Nassau Town, Nassau
This area is alongside the water on the Nassau end of the bridge to Paradise Island. There are smaller versions of some of the island eateries, like Two Brothers, and some that look like maybe one of a kind as well. further on down this street are produce stalls and around the corner at the end of the street the boats are tied up and fishermen have piles of conchs there for sale.
We were on a private tour and our tour guide brought us here so we could see how conchs are removed from the shell, then he bought the ingredients so the fisherman could make us a dish of the fresh meat with onion, sour orange juice, lime juice, and red and white hot peppers. We really enjoyed the chance to see this area of Nassau, and the food adventure provided by Joe of Nassau Transportation Services.
Chances are, if you take a walk in downtown Nassau, you will pass in front of this building, which is one of the oldest in town. The Vendue House, a former slave auction site, is now home to the Pompey Museum of Slavery & Emancipation (named after a slave called Pompey). As its name suggests, it contains photos and documents retracing the times of slavery and emancipation in the Bahamas.
We did not get the opportunity to go inside, but if it is open when you happen to be passing by, why not take the time to visit? Admission is only $1. Opening times are said to be Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but call ahead of time to make sure.
Behind the buildings of Parliament Square, on Shirley Street, stands a peculiar octagonal structure. It is the Nassau Public Library & Museum.
Built in 1797, it was originally the Nassau Gaol ("jail"). However, since 1873, it has been the public library. You can go inside and take a look at the former prison cells which are now lined with books. It is far from being the grandest of libraries, but it is certainly one of the more original ones I have seen!
Admission is free and opening hours are as follows:
- Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday closed
The largest of the three forts around Nassau, Fort Charlotte is a nice little place to visit away from the bustle of downtown. Dating back from the English colonial times, it has never fired a shot in battle, but remains a key link to the past of the Bahamas.
Admission is only $5, and you can join in on a guided tour of the fort. We had the fortune of being there at the same time as a group of cruise ship passengers. The guided tour was very brisk, with the highlight being the Mike Tyson lookalike on one of the fort's interpretative signs, but you can go back on your steps after the tour to read the signs or walk around the other sections of the fort.
You get good views over the Nassau harbour and Paradise Island from up here, especially if you climb the barracks just outside the fort.
To get there, either walk westward on West Bay Street, then take a left on Marcus Bethel Way and go up the hill, or take bus number 10 to Arawak Cay and backtrack a little bit until you reach Marcus Bethel Way.
Take a break from the beach and explore the dungeons and underground passages of Fort Charlotte, once the main defense for Nassau. Admission and underground tours are free. Open Monday – Friday, 9:30am-4:30pm. Located off West Bay Street on Chippingham Road.
Okay, I know we stayed in an all-inclusive, but found the need to pay for drinks in our new favorite hang-out...the Daq Shack. A short distance from Breezes, we found our mecca on the side of the road. For $5 you can sit in the tiny shack and have Brian or his son fix you the most amazing daquiri you've ever tasted. All fresh ingredients, made to order. Let your imagination run wild.
If you are a cigar smoker (or like to be one on vacation) check out their amazing selection of cubans.
Granted, I only got to go to Nassau, but in addition, I also got to go to Castaway Cay, which is owned by Disney. It was pretty Nice. And fewer Hair Braiders! The Bahamas consist of more than 700 islands and cays, many of which are not inhabitated. The islands cover an area of 100,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean, located between Hispaniola and South Florida.
Getting Around: Driving in the Bahamas is influenced by the British, so cars drive on the left. Visitors can drive using their home license for up to three months and may also apply for an international driver's license. Pedestrians please be careful and remember to look to your right before crossing streets.
Upon entering The Bahamas, everyone must fill out and sign an Immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until departing. Adults are allowed to bring a maximum of 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes or one pound of tobacco, one quart of spirits, and a variety of personal effects. Purchases up to a value of one hundred dollars are permitted by all arriving passengers.
The Population:297,477. Pretty small, huh? But sadly, population estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
Since attaining independence from the UK in 1973, The Bahamas have prospered through tourism and international banking and investment management. Because of its geography, the country is a major transshipment point for illegal drugs, particularly shipments to the US, and its territory is used for smuggling illegal migrants into the US.
A little background history on the Bahamas is needed!! Arawak Indians inhabited the islands when Christopher Columbus first set foot in the New World on San Salvador in 1492. British settlement of the islands began in 1647; the islands became a colony in 1783.
There are lots of quiet laneways that have small cafes and nice shops. Stop for an espresso or cold beer along these "tiny streets".