I am currently working on several posts related to our recent trips to Ireland and France (ok, I know I am not fooling anyone…I haven’t even started yet, but I’ll get there…), but because it’s Thursday, here’s a little throwback to a destination from several years ago:
As I mentioned in the first of my “A Day of Adventure” posts, our love of the ease and comforts of cruising, coupled with our preference to do things on our own whenever possible, has allowed my husband and I to prefect our one-day travel plans. One of our early (before baby) trips brought us to the lovely port of Nassau.
We started our day off with a quick cab ride to The Cloisters, the remains of a 12th century French monastery that was reassembled in the Bahamas, stone by stone. The old European monastic structure seems a bit at odds with the tropical breeze and island flowers, but in another way, it seems like it is in the only place it really should be.
The whole structure sits next to the ocean and while standing there with the cloisters to my back, looking out at the turquoise water, I felt I had never been to a place more uniquely beautiful.
The Cloisters are located right next to the Versailles Garden on the property of the One & Only Ocean Club Resort – which is famously known as one of the stunning locales in the Bond movie Casino Royale. The least expensive rooms at the resort are over $600/night so we were sure to dress to impress for our lunch plans at the resort. We had a lovely stroll through the Gardens to the restaurant, and were greeted by the staff as if we were the finest of their guests.
The One & Only’s Dune Restaurant sits above the beach, looking out at the lapping waves. There is seating both indoors and out, and we chose to sit at a shaded table on the deck. The food was fresh and delicious – boasting delicate flavors that were intended to be slowly savored. The service was impeccable. It remains to this day, on of my favorite meals.
After lunch, we decided to take a walk along the beach down to the Atlantis Resort where we hoped to have a drink before catching a cab to our next destination.
Sadly, the Atlantis is pretty strict about where you can go when you haven’t booked a day with them, so we decided it wasn’t really worth it to try to find a bar that we’d be welcome to have access to. We did have a nice walk through the public areas that included some of the most beautifully maintained flowers and got a good feel for the beauty and vastness of the place – it is definitely a destination that we will get back to if we are traveling through Nassau with the kids!
We also took advantage of an opportunity to take an obligatory photo on the Throne of Atlantis. There was a photographer there who was taking photos to sell to the guests, but he was actually kind enough to take one with our camera for us.
We were able to very easily catch a cab in front of the hotel (note: prior to our trip, I had read of concerns of rogue cabs in Nassau, so we definitely felt it was safest to get a taxi from a reputable hotel, rather than trying to flag one), and made it to our next destination of the day: Ardastra Gardens & Zoo. Ardastra is best known for its bird exhibits, however they have several different types of animals in their zoo – some of which left me feeling quite bad for them in their caged, and quite humid, habitats. The birds, however, are a wonderful sight worth seeing. We walked past Black Swans, Toucans, Parrots, Peacocks and Flamingos, among others.
They feature several interactive bird exhibits, including an opportunity to feed the Lory Parrots. Bob and I had so much fun with this, as all you need to do is hold out an apple slice and the parrots fly right to you – sometimes more than one at once!
We also attended Ardastra’s self-proclaimed “World Famous Marching Flamingos” show. The show demonstrates the great intelligence of these birds as they follow military-like marching commands. The trainer even allowed me to go out into the arena and see the flamingos up close.
We had to wait quite awhile for a cab to pick us up from Ardastra (this time we called a cab company recommended by the Zoo), but it was well worth it as the experience was priceless. We had the cab drop us off downtown where we strolled the streets and took in some of the local sights before heading back to the ship. All in all, it was a perfect day in Paradise.