How very privileged to be invited once again by my daughter Charmaine and her husband John to join their family on their summer Caribbean holiday to Barbados.
We stepped out excitedly from the plane onto Barbados soil, feeling the warm sunshine, breathing in its air of freedom and prosperity. Amid the hustle and bustle of tourists pouring in, had this little island now forgotten its turbulent past? Driving out of the airport, unmistakably there for all to see was their source of inspiration for faith and hope. High on a pedestal, impressive and imposing, in the middle of a busy roundabout, was a giant black stone statue: a freed slave with chains that bound him hanging from his outstretched hands. Thought provoking!
Treasure Beach, our haven for our stay, was a small, perfectly charming, intimate hotel, prettily secluded by gardens and palms.
Each day we drove through selected routes on the island, savouring the sights, the scenic panorama and vistas, the sugar cane and banana plantations, the markets–but we chose to spend some extra time on three different places of interest.
The capital BRIDGETOWN. What greater thrill than to stand on the bridge, on the spot where, far back in 1628, a tiny group of British settlers first set foot! But the country was born again on their Independence Day, 30 November 1966. The Careenage is now proudly flying the Barbadian flag over Independence Arch, inscribed with the nation’s motto and pledge of allegiance. The Careenage is now a picturesque scene of activity–a parking space for numerous sleek yachts! At the hub of the city, surrounded by parliamentary, commercial and public buildings, lies Trafalgar Square–a patch of green and a statue of Nelson on a short column and a World War I memorial.
Walking through the colourful, sprawling ANDROMEDA BOTANICAL GARDENS was indescribably pleasant. Nature, in all its tropical wild profusion and splendour, clawing its roots into coral boulders strewn over the hillside; the serenity only enhanced by ponds and waterfalls.
We couldn’t leave Barbados without a visit to the world famous KENSINGTON OVAL the island’s premier cricket ground. The game is a national passion, turning out brilliant world-class cricketers. We watched from the stands as John trod the hallowed grounds!
Barbados is a country steeped in history and tropical beauty. So much to see, hear, learn and enjoy! But the island’s greatest asset is its people–welcoming, warm and friendly.