Birmingham Stories and Tips

Paradise Island/ Bahamas

Nassau Photo, Birmingham, England

We took the short flight from Miami to Nassau and travelled by taxi to our RCI accommodation at Club Land'Or on Paradise Island. We realised on arrival that from the resort, we had a clear view of the Atlantis, and on our first evening, watched a wonderful firework display over Atlantis. We were also informed that we could use the pool, beach, sun loungers, etc., there during our stay in addition to those at our own resort.

Our first day was spent exploring Paradise Island and all that was on offer at Atlantis, which took up most of the time. There were so many restaurants to choose from that we soon realised that we would need to look no farther to have our needs met, and all in such a wonderful setting.

There was a huge walk-through area where tropical fish could be viewed, and everywhere we walked there were monumental dolphins, spectacular glass ornaments that went from the floor to the ceiling, and golden sea horses, all a photographer's delight. The casino was large and well used. People just seemed to sit in one spot, feeding dozens of coins into one machine! The outside was just as delightful, with beautiful gardens, fountains, and waterfalls all around and a very attractive pool area with bars and entertainment, such as steel bands, for visitors to enjoy.

We decided that Nassau had to be next on our list. On our first visit, we took the bus over the bridge and then joined the hustle-and-bustle. The shopkeepers all tried to lure us inside with their many offers of cheap goods, but the nice place to shop was the straw market with lots of souvenir-type items available at reasonable prices, and if you had arrived without your sun hat, there was no problem obtaining one.

It was interesting to see the many cruise ships docked in port, and that evening, it was a spectacular sight to view them from a distance when they were all lit up.

Many of the historical buildings in Nassau are worth seeing, some of them being the House of Assembly, Government House, the Public Library, Magna Carta Court, and Balcony House. You can travel around on a sightseeing horse and buggy ride, but we chose to take our time and stroll at our own pace, heading for the shops with air-conditioning when needed.

Another of our days in Nassau took us to Ardastra Gardens. We found it very small compared to some places we have visited around the world, but we enjoyed viewing the gardens with their tropical plants and seeing the many colourful birds. The day must have been very hot - even some of the parrots were lying down resting. One of the shows is of flamingoes who have been taught to "do tricks" around a circus-style arena. The audience is then offered the opportunity to be photographed with the birds (looking stupid and standing on one leg). Yes, of course we participated for one of those holiday snapshots. Our route to Ardastra Gardens took us by the Cricket Ground. My husband being a cricket fan, we entered the ground and found that there was a game being played that day. Much to his delight, he got the opportunity to chat to two of the players and share some memories having played cricket for the Navy in the past. The pavilion was serving English lunches, so we stayed and tucked into roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, watching the match at the same time from the veranda.

We discovered that there was a ferry on which we could return from Nassau to Paradise Island and found this a better option than the bus. It also gave us a different view of the cruise ships as we travelled by. If we were not feeling too hot, we did sometimes walk across the bridge.

Not too long a stroll from Club Land D'Or, we found some very pleasant gardens that seemed to be modelled a little on the style of the gardens at Versailles in Paris. It was a pleasant change from the beach area, and en route, we found ducks on a pond, which made us feel very much at home.

The last afternoon of our stay, we strolled along the beach at Atlantis. The sand was virtually white and the sea a beautiful shade of turquoise blue. It certainly felt like paradise and was such a relaxing, beautiful setting. But the next day it was off to the airport and home via rain-soaked Miami.

If we returned, it would probably be for a shorter stay or as part of a cruise. Not having a car for this part of our holiday, we found that we were limited to the public-bus routes and timetables, which was not ideal, but the area is well worth a visit, and for sun and beach lovers, it is ideal.

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