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Finally made my second visit ever to the beautiful island nation of Barbados in April.

The eastern-most of the Caribbean islands – and one of the few coral islands in this archipelago of primarily volcanic islands – Barbados combines sophistication and commercialization with pristine beauty. A group of us went down there and the highlight was the companionship of 4 families that have come to know one another very very well over the past decade. The island itself provided the perfect backdrop for this reunion, with planned outings for a game of cricket – the Cricket World Cup 2007 was on then – and around the island.

Very few sports stadia around the world capture the history of the sport as well as the Kensington Oval in Barbados – from thoughtfully named stands (after legendary Barbadian cricketers of yore – Greenidge, Haynes, Worrell, Weekes, Wolcott, Sobers, Hall, Griffith,…) and actually naming the two bowling ends after Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner, an intimate setting for the game that has been retained even as the stadium was totally rebuilt for the World Cup, excellent concession stands and the live Bajan crowd made for a gripping experience.

The highlight for my two little girls was going out turtle feeding in the Caribbean Sea – I guess the turtles have been practically domesticated but still the experience of snorkeling amongst a large group of sea turtles is something quite unique.

Amongst the spots on the island, one that every visitor should take in is the Nicholas Abbey.  A restored sugar plantation, it is a great experience for kids and adults.  Another is the Flower Forest, with its spectacular vistas over the Scotland District of Barbados.  The Wild Animal Reserve is slightly overrated, but the sea at Bathsheba is not.

Great views, friendly people, varied experiences – Barbados is one memorable experience!