James Bond

James Bond Caribbean


Thinking of taking a vacation somewhere exotic? Do you like hot sand and clear blue skies? How about the Caribbean? That sounds good, but there are over 3,000 islands in the Caribbean network to choose from! Some are merely pieces of rock sticking out of the water, others are big enough to support large, urban populations. There are at least three different languages spoken throughout the islands. You have to decide where to go.

To make it easier for yourself, you have to narrow it down. One way of doing that is to ask yourself some questions. Do you like Bond films or the books by Ian Fleming? If you do, why not build a holiday around visiting the locations where some of the scenes were shot.

You don’t have to be a diehard fan to enjoy a holiday like this, just be like millions who fantasise about being as smooth and debonair as old James, if only for a few minutes! So, why not pack your tuxedo, but not your Walther PPK—that’s frowned on nowadays—and sort yourself out a Caribbean holiday.

 

Bond’s Bahamas

The Bhamas

flickr image by cdorobek

The Bahamas is a good place to start. Las Bahamas consist of about 700 islands, but only about 30 are inhabited. There are a wealth activities to do and places to see. In Nassau, the capital, there is the British Colonial Hilton, which has featured in two Bond movies; Thunderball and Never Say Never Again. Part of the 2006 remake of Casino Royale was also made there.

So proud are they of their connection with the Bond films that they have accommodation especially for Bond fans called the ‘Double O’ suite and they’ve filled it with memorabilia. You can lounge about in style, ordering martinis from room service. Assassins are banned from the hotel and grounds, so you don’t have that to worry about. The beautiful women have to be supplied by yourself. Be careful of the gadgets!

Other locations, where scenes were filmed, are La Café Martinique, Exumas island chain, the International Airport, Albany House, Coral Harbour and West Providence Island. The Buena Vista Hotel stood in for an embassy in Casino Royale. On Paradise Island there is the One and Only Ocean Club, as well as the Atlantis Resort and Casino, where other scenes for that film were shot. The Atlantis has a water park called Aquaventure attached to it. Essentially, it is for the hotel guests, but there are a limited number of day tickets issued to the general public. It has terrifying rides that will scare you witless during the day and at night you can nonchalantly lose your money in the casino!

Also in Nassau you can watch the Junkanoo parades, with all the sounds and sights of the Caribbean carnival, as featured in Live and Let Die. For the more mature Mr Bonds, there is cricket or golf.

 

James’ Jamaica

James' Jamaica

flickr image by 04deveni

The other place in the Caribbean where some Bond movie scenes were shot is Jamaica. The author of the 007 series, Ian Fleming, loved the Caribbean and made his home in Jamaica. His house, Goldeneye, still exists, but now the estate has been turned into a small hotel resort. It is situated on a high cliff overlooking the ocean and the site is scattered with three-bedroom villas. It is close to the village of Oracabessa and has its own private beaches close by. This is a must for a taste James Bond’s world.

The first Bond, Sean Connery, also has a home in Jamaica, on Lyford Cay. Dr No, the first official Bond movie in 1962, was set and filmed in Jamaica. On Crab Key was the iconic scene that disturbed millions of men, young and old, as Ursula Andress, playing Honey Rider, rose out of the waves like Venus—a scene that launched a untold number of fantasies. The same scene was repeated almost exactly by Halle Berry in Die Another Day, but set in Cuba in 2002.

Jamaican scenes were used for the mythical island of San Monique, where Roger Moore battled the bad Dr Kananga. Kingston, the capital, was also used as a general backdrop. It is possible to get special 007 tours that will take you to all of the places associated with the James Bond films. These can be easily arranged by local travel agents, even if you arrive in the Caribbean by cruise ship.

Apart from these tours, there are plenty of other things to do. Jamaica offers the usual Caribbean staples of sun, sea and sand and, for those with a more active disposition, after you’ve tired of watching the bartender shake your latest vodka martini, there are other activities or places of interest to visit. Water babies can dive or snorkel, or even swim with dolphins.

If you can tear yourself away from the beach, you can visit the Great Houses of the colonial era. Tour a working plantation. Watch rum being made from sugar cane by the old traditional methods on the Appleton Estate. Go horse-riding, either swim and ride along the beach or follow the trails up into the mountains.

People tend to forget the interior of the island, but it has just as much to offer as the coast. If you are a nature lover, there are beautiful places to see, such as the Green Grotto Caves, and various waterfalls, or take a relaxing river ride on a bamboo raft. Hiking and biking along the mountain trails is also very popular.

So, what are you waiting for? Live life to the full, just like our hero!

Date posted: 25th November, 2012

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