What an excellent break this was!
Alas, I had no idea what to expect, but I didn't expect that the Bahamas would be so American. However, we were able to find quite a lot of 'authenticity' there, which made it pretty cool. It was great to walk on the beach and lay on the beach and swim, which was delightfully relaxing. Happy wishes to Chris and Amy, whose wedding we attended while we were there!
These were some Versailles-esque gardens installed by the first developer of Paradise Island, Huntingdon Hartford. It was a bit strange, with a replica Farnese Hercules and some other medieval French, 19th century and Modern sculptures, all of which were unfortunately badly weatherbeaten and not in good condition at all. At the top is a 14th century cloister that was bought from William Randolph Hearst -- also not in particularly good shape. The result is the gauche taste of American industrialists that now appear to have an Ozymandias complex.
The trained flamingos at Ardastra Gardens were such a hoot!!! Even cooler was that before the show, we were able to mingle with them without a fence between us. There were also free range peacocks, which I now have learned (from an evolutionary anthropologist) engage in costly signaling similar to the way humans do.
We had a really great Bahamian meal on Arawak Cay right before going to Ardastra Gardens. Then, while walking through the straw market, I noticed that the ladies working there had this really great looking food, and I wondered where it came from since it didn't seem like they had brought it. I was trying to get out of the straw market anyway because it was stuffy and overwhelming and I didn't really want to buy anything. When I got out, I saw a lady selling food out of the back of her minivan -- $7 for the above, which is a great deal for the Bahamas as far as food is concerned! I got turkey, rice, lasagna (with a cheddar-ish cheese) and potato salad. There were other options available as well, like chicken plus this amazing local bread. I know I got something that the locals eat and I really enjoyed it.
This is a local ice company, and I find the entendre to be hysterical. I'll leave it at that.
Arrrrgh! Being a Japanese tourist in Nassau -- NB my Kalik Gold in a bag.
This bungalow is very cute but very fake and has something to do with the James Bond movies, though I forget which one. It's probably either Thunderball or Casino Royale, but I'm really not sure. Probably Casino Royale. Elsewhere in Nassau there are places with further connection to Thunderball, and we stayed one compound away from where parts of Casino Royale was filmed. The behemoth Atlantis is in view behind it.