17/5/13 Nassau, Bahamas
Avast there me hearties! Up, fed and out, Nassau awaits, the proper pirate stronghold, home of Blackbeard and other fearsome and fascinating buccaneers of the high seas. Arrrr Jim lad this be the place I wants to see.
First though we had to get off, walk the plank I mean along the pier, go through the welcome centre, run the gauntlets of taxi touts, hair braiding ladies, tour touts and eventually escape through the gates and out into the city.
Once more the line of jewellery and souvenir shops but we had a map and things to see so we carried onwards. We had a quick look in the straw market, which was basically a large building full of craft and souvenir stalls with very forceful ladies trying to get you to buy their wares. I nearly bought some earrings but the price started at $15 dollars, it quickly dropped to $5 as I walked away but by then I couldn’t be doing with it all and I realised how long it has been since we needed to do any hard haggling – in Peru it’s a case of this is the price and I
don’t care whether you buy it or not!
So forging onward we walked up through the city, found a flight of stairs that we thought were the famous Queen’s staircase but weren’t, carried on and found a road sign so realised we still had a fair way to go and eventually after going up a hill found it. Having now seen the proper one we decided the first one was more worthy of the title.
We then had a look around the tiny Fort Fincastle with its big cannons and not a lot else but did get great views over the city and towards the cruise ships all lined up. We then walked back down again and found the most amazing building – the Library! Eeee I loved it!! It was housed in a small 3 storey round building that used to be the jail and the bookshelves were all lining the walls of the former cells which were shaped like slices of pie, fabulous I would have loved to have worked there! It was strange, old, higgledy piggeldy and quirky, just what a library should be, marvellous stuff. Unfortunately you couldn’t take pictures inside, which was a
real shame as I would love you to be able to see it. We climbed up the old wooden stairs on to each of the floors and on the upper levels you could walk round the outside of the building on the wide verandas which even had tables and chairs to sit and read at.
Right enough of that, and onward on the trail of the pirates and down to the Pirates of Nassau Museum. Inside the building they had built a replica of an old pirate ship and despite it reminding me of the one at Disney it was still great. You walked alongside the ship, catching snatches of piratical conversations in the taverns lining the dockside and then entered the ship. There were various displays showing aspects of pirate life back in the 1700s including one of the ship’s carpenter playing doctor and sawing off a man’s arm (ha harrrr) complete with sound effects.
Winding your way through the ship you came to a portrayal of the 2 famous women pirates – Anne Bonney and Mary Read and were told how once they were eventually captured they both escaped hanging by claiming they were pregnant (and
a judge couldn’t sentence to death an unborn child).
There were pictures of various notorious pirates and accounts of their lives and it explained how many seamen once their vessels were taken turned to piracy as the conditions and lifestyle was much better than the abysmal pay and conditions they had previously worked in.
There were some interesting displays and plenty of facts to be had if you took the time to stop and read or to listen to the information accompanying the models rather than glancing and charging on (as lots of people seemed to be doing).
Some reviews of the museum say that it’s more for kids but I actually liked guessing the answers to the questions like ‘did pirates really bury their treasure’ true or false, then lifting the little black curtain to see the answer – false, they enjoyed spending it too much on drink and women to bury it!
So all in all I was really glad we visited this museum, I wanted some pirate stuff and here it was! Now that’s what I call FUN!
We made our way back having had a good day off the ship, seeing
some interesting sights (library and museum particularly), saved ourselves $43 each by doing it by ourselves and on foot and after finally convincing one lady I really didn’t want my hair braided we got checked through security and back onto the ship.
Once the ship set sail the deck party started up and the people on the Disney Dream cruise ship moored next to us were all out on their balconies waving us off and dancing along to the music blasting off our ship – which was far more entertaining than anything else I have seen on board so far.
We actually managed to eat in the Atlantic Dining Room this evening! Despite the Dress Code being Cruise Casual they had relaxed it a bit to say only no cut-off jeans or shorts, so we were in!
Once again the food and service was superb, so much better than the buffet restaurant and much nicer choices too. The only strange thing was no wine waiter came to our table, not that I wanted wine but a diet coke would have been nice, ah well dry land and cherry zero cokes await me tomorrow.
I was slightly
miffed to see the number of people in the dining room wearing shorts, is this stupid dress code ever applied I wonder? And I also wonder if that means we wasted three nights eating at that bloody buffet!
After eating it was back to those slot machines (told you I could get addicted) tonight though I won and lost $5 but it provided me with a couple of hours entertainment for free and overall I am $30 up on the three nights so not bad!
Back in the cabin and we had to pack and get sorted for the debarking stuff tomorrow.
18/5/13 Leaving the ship and back to Florida
We were woken up by the debarking announcements and quickly realised that they were getting through people much faster than had been expected. We weren’t due to leave the ship until 9.45 but it was clear this would actually be 8.45 so we hastily got up and grabbed a bite to eat before leaving.
The whole process was actually really quick and smooth and for once not being US citizens meant we cleared through customs in a couple of minutes and we were back on
dry land (hallelujah). Then it was taxi back to the car rental place and soon we were travelling across the state to Fort Myers.
We had a short stop off for provisions, then half an hour on the beach at Naples (which was beautiful, all white sand and clear blue sea) and now we have arrived at the Travelodge, sadly it doesn’t have a pool so we are catching up on the internet instead for a while. The entertainment here is being provided by the couple in the hallway who are having a full blown row at top volume – I’ll just check the door is properly locked.
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