Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Barbados Gets Some Major International Attention

A few of the scenes -places missed in the recent NBC Today show from Barbados: top (Oistins Fish Market), Middle (the Bridgetown Careenage), and bottom, Harrisons Cave.

It was a pleasant surprise to see (last Friday) Barbados featured on the NBC 'Today' show with its 'Where in the World Is Matt Lauer' emphasis. The day before, Lauer and crew had been to Jungfrau Joch in the Swiss Alps, where wifey and I had also vacationed in 1978. They then left Switzerland for a 14-hour trip to Barbados.

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The entire Barbados presentation was probably just over an hour, excluding commercials and other topics covered by the 'Today' show staff in New York. What I was pleased to see, amidst all the luxury surounding the main base for the show - The Sandy Lane Hotel on the west coast (where it runs about $500 a night in high season) - was the appearance of a number of Bajan cultural stalwarts, including the famous stilt walkers and perhaps the world's greatest Calypsonian, The Mighty Gabby. Gabby, in fact, actually had crafted a calypso for Today just the night before and it came off well.

There was also a montage of rapid scenes from around the island, but alas, over way too quickly. It would have been nice for the crew to have spent more time at a few of the other interesting places besides the posh Sandy Lane, including: the Oistins' fish market (see top image) where locals purchase fresh cooked flying fish cutters and enjoy the open air scence, or the Bridgetown Careenage (center image) which is steeped in hundreds of years of history - and after all Barbados is the oldest democracy in the hemisphere, at nearly 385 years!

Lastly, it would have been nice to at least give the American audience a glimpse into the Harrisons cave (bottom image) one of the wonders of the Caribbean. All of these would have balanced the perspective, as opposed to conveying the overwhelming sense that Barbados is only for rich tourists.

Indeed, when the Travel & Leisure rep came on near the end, interviewed by Lauer on places to stay, not once did she mention the many beach houses for tourist rentals which overall are far cheaper than most of the hotels, especially those on the west coast.

But maybe another time! One thing little Barbados does have to offer is many interests for all comers.

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