Stonehenge - a national treasure in England. An attraction most tourists flock to when visiting the UK. As a history buff myself, it was surely to be on my list when I trekked around England, and indeed, one day in brown traveller life, I ventured to Wiltshire to check it out.
There it was - the ring of standing stones, one of the most famous and recognisable sites in the world. Was I willing to pay the £7.50 (the fee at the time; it is now double the amount) to go in? No. This may seem like sacrilege to many, but no...was not feeling it. Why?
|Stonehenge - from beyond the fence. |
I have small hands which fit through the fence nicely with my camera. lol.
1. I really was not willing to stand in the line for an hour just to see rocks in the ground
2. I could see the site just fine from where we were standing
3. When you paid the entrance fee, you did not get much closer to the site than if you stayed outside the fence
4. You had to fight up with the dozens and dozens of tourists and one lady complained bitterly later that she could barely get close to the stones
4. It did not fill me with the same sense of wonder I felt when I first laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa for example.
So no...it left me a bit deflated and disappointed, but not with any regret. I saw the site very well even from where I was standing outside the fence. I did not feel like being inside would have provided me with any real value. My photos looked pretty good, even though a wire fence separated me from the site. I even posed in front of the wire fence with a big smile on my face. And with my £7.50 still in my pocket, I was able to have a very nice meal later in the day.
Another "this is it?" moment was the tour of Kew Palace (not the gardens, which were a masterpiece, just the palace), Honolulu, and let's not forget the more recent Llandaff Ghost Walk in Cardiff, and these tours in particular have led me to believe that with the right packaging, you can sell anything to a
|Pigeon Point, Tobago|
That being said, Trinidad and Tobago has more than its share of natural wonders and it is heartening to see that there is a lot more effort in recent times to create unique tours and experiences for visitors and locals alike. I would love to see more though. I mean, we are not lacking in entrepreneurial spirit as evidenced from the lovely people who charge you to babysit your mobile phone outside the US embassy. Nope. We can do anything we set our minds to. From the natural wonders like the Caroni Bird Sanctuary, Buccoo Reef and Nylon Pool and Asa Wright, to culinary adventures for the foodie traveller, or cultural immersion via tours and day-trips, shows and the like, we have a lot to offer. I mean people are selling spooky ghost stories and drawing pretty decent crowds. We have folklore - great folklore. We have history. We have rocks in the ground - the Growing Stone in Biche. We have amazing cuisine. Diverse and interesting cultural traditions. We have so much! We just need to be a bit more creative and outgoing in terms of how we market these wonders.