Located on the southwest coast, Bridgetown is the capital city (and only city) in Barbados. Like most cities in the world, you’ll find an array of contrasts within the busy streets. New cars and old bikes, historical sights next to booming businesses. There are street vendors selling colorful fruit, fresh veggies, snacks and random trinkets right outside of clothing shops, hair boutiques and popular mall stores. Casual cafes to nice restaurants sit along the dock offering local plates and if you’re looking for fast food (served with a side of greasy guilt) you can opt for one of the not so fast food joints on the island… Chefette, Burger King or KFC.
FUN FACT: Barbados is the only country in the world in which McDonalds opened and closed due to lack of customers. The popular chain barely survived 6 months!
Have a sweet tooth? You can always find a bakery or local sugar shack but in this heat, the popular choice is anything cold, preferably frozen!
If walking doesn’t suit your day, there’s never a lack of taxi’s eager to give you a lift. This cheerful cab driver was fine with us declining a ride, however was very dissatisfied that my head wrap didn’t have a bow in the back. He took it upon himself to make sure “dis angel sista gah-de-bow she deserve”. Thank you for brightening my day kind sir!
We had two random priorities that consumed some of our time during our stroll through the city. First, my dear friend Shanda wasn’t going to put her poor feet through another step of blisters. Lucky for her, there’s several shoe stores conveniently located within the city. Success!
Secondly, a handstand. In the years I’ve been enjoying this wonderful country, I have yet to snag an upside down smile in the Capital. Completed!
Thank you Shanda for sharing your creative photo abilities. Check out this cool shot!
Moving on to the Bridgetown Market. Not to be confused with the capital city, this annual event happens in the final weekend of Cropover. With 3 days of jam packed entertainment, local cuisine and a variety of shopping, it’s known as one of the largest street fairs in the Caribbean.
Along the famous Spring Garden highway you’ll find a wide range of authentic Caribbean dishes like jerk chicken, macaroni pie, fish and chips, fried plantain as well as smaller vendors with local fruit drinks and baked goods.
This was our view in either direction where we sat to eat. You can imagine the contrast between this angle and the vibrant street behind us. I suppose that’s just one more thing I love about this place.
Once you’ve had your fill of edibles, there are plenty of items to wander through as you get lost in the colorful stalls lining the highway. If shopping is your intention, just look for the brightly colored stalls inviting you in for a stroll through unique products. Jewelry, bags, clothes and like items to plants, herbs, fruit and veggies.
If you walk down the paved road, you’ll be tempted to chip away to the soca music or at least stop and watch the ones dancing in front of the speakers. No joke, this fella was gettin’ down for the entire time we were there!
If you’re keen for more traditional tunes, just follow your ears to the small stage located behind the rainbow stalls.
So when you’re on the island during the entertaining week of Cropover, I’d suggest making time for a walk thorugh both the capital city as well as the annual Bridgetown Market. I’ll leave you with a shot from our walk home. Hard not to smile, right?