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Old March 30th, 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
hauntedheadnc
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Hauntedhead goes to The Bahamas (Part 2)

Surely you would like to review Part 1 first?

Just where can one sail to from Charleston, South Carolina, you ask. The answer, of course, is the Bahama Islands. Specifically, Nassau and Freeport, the two tourism capitals of the Bahamas. We stopped in Nassau first, and then hit up Freeport the next day.

Nassau is the capital city of the Bahamas, and it is most definitely the urban hub of the nation despite its smallish size. It has slums -- which I seem to have a knack for finding for some reason. It has crime. It is overlaid with a genteel and relaxed sort of filth. It frequently smells of piss, and its streets have gutters along the side in which you will see flowing "gray water" as well as mysterious foamy liquids about which you won't want to give undue thought.

Another note about Nassau: while sidewalks have taken the rest of the world by storm, Bahamians regard them with suspicion and thus there are very few of them. A good bit of the time, if you're walking, you're walking in the street, which is how I came within inches of being run down by a bus. I was rather surprised, actually, that the driver didn't blow the horn at me, because God knows all the other Bahamians have no compunction whatsoever about laying hard on the horn. That was what Nassau sounded like -- car horns and The Lion King.

More on that later. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you Nassau, The Bahamas.



That's our ship on the right. That bad boy on the left is a ship from the Disney Cruise Line. Did you know that the Disney ships show Disney movies at their outdoor pool? And that they crank the sound way up when they do it... and that as a result the movie blares out across the entire city? I bet the citizens of Nassau just love it when Disney pulls in, because for the entire afternoon they get treated to whatever heartwarming family film the Disney folks are playing poolside.



You have to love a clear, concise sign like this. Want to get into the city? Go through that door.



















Formerly the city jail, now the city library.

















































The water tower next to Fort Fincastle.



The dogs, although by no means all the dogs, of Fort Fincastle.







Hakuna Matata, and all that.





Vendors at the base of the water tower. I bought a "Bahamas Lucky Cat" here.











































The Vendue House, which is home to a museum about slavery. I highly recommend the museum if you're looking to spend about 45 minutes wiping your eyes with a napkin and trying not to bawl outright. Among the items on display is a set of child-sized shackles.

Think about that.





While our fellow tourists were being herded about like sheep, my boyfriend and I set off in search of authentic Bahamian cuisine. We paid a man two dollars to lead us to a hole in the wall on a side street. The result? Fried conch. Yummy.























The art museum. Unfortunately, it was closed for the installation of a new exhibit.































I think this is or was a figurehead. It's in the courtyard of the Pirates of Nassau Museum.



The obligatory shot of tourists photographing each other.





The Atlantis Resort.



Most of the Bahamians we came across seemed to approve of his shirt. Can't imagine why.



Meanwhile, back on the ship, there were passing yachts to be seen.



Not to mention parasailers.



Goodbye, Nassau.



The next day we sailed to Freeport, which is an entirely different beast from Nassau. Freeport is an unashamed, unabashed industrial port with a tourist industry nailed to it because it happens to be near a nice beach. However, to get to the nice beach, you have to ride in a van through a fairly grim industrial wasteland and then through suburban sprawl, Bahamian-style. The purpose of this exercise seems to be to dampen any warm feelings you might have taken away from Nassau.

We also learned from talking to the natives, that as it turns out, the people of Freeport dislike the people of Nassau because they regard those people to be unbearable snobs. The people of Nassau, meanwhile, dislike the citizens of Freeport because they regard those people as tourist whores. There is some validity to both positions, I think.

Here is the industrial port of Freeport, as viewed from a cruise ship.









The oil refinery. Many of the storage tanks had lovely scenes of sea life painted on their sides.





And here is how to turn an industrial harbor into an international tourist destination -- just add trinket shops!







Meanwhile, across the island at the beach... you will be approached roughly every two minutes by someone attempting to sell you something. By my count, we had people coming by trying to sell necklaces (the necklace ladies came by the most often), sandals, cold beer and water, banana boat rides, snorkel tours, fishing tours, glass-bottomed boat tours, t-shirts, and marijuana. One vendor was especially persistent when he ascertained that my boyfriend and I were indeed a couple. He kept exhorting us to "ride the big banana."







I leave you with this final shot of a cannibal bird pecking at a chicken bone.

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Old March 30th, 2011, 05:12 AM   #2
kingsway
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lovely....what an extensive photo tour.
thanks.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:04 PM   #3
christos-greece
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Both threads, the photos are really very nice
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Old March 30th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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this is the best, Im loving the text too. It would be great to send you on a world tour methinks
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Old March 30th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #5
hauntedheadnc
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Thanks for looking, everybody.

Spliff, about that world tour... lol.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 08:34 PM   #6
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This dropped out of sight rather quickly. Warrants a single bump.
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Old April 1st, 2011, 12:40 AM   #7
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Beautiful Bahamas!!
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