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October 10, 2003
From journal 2003 Nassau Bahamas
September 25, 2002
You will probably approach the area from the north and encounter the Queen's Staircase, which has 65 (formerly 66) stairs carved out of limestone cliffs by slaves in 1790. The stair leads to what is known as Bennet's Hill. The canyon created by the stair excavation is rather quiet, as you see a vertical wall with a trickling waterfall, accompanied by a few palm trees and vines. You may encounter a few genial vendors selling t-shirts, local handicrafts, or cool drinks. You may also run into guides looking for a tip, but hiring one is really not necessary here at all.
Fort Fincastle is a tiny stronghold commissioned by Governor Lord Dunmore in 1789. This is one of three historic forts remaining on Nassau (the other two are Fort Charlotte and Fort Montagu). The basic fort is circular, with an extension that has been compared to a bow of a ship. There are a few old cannons on the site, which has no admission fee. Again you may encounter guides here, but they usually like to hang around groups of tourists. Take the easy climb to the roof deck of the fort for a better view of the surrounding area.
The water tower is shaped like a huge white saltshaker, so it is not much to look at. The top of the water tower (which is also a lighthouse), with a height of 126 feet, is the highest point of New Providence Island at a height of 216 feet above sea level. Since there is a general local ban on skyscrapers, the observation deck affords stunning 360-degree panoramic views of Nassau and of Paradise Island across the way. The entrance fee is a measly 50 cents, and you can either take the elevator or climb the circular interior stairway that wraps around the elevator shaft. The entrance level has a small snack shop and lavatory. Outside there are friendly vendors selling local items, and a few stray dogs yearning for a cooler climate.
From journal Bill in the Bahamas - NASSAU and PARADISE ISLAND