Published: July 12th 2011July 7th 2011
Our next stop is Nassau, three hours on the fast catamaran of Bahamas Ferries from Harbour Island. Let's put it straight forward, this place is simply not beautiful. Nassau, the capital of Bahamas , sits on Providence Island, and just across from Nassau Downtown is Paradise Island, the home of the Atlantis hotel complex.
First impression, and I was warned by people in Harbour Island, Nassau doesn't really seem a safe place to walk around. We didn't venture out after 7pm to stay on the safe side. But you can see dodgy individuals wandering all around the secondary streets, not really a reassuring sight.
We stay for 2 nights at the Hilton Colonial right in Downtown, thanks to complimentary vouchers from Hilton Group. The weather was back to what we should expect in July, overcast, and later even some rain in the late afternoon. But we had the time to enjoy the city before the rain reached us, enjoying drinks at the lounge only once the rain had arrived.
Downtown Nassau has been turned into a huge duty-free shop for incoming daily "port-of-call" by the huge cruise ships. We saw between two and three of them everyday. Wow,
I know Leslie dreams of those, but I don't wish to spend a week on those. Sad point, duty-free here is not really of any interest. We live in Asia, and when it comes to shopping, Nassau is a very pale thing.
We stopped by few historical sites and buildings. The best of all must have been the Queen's Stairs built by former slaves, pretty impressive sight, as well as Fort Fincastle over-viewing the City of Nassau. The local parliament was pretty nice in pink too, getting ready for Independence Day two days later.
We walk our way to the bridge connecting to Paradise Island. Well, for the Bahamas, Paradise Island is really a very badly chosen name. It looks more like Las Vegas Island, fake as it can be. I think the only nice place around here could have been the Ocean Club hotel (well above 600usd a night), but being behind closed gates, it was out of reach for us.
The Atlantis is another of this huge hotels, without any soul! Actually, I was more impressed with his sister property in Dubai...at least in Dubai, everything looks fake, so there is a kind of harmony
to this “fake” . Here, limos come in and out, but there is nothing beautiful in the area.
Atlantis and cruise ships! Well, not really a match for Harbour Island! We took some time to rest from the sun, that was seriously needed...and spent time sipping Chilean chardonnay on the terrace of the executive lounge of the hotel....not really a Bahamas experience!
At the same time I do not regret coming here. We had to as it was the place where our next flight is leaving from. And it was not bad to take a day discovering how bad mass tourism can turn. Bear in mind, I'm a fan of Las Vegas, it's fake, it's huge, but it fits in some purpose....here, in Nassau, I don't share the same view.
The next morning we took our flight to...our next destination, way more fascinating. Our plane, an old Bahamas Air 737...wow, these guys are a mess. The flight was not full....we boarded a good 30 minutes after our flight should have taken-off. Mess all around, and suddenly, I saw a cart full of bags leaving the plane area. Well, it was the only plane around, and 10 minutes
later, nothing back. Stand up, euh, Miss flight attendant, I think we have an issue, are you sure our bag is going to make it? She told me to wait, and went to speak to another passenger in the middle of the plane. I stand up, the guys look like he was working for Bahamas Air. I told him...don't think one of our bag is making it...he asked my bags stub, leave the plane, and came back 15 minutes later....tell me simply it's ok.
Guess what, all ours bags made it(even the one on the cart), and at least 15 people, a good 20% of passengers were not as lucky as us....sometimes, it does worth just to stand up and ask....
Ok, Nassau won't stay a great souvenir for us. We may still have to come back one day. I promised Leslie to realize his dream one day...a Disney Cruise, and their shortest itinerary is 3 nights, stopping one day in Nassau....not sure we'll spend a lot of time on the shore that day!
I'm getting late on blogging, as usual! Next entry coming soon, from an amazing place, a palce that wow us!
There are more photos below