Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 – Bridgetown, Barbados – Mostly Sunny – 81F

St. George’s, Granada to Barbados: 173 Nautical Miles

It is a beautiful day in Barbados…

Ellen got room service and I went down for Breakfast.  Ellen’s “Best of Barbados” tour meets at 8:30 AM so she had to hustle this morning.  After breakfast, I spent the morning on the sea facing deck – warm and out of the sun.

There are four ships in Barbados today – the German “Mein Schiff” (original for sure); the Silver Spirit, and a schooner.

 2011-12-27 08.51.36 (Small) 2011-12-27 08.51.46 (Small)

2011-12-27 Coast Guard Cutter (Small)

Top/Center: Barbados Pier – Ships docked; Bottom: Barbadian Coast Guard patrolling

Ellen’s Tour took her to the Sunbury Plantation House for some sightseeing and snacks (rum punch).  The plantation is over 300 years old and has been restored after a recent fire. The pictures below reflect the beauty of the landscaping and the grounds of this well preserved plantation.

Sunbury Plantation

Sunbury Plantatiion House 1 (Small)

Sunbury Plantatiion House 2 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 3 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 4 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 5 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 6 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 7 (Small) Sunbury Plantatiion House 8 (Small) 

The next stop on Ellen’s tour was “Orchid World”, a botanical garden emphasizing orchids.  The site also offered great vistas of Barbados.

Orchid World

Orchid World 1 (Small) Orchid World 2 (Small) Orchid World 3 (Small) Orchid World 4 (Small) Orchid World 5 (Small) Orchid World 6 (Small)

The final stop on the tour was the Gun Hill Signal Station.  This station was used as an early warning system for any “slave revolt”.  No such revolt ever took place but the hill and its view station are still there.

From the hill you can see the harbor and the Queen Mary 2 (below).

Signal Hill Gun Station 1 (Small)

Harbor and QM2 in the distance

Signal Hill Gun Station (Small)

The Gun Hill Station

Gun Hill 2 (Small)

Ellen and a staff member

After lunch, I headed out to the cruise terminal to meet my tour group - “Barbados – Coast to Coast”.  I had done this tour before but it was a very scenic tour so worth a second look.  Our guide, Ruth, soon started our tour.  It is a “Bank Holiday” today on the Island (and other islands I suspect).  There are two holidays following the Sunday of Christmas.  Not bad.

The first stop was at a Nature Preserve – a small place with snacks and some animals (mostly monkeys).  The main attraction – besides the free drinks – of the place was the spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.  While downing a local beer - “Banks Beer”, I did get some great photos from the hill.

2011-12-27 Photostop Atlantic Ocean (Small) 

Atlantic Ocean from the Nature Preserve

The tour proceeded to the Atlantic Ocean and the little beach town of Bathsheba.  The Atlantic Ocean beaches are essentially a surfer magnet since the undertow is dangerous for casual swimmers.

Bathsheba and the Atlantic Ocean

2011-12-27 Bathsheba 1 (Small) 2011-12-27 Balancing Rock Bathsheba (Small) 2011-12-27 Bathsheba Beach (Small) 2011-12-27 Balancing Rock 1 (Small)

After leaving Bathsheba, the bus stopped for a parting view of the Atlantic Ocean (below).

2011-12-27 1Bathsheba from Hill (Small) 

The final stop was St. John’s Parish Church.  This church has been destroyed many times by hurricanes and the present building is relatively new.  It has a very interesting graveyard in the rear of the church as well as great views.

2011-12-27 St Johns Parish Church (Small)

St. John’s Parish Church

2011-12-27 Tomb of Paleolocus (Small)

The Grave of Paleolocus - related the Christian Greek Emperors(1678)

2011-12-27 Atlantic from St. Johns (Small)

View from the graveyard of St. John’s Church

Tonight was the last candle of Chanukah and present were the ship’s senior staff including Paul O’Loughlin and his assistant, Rachel.

2011-12-27 Senior Staff Last Candle (Small)

The headliner tonight was David DiMuzio, a juggler-singer (yes).  He claimed he was Jewish (via his mother) so he could work in a Jewish-Native American joke.  His act was OK but he did sing an original song while doing his finale juggle.  I guess that makes him unique. 

After the show, we went to Deck 8 to check out the outdoor party.  It was pretty nice but there were few seats.

2011-12-27 Deck Party (Small)

VIBZ playing at poolside

2011-12-27 Deck Party 2 (Small)

2011-12-27 E at Deck Party (Small)

The seas are smooth…

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