Not being the types to shop in the touristy markets that tend to cluster around cruise ship ports, in Nassau last week Kitty, justpaperskater and I went for a walk away from the main drag. I normally research a place before I show up, but work travel had eaten up all my spare time. So, I asked a local.
I suggested we might like to see the main government building, which I heard was very British Colonial and quite lovely.
As it turned out, we instead walked by a small park with an interesting octagonal building, with signs describing it the museum and library. The library building was built in 1797 and originally served as a prison. Each floor has a central core, with wedge-shaped prison cells radiating outward. Used as a library for over 100 years, each former cell is lined shelves, with a central stack in the middle. Each cell is labeled with a category. Fiction. History. Science. The central room on the ground floor serves as a computer lab.
On the upper levels, some of the cells house pictures, small tools, old weapons, yellowed prints and, inexplicably, a shelf full of human skulls. Most of the items are not labeled, which decreases its educational value as a museum.
The librarian let us poke around, and directed us to the top, where a veranda let cool breezes blow into the open windows, and allowed us a peek around town. She also directed us to the Bahamian Historical Society down the street, but it happened to be closed that day.
Kitty went off for a cold drink and back to the ship for a rest, so Justpaperskater and I trekked over the the Queen’s Staircase. This cavern was carved by slaves into the solid rock, in order to provide a quick access for the government and military officials to travel from a small fort at the top, to the coast below.
We climbed, looked around at the fort ($1 and please tip the ‘tour guide’ who rattled off a two-minute memorized speech). As we headed back, we ran into several of our party, and looked for lunch.
Again, I consulted a local. I asked another of the policemen where to eat, and after assuring him we were not interested in Subway Sandwiches or the Hard Rock Cafe, he directed us a place that sold ‘local’ food. As it was on the main tourist drag, it probably wasn’t where most locals actually eat, but we had a meal of fish, conch fritters, and cold drinks.
- Results are In! My Vacation this Week (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Two Different Girls & Friends Go to Sea (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Time-lapse cruise video: Docking in Nassau (chriscruises.net)
- The reluctant angler hits Bahamian waters (miamiherald.com)
- Ahoy, Friends! (twodifferentgirls.com)