A trip to BarbadosUnder the Queen Street arcades three or four stalls sell sweet potatoes, mangoes, some curious green cucumbers and the ever-present okra, the okra fruit that appears in many Bajan dishes. There is not a great bustle of people here in Speightstown, very few tourists. As if driving along Highway 1, the coastal road from Bridgetown to the north, we had at some point crossed an invisible border. Leaving behind the standardized tourism of the Platinum Coast, the fashionable stores, the spacious estates surrounded by lawns and gardens, and the many-star hotels hidden behind high fences, we find ourselves in a sleepy little town that, in theory, is supposed to be the main commercial center of the north of the island. On the waterfront, the newer buildings sport bright hues, as is the custom in these latitudes, but the historic buildings instead have peeling walls and discolored windows, except for those few that have managed to be restored. One is the Arlington House, three floors of snow-white, which have housed a small town museum since 2008. Speightstown is the second oldest town on the island, after Holetown, founded by the first settlers around 1630; but little remains of its glorious past, when it was Barbados‘ most thriving port. Not that it lacks charm, mind you. We decide to stop; it’s a bit like Bathsheba here, there’s that dated movie feel. No noise comes from the windows of our apartment open to the waterfront, few people pass by, the occasional car. The sea is there in front, just a few meters away, beyond the strip of white sand that runs alongside the road. The colors, in the best tropical tradition, go through all the various shades of blue and turquoise, except when the sky is acting up. Which happens frequently in Barbados.