Touring the Island

Trip Start Sep 09, 2005
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, December 2, 2005

Today I got to leave work early again, mainly to save my sanity - what little there is of it.

I decided to visit a few sights I hadn't found yet. One was Queen Elizabeth's stairway. I also wanted to see the US Embassy. The other was the government grounds - kind of like our congress and senate.

Where to start. How about the embassy. Well, how about NOT! I walked over there with camera in hand. I must truly be naive. I thought they would have visiting hours. Nope. I thought the guards would be civil. NOPE! One stopped me and asked what I wanted. I explained I just wanted to see the embassy. He asked if I had business there. I said no, I am a US citizen and it is US soil, so I thought I might visit. I was told in no uncertain terms that is not allowed. I asked what would happen if I had a problem and needed to see someone in the embassy. He said I would be allowed in. I said I had a problem. He said I was lying because I had already said I didn't have a problem. Little did he know I always have problems, just nothing the embassy can solve. Well, he and I began bickering like adolescent siblings. Can to! Can not! Can to! Can not! Jerk, idiot... it just degenerated into name calling. I realized things were getting rather heated and I might soon be carted away. I left saying he didn't have to be so rude. I am not sure what he said. He saw my camera and said I couldn't even take a picture. I got even though, I took a picture from the balcony of my hotel. Notice the satellite dishes. HA HA HA

Well, I looked on the map and it didn't look too far to the stairway thing, so I headed out. I had my trusty map in hand along with my camera and walking shoes. Well, I walked, and walked, and walked some more. I was beginning to think my navigation skills were lacking and I was lost. I was also in a part of town I didn't really want to find myself in. Once again, as in St. Vincent, I stood out like a marshmallow in a bucket of coal, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I came across the local museum of Nassau history. I ventured inside, thinking that this would make the trek somewhat fruitful even if I didn't make it to the staircase. I learned about the settlers of the island and the slaves gaining their freedom. I saw artifacts recovered from sunken pirate ships and trade vessels.

I then asked where this staircase was. I beginning to think it was just a figment of someone's imagination. It didn't really exist, but it looked good in the tourist brochures. I was told by a nice fellow it was just up the hill. Well, I started out but after looking at the path I was to take I decided it might be even less safe than what I had already traveled. I sheepishly turned around but was stopped by the directions providing fellow. He came running after me and said I was going the wrong way. Well, he was so intent on me going to the staircase I turned around and headed back up the hill. I tried to find another way out, one that the fellow couldn't see, but had no luck. So, I continued up the hill, walking on stones, dirt and gravel next to a one car wide street that had vehicles going both ways. Once I nearly had to jump on a stone wall to escape an oncoming taxi.

Well, in spite of my best effort to avoid climbing the entire way, I soon found myself at this staircase. It was actually rather interesting. I found out that the ocean shore actually was much further inland than it is now. The water reached the staircase and it was used to climb from the ships to the fort at the top of the hill. There is a big trench carved out of the rock. They used this carved out stone to build the fort at the top of the hill. There are still places that show where the blocks were carved. There are also areas carved into the rock sides that were used to climb down onto the boats docked in the inlet.

So, with mission accomplished I headed back down to the town. I was very relieved to find a way that was not quite so difficult to travel and reached a more civilized area quickly. I ended up in the government commons area. It was interesting that you can just walk all around the campus, onto the porches of the buildings. Note the parking spaces for the speaker of the hours and senate.

I was not really sure of my location, but I figured that I could walk until I found the ocean and then turn left. I continued in this manner and soon saw the cruise ships. I then knew my plan was working. However, I had blocks and blocks to walk. It turns out I walked over two miles to that damn staircase thing, and that meant I had to walk to back. It wasn't bad though. I browsed some stores and went to the straw market. When I finally was able to see my hotel, I was REALLY GLAD! I was tired. I made it to the hotel and the lounge. With some refreshment in hand I collapsed on the balcony - and took my picture of the embassy!
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