Just in a day you’ll get to know the spirit and culture of Nassau in the Islands of the Bahamas, a priceless destination of subtropical beauty and relaxation.
Since the banning of American travel to Cuba Nassau has become a more popular holiday resort.
If you’ve never been to colourful Nassau you may not want to leave just like the pirates of long ago or the enslaved Africans, the religious dissenters, or the English loyalists who found refuge and haven in its hidden harbours.
For us, it’s a revisit – it’s always better the second time around although nothing very much had changed since we attended the Manulife Financial Prestige and Premiere Conference in May, 1999 at the Atlantis Paradise Island.
The heart of Nassau, the capital, largest city and commercial centre of the Bahamas, is the Downtown’s Bay Street that runs parallel to the busy waterfront and just a short stroll from the cruise ship dock. For those whom shopping is a favourite pastime, this place is unrivaled from duty-free shops to local markets and craftstores. You will need cash if you want to bargain at the famous Straw Market that featuress traditional native straw handicrafts like hats, mats, baskets, wood carvings, fabrics, and many other arts, crafts and souvenirs.
Worth seeing is the Queen’s Staircase. Named in honour of Queen Victoria, the staircase consists of over 65 steps hewn out of natural limestone cliff by slave labour. Climb the stairs to the Water Tower and an elevator takes you to the observation point for a panoramic view of Nassau.
The Staircase also leads to Fort Fincastle atop Bennet’s Hill overlooking the city. Built in 1793, the structure was uniquely designed in the shape of a paddle wheel steamer.
History lives at the dungeons tour of Fort Charlotte that was built during the Napoleonic era to defend the island against marauding pirates of the Caribbean waters.
For more exploration of the golden age of piracy or depiction of pirate lives and times we visited the Pirates of Nassau Museum located in downtown Nassau on the corner of Marlborough and George Streets.
If you happen to be at Nassau on a December 26 or the first of January you’ll enjoy the colourful street parade known as “Junkanoo”, the city’s major festival of brightly costumed people dancing to the rhythmic accompaniment of cowbells, drums and whistles.
From Nassau harbour we took a speedy boat taxi to Paradise Island, the gem of Nassau, to visit the world famous Atlantis Bahamas Resort. Actually there are two bridges that also can be walked – one for coming and one for going. Most people however cab over.
Driving in Nassau? Don’t forget that traffic stays to the left and is directed by “bobbies” sporting white jackets, navy pants with red seams and pith helmets.
A perfect day in Nassau?