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Bridgetown Holidays Overview
Home to approximately 100,000 people, Bridgetown is the largest city in Barbados. It is the capital of this Caribbean island nation. The area of this city was first settled in 1628 by the English as James Town 3 years after they first arrived on this island. Though once inhabited by the aboriginal Arawak people, all of Barbados was uninhabited prior to British arrival. The aboriginals likely fled the Portuguese who themselves abandoned this island in 1610. British rule lasted more than 3 centuries, ending in 1966.
The Careenage River runs through the middle of the city. Broad Street is the main thoroughfare slicing through the centre of town, lined with historic buildings and administrative offices. This 39 sq km capital is the major port of entry for shipping into the country.
Barbados occupies 430 sq km in all. It is principally low lying, allowing for sea winds to fend off tropical heat across the island. The highest point is 340 metres above sea level. While the climate does not drop below 16 degrees Celsius neither will it rise above 33 degrees here. Tropical wooded areas and mangrove forests can be explored on this island while farmlands fill much of the interior.
The country is divided into units referred to as parishes. There are 11 in all. The capital covers most of St. Michaelís Parish. There is a fairly good bus system as well as taxis to allow tourists to arrive anywhere on the island. Inland Caves and wildlife reserves can be explored as well as the shoreline through scuba diving, snorkeling and water sports along abundant beaches. Golf courses and duty free shopping areas area among the recereational activities in which tourists indulge.
Ninety percent of the population is of African descent, followed by Indo-Guyanese. Some 4 % are descendants of European colonists. There are also small Chinese and Latin American population pockets and Middle Eastern immigrants. City nightlife is abundant with dancing. While English is he official language it is a local dialect of English most spoken by the local population.
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holidays - Top Events
Artists from around the world play in the mid-January Barbados Jazz Festival. Various venues host performances. A 2-day open air concert is only one of the activities each year. (http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/Entertainment/Festivals/Barbados_Jazz_Festival/)
Each February, the west coast parish of St. James is home to the Holetown Festival. This celebrates the 1627 landing here of the first British settlers in this part of the island along with their African slaves. It is a week long event of performances and parties. (http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/Entertainment/Festivals/Holetown_Festival/)
Easter weekend annually opens the Oistins Fish Festival in the historic fishing village of the same name. It is a week long celebration of fishing and fishermen. Plenty of seafood is always featured along with performances and parties. (http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/Entertainment/Festivals/Oistins_Fish_Festival/)
The five week Cropover Festival is the largest celebration in the country. Its 5 weeks begin in July. It culminates with the Grand Kadooment parade on the first Monday of August. It is the end of the national sugar cane harvest and is a long standing tradition. It had ceased to be celebrated in the 1940s but was revived in the mid-70s and continues yearly once more. (http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/Entertainment/Festivals/Crop_Over_Festival/)
Independence is celebrated on November 30. In honor of the anniversary, the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts runs through the month. Performances and exhibits coincide with other festivities throughout the month. (http://www.totallybarbados.com/barbados/Entertainment/Festivals/NIFCA/)
holidays - How to Get There
Air Canada offers a flight in 41 hrs and 35 minutes from Sydney (SYD) to this airport known as BGI with 1 stop over in Toronto (YVR). British Airways offers service in 36 hours with one layover in London.
The nearest consular services available are from the Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago. (http://www.trinidadandtobago.embassy.gov.au/)