right up with molasses, corn, rice and potatoes. Marjoram, garlic, parsley, thyme, basil and spices like paprika, salt, black pepper and cloves are used in many dishes and vegetables such as asparagus and okra too as they are locally grown. Local fish including tuna, snapper, mahi mahi and barracuda are readily found in Barbadian food. Some favourite desserts are coconut bread, Bajan baked custard and lemon meringue pie.
Sites on the island are: Parliament Buildings (constructed in 1871), on the north side of National Heroes Square; Sunbury Plantation House (built between 1660 and 1670); St Michael’s Cathedral, the island’s Anglican cathedral which was originally completed in 1665 to accommodation 3000 worshippers but came tumbling down during a hurricane a hundred years later; Barbados Synagogue (built in 1833), the island’s first synagogue was built upon this same site in 1600 when Barbados had a Jewish population of more than 800; Barbados Wildlife Reserve, a walk through zoo opposite Farley Hill; Garrison Savannah Area, about 2km south of Carlisle Bay, this was the home base of the British Windward and Leeward Islands Command in the 1800s.
Having retained much of its English heritage the etiquette adopted in Barbados is big on good manners. A more formal approach is favoured when it comes to greeting and meeting. Handshakes between both sexes followed by ‘good evening’ or ‘pleased to meet you’. Hugging and kissing is reserved for friends and family only. Tips are preferred in the region of 10 to 15% when receiving service in an establishment.