Bridgetown, Barbados e Grenada

A Caribbean Christmas

Bridgetown Dances
Mismatched Decorations
The Bridgetown Nativity Scene
Quick Fires
Christmas recital
Umbrella Bar Counter
Easy Naked
Harbor Lights
The Bridgetown Parliament
Traveling, from top to bottom, across the Lesser Antilles, the Christmas period catches us in Barbados and Grenada. With families across the ocean, we adjusted to the heat and beach festivities of the Caribbean.

We have reached the end of the first week of December.

Without knowing exactly how, we find ourselves on the island of Barbados, staying on the outskirts of the capital, Bridgetown. Day after day, we explore its colonial center.

Little by little, we pick up on the mannerisms of the city and its people, as a rule, given over to the lives they lead, with the exception of a few tour agency agents who, positioned on the Chamberlain Bridge, impose catamaran tours off the coast. west of the island, with its infallible sunsets.

Little or nothing changes, on the city's jetty and in the two main squares that delimit it, that of National Heroes and Independence, achieved in 1966 from the United Kingdom, after joining the failed Federation of the West Indies (1958-62).

Since then, the island nation has evolved into one of the most prosperous democratic states in the Antilles. In such a stable way that its armed forces only have around eight hundred enlisted personnel, reinforced by members between the ages of 14 and 18 who are part of the Barbados Cadet Corps.

We revisited Bridgetown on December 13th. As the afternoon gives way to night, it is the Barbadian armed forces and their cadets, supported by several volunteers, who carry out the only metamorphosis worth recording in the capital.

Tropical Christmas in Bridgetown, Barbados

They unload plastic Christmas trees from trucks.

In an obvious exercise of coordination and decorative sensitivity, they distribute them in front of the Parliament Building and around the National Heroes Square.

When we examine them, we realize that in a certain section, each tree represents a country, especially from the vast Commonwealth, which the nation of Barbados continues to be part of.

The military thus, with the patience of a camouflaged saint, compose decorations alluding to their respective countries.

Christmas ball, after Christmas ball, ribbon after ribbon, with a special place for a myriad of messages cut out and filled in, we believe by children of these nations.

The days continue to flow, on the way to December 25th, the most important Christian date.

As we wander through the shopping streets of Bridgetown, we found that businesspeople also adhered to the spirit of the time, even if in its pagan form.

Christmas Spirit in Stores and Emanating from Monuments

It's 30º Celsius, or almost 30º, typical of the dry season in Barbados.

Despite the tropical heat, several stores place snowmen, Santa Clauses and penguins above their entrances.

Sales promoters, with megaphones at the ready, announce the day's Christmas promotions.

As soon as the sun disappears, the Parliament Building It stands out in an ethereal red, with a contrasting green emanating from the pointed entrances.

Raised at one end of the complex's top tower, the yellow-blue flag with a centered trident, of Barbados, fluctuates according to the breeze.

We crossed the Broad street to the domain of Heroes' Square and, to the entrance to Chamberlain Bridge.

The Nativity also occupies its space there. On a side wall, between imperial palm trees and the masts of anchored sailboats, we come across a nativity scene.

A Nativity Scene in Bridgetown's Independence Square

Joseph, Mary, Jesus Christ and the wise men appear together in a comfort made of straw bales.

As soon as the sky darkens and the Christmas trees and other decorations sparkle, the characters' dolls also light up against the stars that adorn the sky.

Children are photographed with their mothers. Entire families ask us to photograph them with their phones.

Since some time after the British landed them on the island, as African slaves, most Barbadians have felt a moving fascination with that figurative birth of the Savior.

Intense missionary action and the influence of British society made slaves and their descendants Christians.

Today, this religious heritage is more ramified than ever, although diluted in countless and exuberant pagan celebrations.

Christmas in the Caribbean, Harbor Lights,

The Christian Diversity of the Island of Barbados

More than 20% of Barbadians are Anglicans. Many others are Pentecostal and, just over 15% are divided between Baptists, Moravians, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. There are also Seventh-day Adventists, Methodists, Wesleyans, Nazarenes and followers of the Church of God.

Barbados also has a small but active Jewish community. It is made up of descendants of the diaspora caused by the persecution and expulsion decreed by the Inquisition in the Iberian Peninsula which, at the end of the XNUMXth century, forced Jews to flee, first to Dutch Brazil, later, after Portugal had conquered Dutch territories, to Curaçao. and other Caribbean islands, including Barbados.

In Bridgetown's Jewish cemetery, tombstones with Portuguese names and surnames abound. The religious life of local Jews revolves around the Nidhe Israel synagogue and the city's historic Jewish quarter.

Bridgetown's Christmas Tradition

It takes place on the sidelines of masses held in St. Michaels Cathedral and in not-so-imposing Christian temples.

On the morning of December 25th, as happens year after year, believing Barbadians dress in the best old-fashioned and avant-garde outfits on the island.

They gather at Queen's Park in Bridgetown, inspired to renew their faith in a marathon ceremony that lasts from 6 am to 11 am, animated by the music of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, by a Tuk Band and other actors who lend it an impressive Gospel rhythm.

Bajans atheists or those little motivated by religious meetings, sleep later. They already bring the party from the night before, in bars with live shows like “Harbour Lights”, which we still had time to watch.

The contingencies of the trip dictated that we were no longer in Bridgetown to witness the Christmas celebrations.

We had been exploring Barbados for almost ten days. With several Lesser Antilles still in our plans, to the south and west, it was urgent that we continue.

Short Trip from Barbados to Grenada

Accordingly, we flew to the neighboring island of Grenada, famous for its superior quality spices that earned it the epithet Spice Island.

Spice Island is, however, as well or better known for the Invasion of Grenada carried out in 1983 by Ronald Reagan's United States and a coalition of forces from six Caribbean nations, as a response to the confrontation between Maurice Bishop's communist faction that imposed itself, in 1979, via coup d'état, and its opponents, aligned with the USA and the democratic world.

Among these six nations was Barbados.

The island authorities even authorized the American forces tasked with invading Grenada to leave Barbados, with the official justification that the operation “Urgent Fury” was necessary to guarantee the protection of more than six hundred Americans studying medicine on the island and prevent them from being used as hostages.

The Caribbean beauty and exoticism of Granada retain us for a series of days. We literally turn it around. We visited spice processing units and the Grand Etang forest reserve.

On the east coast, we walked along the old runway at Pearls Airport, abandoned after the American invasion. There we entertained ourselves by staging photos inside one of the Antonov planes that the URSS offered to Cuba and that there they saw the end of the line.

In this hustle and bustle of discovering the four corners of the island, we arrived on December 24th. We bought tickets for the next destination, Trinidad and Tobago.

In the meantime, we realized that we were about Christmas. In the capital's churches and cathedrals Saint George, masses comparable to those in Bridgetown are prepared.

Somewhat fed up with wandering around the only city of Granada, we used the Christmas pretext to decompress from the photographic frenzy of almost every day.

Christmas in the Caribbean, Harbor Lights

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Bathing, Near Saint George

We aim for Grande Anse beach, on the outskirts of the city. We stocked up on mojitos and piña coladas. We savor them in the Caribbean Sea, cooled by the northern hemisphere winter, yet still warm.

We sunbathed, read about Granada and other islands we had passed by. We watched a kids' beach soccer match.

Just before the sun set for the other half of the world, we moved to the terrace of the restaurant-bar “Umbrella".

Despite the name, the chance of rain remains almost nil.

They offer us and other customers, Christmas caps and red beaded necklaces.

Christmas in the Caribbean, Umbrella Bar

We take time to send seasonal messages to friends and call family, something that continues throughout dinner.

Little by little, animated by a band also performing in red and white caps, the “Umbrella” surrenders to the Christmas spirit.

Customers sing the best-known hits.

Some find space on the lower floor and dance, playing with the establishment's happy-go-lucky employees.

The tiredness from the long walks the day before makes us leave sooner than we thought.

We woke up on the 25th rejuvenated. We noticed that practically everything is closed, in Saint George's and on the island of Grenada.

With the fresh memory of the pleasant rest that the bay of Grande Anse had given us, that's where we returned. We are committed to celebrating the sand, the sun and the sea, the simple life of the Caribbean, the voluntary distance from home.

And from any home.

Michaelmas Cay, Australia

Miles from Christmas (Part XNUMX)

In Australia, we live the most uncharacteristic of the 24th of December. We set sail for the Coral Sea and disembark on an idyllic islet that we share with orange-billed terns and other birds.
Atherton Tableland, Australia

Miles Away from Christmas (part XNUMX)

On December 25th, we explored the high, bucolic yet tropical interior of North Queensland. We ignore the whereabouts of most of the inhabitants and find the absolute absence of the Christmas season strange.
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Shillong, India

A Christmas Selfiestan at an India Christian Stronghold

December arrives. With a largely Christian population, the state of Meghalaya synchronizes its Nativity with that of the West and clashes with the overcrowded Hindu and Muslim subcontinent. Shillong, the capital, shines with faith, happiness, jingle bells and bright lighting. To dazzle Indian holidaymakers from other parts and creeds.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
English Harbor, Antigua (Antilles)

Nelson's Dockyard: The Former Naval Base and Abode of the Admiral

In the XNUMXth century, as the English disputed control of the Caribbean and the sugar trade with their colonial rivals, they took over the island of Antigua. There they came across a jagged cove they called English Harbour. They made it a strategic port that also housed the idolized naval officer.
Montserrat, Lesser Antilles

The Island of the Volcano that Refuses to Sleep

In the Antilles, volcanoes called Soufrière abound. That of Montserrat, re-awakened in 1995, and remains one of the most active. Upon discovery of the island, we re-enter the exclusion area and explore the areas still untouched by the eruptions.  
Plymouth, Montserrat

From Ashes to Ashes

Built at the foot of Mount Soufrière Hills, atop magmatic deposits, the solitary city on the Caribbean island of Montserrat has grown doomed. As feared, in 1995, the volcano also entered a long eruptive period. Plymouth is the only capital in a political territory that remains buried and abandoned.
Saint George, Grenada

A Caribbean History Detonation

The peculiar Saint George spreads along the slope of an inactive volcano and around a U-shaped cove. Its abundant and undulating houses attest to the wealth generated over the centuries on the island of Grenada, of which it is the capital.
Bridgetown, Barbados

Barbados' "The City" of the Bridge

Originally founded and named "Indian Bridge" beside a foul-smelling swamp, the capital of Barbados has evolved into the capital of the British Windward Isles. Barbadians call it “The City”. It is the hometown of the far more famous Rihanna.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th - Ngawal a BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Architecture & Design
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
napier, New Zealand

Back to the 30s – Old-Fashioned Car Tour

In a city rebuilt in Art Deco and with an atmosphere of the "crazy years" and beyond, the adequate means of transportation are the elegant classic automobiles of that era. In Napier, they are everywhere.
Beverage Machines, Japan

The Beverage Machines Empire

There are more than 5 million ultra-tech light boxes spread across the country and many more exuberant cans and bottles of appealing drinks. The Japanese have long since stopped resisting them.
One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

In few places in the world a dialect is used as vehemently as in the monastery of Sera. There, hundreds of monks, in Tibetan, engage in intense and raucous debates about the teachings of the Buddha.
combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Colonial Church of San Francisco de Assis, Taos, New Mexico, USA
Taos, USA

North America Ancestor of Taos

Traveling through New Mexico, we were dazzled by the two versions of Taos, that of the indigenous adobe hamlet of Taos Pueblo, one of the towns of the USA inhabited for longer and continuously. And that of Taos city that the Spanish conquerors bequeathed to the Mexico: Mexico gave in to United States and that a creative community of native descendants and migrated artists enhance and continue to praise.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Frederiksted, Saint Cross, US Virgin Islands

The Emancipation City of the Danish West Indies

If Christiansted established itself as the capital and main commercial center of the island of Saint Croix, the “sister” of the leeward side, Frederiksted had its civilizational apogee when there was the revolt and subsequent liberation of the slaves that ensured the colony's prosperity.
Fort Galle, Sri Lanka, Ceylon Legendary Taprobana
Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle Fort: A Portuguese and then Dutch (His) story

Camões immortalized Ceylon as an indelible landmark of the Discoveries, where Galle was one of the first fortresses that the Portuguese controlled and yielded. Five centuries passed and Ceylon gave way to Sri Lanka. Galle resists and continues to seduce explorers from the four corners of the Earth.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
St. Trinity Church, Kazbegi, Georgia, Caucasus
Kazbegi, Georgia

God in the Caucasus Heights

In the 4000th century, Orthodox religious took their inspiration from a hermitage that a monk had erected at an altitude of 5047 m and perched a church between the summit of Mount Kazbek (XNUMXm) and the village at the foot. More and more visitors flock to these mystical stops on the edge of Russia. Like them, to get there, we submit to the whims of the reckless Georgia Military Road.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Boat and helmsman, Cayo Los Pájaros, Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
Natural Parks
Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Women at Jaisalmer Fort, Rajasthan, India.
UNESCO World Heritage
Jaisalmer, India

The Life Withstanding in the Golden Fort of Jaisalmer

The Jaisalmer fortress was erected from 1156 onwards by order of Rawal Jaisal, ruler of a powerful clan from the now Indian reaches of the Thar Desert. More than eight centuries later, despite continued pressure from tourism, they share the vast and intricate interior of the last of India's inhabited forts, almost four thousand descendants of the original inhabitants.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
El Nido, Palawan the Last Philippine Border
El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, Palawan: The Last Philippine Frontier

One of the most fascinating seascapes in the world, the vastness of the rugged islets of Bacuit hides gaudy coral reefs, small beaches and idyllic lagoons. To discover it, just one fart.
Solovestsky Autumn
Solovetsky Islands, Russia

The Mother Island of the Gulag Archipelago

It hosted one of Russia's most powerful Orthodox religious domains, but Lenin and Stalin turned it into a gulag. With the fall of the USSR, Solovestky regains his peace and spirituality.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Asian buffalo herd, Maguri Beel, Assam, India
Maguri Bill, India

A Wetland in the Far East of India

The Maguri Bill occupies an amphibious area in the Assamese vicinity of the river Brahmaputra. It is praised as an incredible habitat especially for birds. When we navigate it in gondola mode, we are faced with much (but much) more life than just the asada.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.