It’s Nassau, not NASA
When I travel, it’s my tradition to record my perceptions of the experience in a blog post or two. Recently, the Blonde Girl and I spent a few days in Nassau, Bahamas, and I waited too long to record my thoughts. So let me try to put down a few words right now, while I have a moment.
We chose Nassau because it was nearby, warm, and affordable. Neither one of us is a fan of lying on a beach, and would much prefer to explore a place’s museums and shops. But oceans are nice.
An all-inclusive is always enticing for busy professionals. But since the Blonde Girl is gluten-intolerant, and I’m a fucking vegan, the all-you-can-eat buffets at most resorts are not really relevant to us. We needed a place where we can control our diets.
So we chose a charming Airbnb in the suburbs of Nassau. Here’s a pic from the patio of our room, where we took all our meals:
Nassau is a freakin’ expensive place. It took us a while to find a grocery store frequented by locals (as opposed to tourists) so that we could find affordable vegetables. We didn’t bother with any boat excursions, or attempts to visit any of the nearby islands, mostly because that would entail long boat rides. And neither one of us does well on boats.
Instead, we enjoyed a lovely downtown walking tour, which I found on TripAdvisor, led by a charming young man named Tremis Sands, who is also a science student. He described himself as the “incarnation of disembodied happiness”. He gave us a fascinating tour of the island’s history, going all the way back to Columbus. Here he is by the bust of the nation’s founding father:
The place is historically important for many reasons, including as a long time nest for pirates. As a strategic Caribbean point, the great European powers, as well as pirates, would battle for control. The following structure, Fort Fincastle (as opposed to Castle Finfort) was constructed on the island’s highest point to resemble a ship so that approaching ships would see it as a warship turning to engage them:
My favourite place is something called the Queen’s Staircase. It is, of course, an actual set of steps painstakingly dug out of a gully by slaves. It took them 16 years, I believe. It was done to afford the soldiers manning the lookouts a quick escape down to the piers in the event of an approaching invasion.
It’s a lovely place now. Recent additions are an artificial waterfall and flowers planted along the sides. Now it’s used by narcissistic tourists as a backdrop to photograph themselves. But it is really a monument to forced labour:
My current infatuation with the US Revolutionary War, born of my recent viewing of the musical Hamilton was ironically fed weeks before I saw the show, as Nassau was home to several loyalists who fled the US mainland to retain their allegiances to Great Britain. They brought with them their colonial architectural predilections, as evidenced by the Bahamian Parliamentary buildings:
Another (sad) highlight was the Museum of Slavery, named after Pompey –not the Roman general, but a slave who was famous in the Bahamas for fighting for some limited rights. It’s definitely worth a visit, if only to remind your fat tourist ass of how this paradise was created:
Speaking of fat asses, here is Lord John Rolle, a fat-ass slave owner who looks suspiciously like my good friend Graham Sanders, who is neither a slave owner nor a fat ass:
Now, no blog post is complete without me listing all my meals, because that’s what people do now. So here they are: