Back to Reality

26 10 2009

I figure I owe at least a brief synopsis of our trip after my last post.

At 7:00 am Wednesday we arrived at the airport in a snow storm. We had a charter flight which was wonderful for a couple reasons.  It was a direct flight (4 hours from winter to the tropics) and it wasn’t full.  I don’t think any center seats had a passenger.  This is an airline that doesn’t show up much at our local airport.

Airpla-ne

Because of the snow we did pause to be de-iced.  Better safe than sorry.

Deice

The flight was right on time and about four hours later this was the approach to the airport in Nassau.

approach

And finally the airport itself.  I could take all the pictures I wanted coming into the airport, but when we left it was prohibited to take pictures in the airport even out the window of the plane we were departing in.

Nassau-Airport

It was about a 45 minute drive to the hotel.  By the time our luggage showed up it was getting close to 5pm.  Much to our disappointment all pools at the Atlantis close at 5pm.  This was a huge drawback for us.  In warm environments I typically swim late in the evening and also early in the morning.  Pool time was limited to 9am to 5pm.  I understand that for the slides and water features, but not the pool!  I wouldn’t stay here again for just that reason alone, but there are others.

While we waited for our luggage to show up we wandered a bit.  We looked at part of the aquarium.  It is free both to hotel guests and to other visitors.

aquarium

aquarium2

aquarium3

OK, I know some of you looked at that last picture and said, “Yum, dinner!”  We’re vegetarians so they didn’t really appeal to us.  The food options were very limited for us, and the price tag could put one into shock!  We survived, but I don’t think I gained any weight on this trip. 

Apparently, the idea at this resort is that people go to the casino at night.  Another thing that doesn’t appeal to me.  I’m just too tight with my money.  The beach also technically closes at 5pm, but they don’t stop people from walking on it.  So we spent some time strolling in the sand.

beach

Thursday we had a sail and snorkel trip booked.  We were on one of these.  The sailing was good, but the water was a little choppy which resulted in a lot of bobbing around while snorkeling.

sailboat

Me-snorkelingWhile the water was comfortable, what was visible was very disappointing.  We had snorkelled in Puerto Rico 5 years ago and it was beautiful!  Here the reef was brown and lacking color — dead perhaps?  This was the best we saw and most was much worse.

reef

Friday we took the ferry over to Nassau and did a portion of a walking tour from a guide-book.  The architecture was interesting and that’s mainly what I photographed.  The streets were narrow with no shoulders and narrow or non existant sidewalks.  We did manage to find our way up to Fort Fincastle which was much smaller than I expected after touring a fort in Puerto Rico.  Here are just a few pictures from the walk.

I loved this sign on the Dept. of Health building.

Protect-Ya-Tings

The red door and shutters with the rough blocks on this building was very appealing to me.

Red-Door

This was the public library.  They were doing some work so you are just seeing the top to try to avoid the scaffolding.

Library

This is one of the government buildings.  I like how they are not afraid of color on the island.

govt-building

One shot of Fort Fincastle.  I believe I read that at one time it was the highest point on the island.

Fort-Fincastle

We did walk through the straw market.  We bought one bag.  Sad I know, but we just don’t need a lot of souvenir type stuff around the house, that’s what pictures are for.

We ran to get to the ferry on the half hour and made it.  This is when we really got a lesson in island time.  We got there with maybe two minutes to spare.  20 minutes later we were still sitting at the dock.  While they say they leave every half hour, they actually try to pack the ferry as full as possible before they pull out.

Back on Paradise island we finally made it to the pools and water features while they were open.  We went around the “lazy river” twice.  It is a mile long loop that you float on tubes around.  I could have stayed on it for hours, if it hadn’t been for the possibility of sunburn.  I did a couple of the slides on Saturday, but Guy quit the water because he forgot to use sunscreen before Nassau and was already burned.

Saturday we decided to go to an attraction the guide-book said was one of the best on the island.  The cloister and Versailles gardens.  We asked at the hospitality desk if the shuttle went there and were given an abrupt no.  We decided to walk.  Just a couple blocks away from the hotel, I slipped on a wet cross walk and went down.  It was both painful and embarrassing.  I bloodied up my knee and twisted my ankle.  However, we forged on.  Shortly thereafter, one of the shuttle buses stopped and the driver asked where we were headed.  We told him and he said it was no problem to take us there.  I told him the hospitality desk said they didn’t go there and his response was they did by special request.  Anyway, it was a short trip and I got another photo opportunity.

The cloister was built by Augustinian monks in France during the 12th and 13 century.  It was purchased originally by William Randolph Herst at which time is was hastily dismantled.  Unfortunately, in the haste nothing was numbered for reconstruction.  The reassembly baffled everyone for several years, but it was finally reassembled over a period of two years by an artist and sculptor named Jean Castre-Mann.

Cloister

Cloister2

cloister3

Looking out one side of the cloister —

From Cloister

gazebo

Looking through the Versailles Gardens —

Versaille Gardens

Saturday evening we hiked down the beach trying to get to a lighthouse.  Our plans were foiled by large rock outcroppings and private property signs.  I was hoping to get some sunset pictures from there, but the best I could get were pictures with my telephoto lense.

Lighthouse

Then around sunset —

lighthouse sunset

The colors were better the next morning as we prepared to check out —

Sunrise

Our flight home was also a charter and it was right on time.  Four hours from the tropics to another snow storm and a two-hour delay this morning for school because of ice.

OK my brief synopsis has gotten pretty long.  I know I’ve sounded somewhat negative in this post.  We did enjoy ourselves, but this vacation was similar to being on a cruise ship that never left port.  I know millions of people love that type of vacation, but our ideal vacation is a deserted beach during off-season.  So would I go to the Bahamas again?  Possibly if I did my reasearch and found an island that was further off the beaten path.  Would I go to Atlantis again?  If someone paid my way, yes.  If I had to pay for it, no way.

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3 responses

26 10 2009
Allie

The pool closed at 5pm???? That’s insane. The BEACH closed at 5? Criminal! My ideal vacation is just like yours – a deserted beach. It sounds like you had a good time in spite of challenges, which is good. I LOVED your pictures, especially of the cloister.

28 10 2009
Linda

Yes…did the cruise ship thing a while back and was not that impressed with the island, Atlantis included. Like you, I’d go again only if the trip was paid for by someone else.

28 10 2009
Alycia

Was it a shock to come back to such cold weather?




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