Chicago to Bahamas … Oru Payanam (A Jaunt)! – II


Posted on January 12th, 2009

To read the first part of this journey click here.

We woke up early and afresh. After hot complementary breakfast we started to explore the Atlantis. It was amazing to see the tall towers. We spent some time at the casino and at the shopping mall near the coral tower.

We enjoyed playing in sands of the beautiful beach and being engulfed in the warm sunshine. Motor boats are available for about $75. Couples can try this too… take your loved one in the motor boat and enjoy the tides in the Atlantis beach!!

After lunch, we visited the downtown Nassau. We took a ferry boat to the New Providence Island. We had a nice walk down the bay street of the Nassau. Bay Street is the most popular place for the duty free shopping. It almost resembled our famous “Usman Road”… well, not very populous though :-)

All the products including food items are imported from US. Hence everything is very costly here. We heard from the locals that most of them come to Miami to shop. Only milk and bread are duty free imports.

Interesting information about Nassau is that people here buy water from the nearby Rose Island, Bahamas. Through out our stay at the Paradise Island and in the Providence Island (Nassau), we had to buy water bottles. First we were quite puzzled as we couldn’t see even a single water fountain. A Bahamian explained us that the ground water is very salty and hence they buy the water from a neighboring Island!

In the evening, we visited the straw market. The Bahamian women decorate dried palm and sisal plant leaves to create items such as baskets, bags and dolls. They sell their hand made goods at the straw market. We got few handicraft decorative items here. We didn’t bargain but feel the items are worth the money.

Ganesha wanted to sip hot coffee. This coffee fever amuses me. Well I take pride to mention that he is not a coffee addict, one cup a day would suffice him :-) Let me not digress. We targeted star bucks at Nassau and had refreshing evening drink. After a little “paet-ki-pooja” we took the water taxi (ferry) to reach our resort.

The next day we booked a city tour. We wanted to explore the Nassau, of course with a local guide. We visited Queen’s staircase, Fort Fincastle, water tower and Fort Charlotte.

Queen’s staircase has 65 steps. It is carved out of solid limestones by slaves in the late 18th century. This staircase was named in honour of the 65 years of Queen’s Victoria’s reign. The staircase is dedicated to Queen Victoria for it was during her reign that slavery was abolished. Fort Fincastle was built by Lord Dunmore, about 1793. Fort Charlotte is the largest of the forts found in Nassau. It was built in 1789 by Lord Dunmore. This fort has never fired a shot in Battle.

We clicked few snaps at these historic places :-)

Cannon at Fort Charlotte

Cannon at Fort Charlotte

Inscription on the wall of Fort Charlotte

Inscription on the wall of Fort Charlotte

Hey! We got a chance to see the locals getting ready for the Junkanoo… wats it? It is street parade that occurs in most of the town in the Bahamas. My friend Wiki (he he wikipedia) says the largest Junkanoo parade happens in Nassau, the capital of Bahamas.

Wats special about this parade? Junkanoo groups’ dance to the music of cowbells, in costumes made from cardboard covered in tiny shreds of colorful crepe paper, competing for cash prizes.

We heard from one of the Junkanoo group, that they start preparing the costumes for this parade and keep it a secret so as to hide their ideas from the other groups. On the d-day they give a blasting performance to win the cash award! All their costumes are made out of card board. We didn’t forget to click few snaps of this wonderful Junkanoo costumes… well the secret was revealed only to us before the actual show :-)

Junkanoo Costumes

Junkanoo Costumes

After enjoying the Nassau city tour, we hit the bed dreaming about our under water venture that we were going to attempt the next day!

We woke up early and had a very light breakfast. The bus from Stuart Cove picked us from our hotel. We drove through Nassau to reach the Stuart Cove. It was about an hour travel from our hotel. We thoroughly enjoyed the pleasant sunny morning.

On reaching the cove, we picked up our wet suits. These suits can be rented at $10. The dive boys explained us about the underwater scooter. We were taught few “very simple postures”. These are the signals to communicate with the dive boys within the water. There are few postures that alarm the divers that we are in trouble. After this introductory session we were are all set to enter the ocean. I really thank all the dive boys who made our day. Needless to say we enjoyed the thrilling adventure. Not to forget… we were safe and comfortable.

We returned back to the cove at about 1pm. The bus from Stuart Cove dropped us at our hotel.

To know more about our experience, have a look here.

We stayed at the Paradise Island. How can we ever miss the water rides at the Atlantis? Of course not!!! We spent the next two days in exploring the Atlantis. We enjoyed playing in Current rapids, water drops, water falls, and the swimming pools. There are kid’s water parks too.

Our 5 days Bahamas trip came to an end. We enjoyed this trip to the core. We started from Nassau to reach our next vacation spot Orlando (Florida).

We spent next few days at the Universal Studios and the Disney World. We saw the holiday parade at both Universal and the Disney (Magic Kingdom). Words cannot explain the fun that we had here. Being holiday season, there was huge crowd. We had to wait for long time to enter the roller-coaster and other thrilling rides. Nevertheless we enjoyed all the fun there!

Wow… time flew away. Our 10 days holiday trip came to an end. With all the fun still lingering in our mind, we reached Chicago fully invigorated looking forward to the start the New Year with joyful spirits.

Hope u guys too had fun in this virtual tour. Thanks for joining us!

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