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Forts, Bars and Churches

Taking a Taxi Tour of Nassau


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2011 Back to Back Enchantment of the Seas and Lighthousing Driving South & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

How Many Ships Today?

These days most people come to Nassau on a cruise ship. They are here for a day or a part of a day. They descend on the city like a pack of locusts to strip the city clean of souvenirs.

We have been to Nassau twice on our own sailboat. The first time in January 2002 when we stayed for a week, and the second time in February 2002 after Bob's heart attack at an uninhabited cay in the Exumas. We sailed back to Nassau and he was flown to Miami. Then we came back and retrieved the boat and sailed home.

Thursday 13 January 2011

After we had breakfast (I had
Banana for breakfast

Banana for breakfast


French toast

French toast


Christmas bread

Christmas bread


and I ordered bacon and Bob ate some of mine), I tried the wi-fi again and it was still down.
Centrum elevator

Centrum elevator


So we went to do some sightseeing. I had a list of places we had not seen when we were in Nassau before. So Bob pushed the wheelchair and we got off the ship. The Carnival Pride was backing in,
Carnival_Pride_backing_in

Carnival_Pride_backing_in


and later the Costa Atlantica came in.
100_7113.JPGGetting off the ship from a wheelchair

Getting off the ship from a wheelchair

Taxis lined up along Woodes Rogers walk

Taxis lined up along Woodes Rogers walk


We started out to negotiate a price. First it was that if we had 10 people in the van it would be $60 or $120 if it was just us. We said that was too much. Eventually he said we could do an hour for $60 and we should give him a big tip if he did a good job and it would be less if we got some extra people.

We went around Parliament Square where the Supreme Court building and the library (which used to be the jail) were located.
Parliament Square

Parliament Square


The buildings in Parliament Square were constructed in 1815 by the Loyalists and are excellent examples of the colonial architecture of old Nassau. This is where most of the government buildings can be found. They are pink.

The building to the right is the House of Assembly where parliamentary meetings are held. The Senate meets upstairs in the center building and the building to the left houses the office of the Leader of the Opposition.
Parliment building door

Parliment building door


7726732-Parliament_Square.jpgQueen Victoria's Statue

Queen Victoria's Statue


Queen Victoria’s Statue is in the front of the Senate building. Located at the back of the Senate building is the Supreme Court which occupied this present building since 1921.
Supreme Court

Supreme Court


This is where quarterly sessions of the Bahamas Superior Court and sessions of The Court of Appeal sit. Judges and lawyers are dressed in traditional British wigs and robes.
Parliament and Shirley Streets

Parliament and Shirley Streets


The library is on Shirley Street which is the parallel east bound street to Bay Street which is one way west.
Top of the library

Top of the library

Nassau Public Library (It was originally the jail)

Nassau Public Library (It was originally the jail)


What is unique about the library is that not only is it the oldest octagonal building in the Bahamas, but that originally it was built as a jail (gaol). It is four stories tall and built of native stones. The basement was the ‘dungeon’, the two middle floors are the main library, museum, and reading rooms, and the upper floor is known as ‘the Board Room.’ The outer section of this room is surrounded by a picturesque ‘Veranda’ with great views of the city of Nassau.

The Garden of Remembrance is back of the Supreme Court building.
Garden of Remembrance

Garden of Remembrance

Memorial to Sir George Henry Gamblin KT

Memorial to Sir George Henry Gamblin KT


The Cenotaph in the middle is a memorial to Bahamians who lost their lives in World Wars I and II and the four Royal Bahamas Defense Force
Garden of Remembrance memorial to Bahamian war dead

Garden of Remembrance memorial to Bahamian war dead


Marines who lost their lives when the HMBS Flamingo was attacked and sunk by a rocket from a Cuban MIG fighter

Our driver Alfred got a call on his cell phone and we went back to the dock area and picked up two ladies from Scotland. It was about 10 of 11 when we started out again for Rawson Square.
7726701-Monuments_In_Rawson_Square.jpgRawson Square

Rawson Square


It was named for Sir Rawson W. Rawson who was Governor of The Bahamas during the late 1860s. In the middle of the square is a bronze bust of Sir Milo Butler, the first Bahamian Governor General in an independent Bahamas.
Statue of Gov General Sir Milo Butler in Rawson Square

Statue of Gov General Sir Milo Butler in Rawson Square


Our taxi driver told us an amusing story about Sir Milo Butler when we passed his statue. Supposedly he offered a large acreage to anyone who married any of his daughters who were big (as in tall) girls. Only two men took him up on it. A fountain in the square was named for Sir Stafford Sands, the first Bahamian Minister of Tourism.

A police car with sirens going passed us and then a school bus - according to our driver Alfred, this was prisoners who couldn't make bail going to court.
Prisoners_bus

Prisoners_bus


Registrar General Department

Registrar General Department


Alfred said there were lots of Bars, Banks and Churches on the island- he said he knew all the bars but not all the churches.

The old city of Nassau is bordered to the south by a number of historic African townships, including Bain and Grants Town. These areas, generally known collectively as “over the hill,” were homesteads for the enslaved Africans in a segregated Bahamas.

The churches we passed included

  • Trinity Methodist

Trinity Methodist parking-Frederick St

Trinity Methodist parking-Frederick St

  • St. Mary's,
  • St John's Baptist  Cathedral,

    St John's Baptist Cathedral,

  • Bethel Baptist Church, which laid its foundations in 1790, more than forty years before the British Slavery Abolition Act, was the first over-the-hill church to be built on the island. It remains a prominent church in the community.

Bethel Baptist Church

Bethel Baptist Church

  • a cemetery that Alfred didn't know the name of it, and a church that I didn't get a picture of the sign and can't find on the map.
  • St. Agnes Parish Church. Until Emancipation in 1834, the Anglican church was essentially an institution of the white residents.

St Agnes Church

St Agnes Church


But in 1845, Deacon Edward Jordan Rogers was ministering in the old African schoolhouse. The Bishop dedicated the school room as a church. From there, the Anglican Church’s popular outreach and appeal was to spread to every inhabited corner of New Providence. Rev’d Rogers, who also served as Chaplain to the Garrison and as pastor of St. Matthew’s, ministered to the St. Agnes flock until 1847, before he returned to England.. On 1 February 2007, the Venerable Archdeacon I. Ranfurly Brown officially assumed responsibilities as the rector of St. Agnes Church. He became the twelfth rector and the fifth Bahamian to head the Church in Grant’s Town, the heart of Over-the-hill on New Providence Island, Bahamas.
7728481-St_Agnes_cemetery_entrance_Nassau.jpgSt Agnes cemetery

St Agnes cemetery


The cemetery associated with St. Agnes is quite a large one.

  • St. Francis Xavier Cathedral - Known as the "Apostle of the Indies" and the "Apostle of Japan” for his missionary work in Asia, the legacy of

11411517728533-St_Francis_X..ing_Nassau.jpgSt. Francis Xavier's Catholic Church and associated buildings

St. Francis Xavier's Catholic Church and associated buildings


St. Francis Xavier reached across the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies, where this cathedral was built in his honor in Nassau. As the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Bahamas, it is a monument as well as a living hub for its congregation

  • St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk was the third Christian congregation to be established in The Bahamas, and the Kirk is the second oldest church building on New Providence.

Collage of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk

Collage of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Kirk


The Kirk was founded in 1798 by 55 Scottish Settlers. And the foundation stone laid on August 7, 1810.

  • The Saint Mathew's Anglican Episcopal Church is the oldest building standing in New Providence today

Saint Matthews Anglican Church

Saint Matthews Anglican Church


and has an interesting history. The foundation stone was laid in 1800 after the Legislative Council passed an Act to build a church in the "East". The contractor was Mr. Joseph Eve who built the edifice for more than seven thousand pounds. It was erected without steel reinforcements, which explains the enormous pillars and its unusually thick walls.

The windows were designed in the early Romanesque style and were strategically placed to take advantage of the breeze from the northern side. Two columns support the semi-circular arches of the roof. The steeple was erected in 1816 and remains as built to this day. The bottom was originally used as a depository for books.
St Matthews graveyard

St Matthews graveyard


The first Rector was Rev. Henry Groombridge who arrived in 1802 and died in 1804. He conducted the opening service on July 18, 1802. The Rev. Robert Carter preached the sermon. Rev. William Strachan was the first live-in rector; his quarters were given to him in exchange for teaching Latin & Greek to New Providence students. Rev. Richardson Saunders' ordination by Bishop Courtney was the first ever held in Nassau. Father Donald Knowles became Rector in 1951 and the first Bahamian Archdeacon.

We stopped at Government House. In front of it is a 12 foot tall statue, labeled Christopher Columbus - 1492.
7727464-Columbus_Statue.jpg Government House

Government House


Columbus is dressed like a cavalier of the 17th century instead of like an Italian from the 13th century. It is good that there is a name on it, because otherwise, no one looking at this statue would ever guess that the bearded man, with a sword, a slouch hat cocked rakishly on his head and a cape over his shoulder, is intended to represent Columbus.
Columbus Statue

Columbus Statue


This statue was reportedly designed in London by an aide to American novelist and Columbus biographer Washington Irving. The designer obviously did not look at any pictures of Columbus when he did the design. The statue was imported from London and placed in front of Government House by Governor James Carmichael Smyth in 1830

We saw
Gregory's Arch

Gregory's Arch


5ab4e3f0-d212-11ea-be6a-2d09df4c0b83.JPGOriginal piece of Gray Cliff - all that is left after it was burned down

Original piece of Gray Cliff - all that is left after it was burned down


Gray Cliff which was a manor house and is now a five star hotel,
National Art Gallery

National Art Gallery


and then we stopped at Fort Charlotte
Approaching Fort Charlotte

Approaching Fort Charlotte


which was built to protect the west end of the harbor. Alfred said Charlotte was her maiden name, and we had a discussion about what a maiden name was - the two Scottish ladies said Charlotte was her first name. I don't know. It certainly sounds like a first name - the fort was named after the wife of King George III, Queen Saharia Charlotte.
5015889-Fort_Charlotte.jpg5015890-Fort_Charlotte.jpg

5015891-Fort_Charlotte.jpg5015892-Fort_Charlotte.jpg
It is the largest of the three historic forts in New Providence, encompassing more than 100 acres. The middle bastion, Ft. Stanley and the western portion, Ft. D'Arcy were added later. this fort has a moat, dungeons, underground passageways and 42 cannons, which have never been fired in an act of aggression. I understand that the exhibits are interactive and give you an insight into the construction of the fort and how the soldiers would have lived there.
Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte


I stayed in the car and Bob went up and took photos of the outside of the fort - we didn't go in. I looked at some of the souvenir stalls, but didn't buy anything
7728082-Im_A_Lookie_Lou.jpgI'm A Lookie Lou..

I'm A Lookie Lou..


Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte


We got a photo of the Lighthouse from there
Hog Island Lighthouse 2011 with red lantern

Hog Island Lighthouse 2011 with red lantern


The Hog Island, or Nassau Harbour Lighthouse was built about 1817. It is still known by the original name of the island (Hog Island). Now the island has had the name changed to be the more appealing name of Paradise Island. . When it was active, it showed a white flashing light if conditions were good, and a red light if it was dangerous to enter the harbor. It is a round old-style brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. When we first saw it in 2002, the lantern was painted white with a red roof, This is the oldest and best known lighthouse in the Bahamas and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. Sadly, it is endangered with government agencies blaming each other for its neglect.

We also saw the observation tower at Arawak Cay
7726807-Crystal_Cay.jpgCrystal Cay

Crystal Cay

Crystal Cay from the internet

Crystal Cay from the internet


which is for sale. We passed the cricket pitch
Haynes clubhouse

Haynes clubhouse


and some old and ramshackle houses
5d2dfa40-d212-11ea-be6a-2d09df4c0b83.JPGOvergrown house

Overgrown house


and a very big expensive new one.
Big_expensive_house

Big_expensive_house


He showed us various plants including a tree he said was planted by the Dutch,
Tree planted by Dutch

Tree planted by Dutch


strangler fig which was strangling a house,
Strangler fig

Strangler fig


Australian pines, bananas, figs,
Cotton tree

Cotton tree


tamarind pod

tamarind pod


tamarind (he got a pod for us to look at), mother-in-laws tongue and
Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Sign about White Collar Crime in front of one of the high schools

Sign about White Collar Crime in front of one of the high schools


I was having trouble with my camera which kept telling me that I had to reset the date, so I tried to be more careful about taking pictures.

We visited the water tower which located is behind Fort Fincastle on Bennet's Hill, the highest point of New Providence Island (i.e. Nassau).
Water Tower

Water Tower


The tower was built in 1928 to maintain water pressure in Nassau. - a round concrete water tower with a flat roof used as an observation platform. The entire tower is white.
Water Tower Top

Water Tower Top

Water Tower Bottom

Water Tower Bottom


Because of Fort Fincastle's location on the highest point of Nassau, it later served as a lighthouse and signal station until 1817, when a lighthouse was constructed on Hog Island. The water tower may still serve as a landfall light for the city from some directions.

An elevator formerly carried tourists to the roof of this historic tower for a panoramic view of Nassau There was also spiral staircase (216 steps) that provides access to observation deck at the top. The tower no longer supplies water for everyone - just the hospitals and schools. The rest is tankered in from Andros.
Front of Fort Fincastle

Front of Fort Fincastle


This Fort was constructed of cut limestone c. 1793 and strategically placed atop Bennet's Hill to protect historic Nassau town and its harbour; it was built under the governorship of John Murray, also called Viscount Fincastle, in the shape of a paddle-wheel steamer.
5015884-Walls_and_admission_booth_Nassau.jpg Walls and admission booth

Walls and admission booth

Sign which says c 1793 at the top

Sign which says c 1793 at the top

Looking down the hill from Fort Fincastle

Looking down the hill from Fort Fincastle


Also here was the Queen's Staircase
7725519-Queenss_Staircase_sign_Nassau.jpgSign pointing to Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase

Sign pointing to Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase


which is an102-ft., 65-step staircase carved by slaves from limestone in 1793 as shortcut to Fort Fincastle. The entire staircase took over 16 years to complete.
Looking down the Queen's Staircase

Looking down the Queen's Staircase


MUCH later it was named in honor of Queen Victoria, who had signed a declaration to abolish slavery on her ascension to the throne in 1837. Some people think that climbing the staircase is the thing to do. I personally think those people are crazy. I have looked at the staircase from the top, and that was sufficient.
Sign at the top of the staircase

Sign at the top of the staircase


Policemen In Nassau

Policemen In Nassau


The policemen in Nassau look really nice (and tropical) in their uniforms. They wear dark blue trousers with a red stripe down the side and a white tunic belted at the waist.. Sometimes they wear a white pith helmet and sometimes they wear a cap
Policewomen In Nassau

Policewomen In Nassau


We drove over to Paradise Island,
Atlantis from bridge to Paradise Island

Atlantis from bridge to Paradise Island

Atlantis balcony

Atlantis balcony


and dropped the ladies off to have a look there, and then drove down East Bay Street past the
Poop Deck Restaurant at Nassau Yacht Haven

Poop Deck Restaurant at Nassau Yacht Haven


Nassau Yacht Haven (which has the Poop Deck Restaurant where we ate dinner once),
Nassau Harbor Marina

Nassau Harbor Marina


(where we stayed on our boat),
RosalieAnn in the Nassau marina i 2002

RosalieAnn in the Nassau marina i 2002


East Villa (a Chinese restaurant where we had dinner), ..

..and the Nassau Yacht Club
Boat in front of the Nassau Yacht Club

Boat in front of the Nassau Yacht Club


which had a boat out front that won the First Bahamian Olympic gold in 1984 and
Fort from a taxi driving along the shore

Fort from a taxi driving along the shore


went all the way out to
5015904-Fort_Montagu_Nassau.jpgFort Montagu

Fort Montagu


Fort Montagu which was built to protect the east end of the harbor. We had only seen that before from the water

Then we picked the ladies back up and Bob went to the bathroom.
Directing traffic at Atlantis

Directing traffic at Atlantis


We drove back to the boat passing
Doctors_Hospital

Doctors_Hospital


(one of the two large hospitals in Nassau) which was where Bob went after his heart attack.
Carriage ahead of the taxi

Carriage ahead of the taxi

Horse

Horse

If you should need it, the Central Police Station is quite near the Cruise Terminal on East Street.
Central Police Station

Central Police Station

Street to the docks

Street to the docks


There is also a Nassau Police building at the docks
Little Police Station at the docks

Little Police Station at the docks


We got back to the ship about 1415. Bob gave him $80.00. Not cheap (some people got together and had 10 in a van for $20 each), but if we had taken a tour it would have been $35 each and it wouldn't have included everything we saw.

I was thinking that we might find something to eat,
Rum cake

Rum cake


and I wanted to find a music store so I could get the song with the lyrics "If you don't see your friends in Nassau, they're in Freeport or they're in jail". It was difficult to do the wheelchair on the broken and uneven sidewalks. We saw a Burger King
Burger King

Burger King


but we can get that at home - nothing more appealing, so we went back to the ship.

The straw market is one thing that people visit when they come to Nassau. It is east of the cruise ship port. I have never been there. i have only been through the booth set up at the docks. This area is called Festival Place
Exiting the Festival Palce Welcome Center

Exiting the Festival Palce Welcome Center

Costa Atlantica in front of Pride

Costa Atlantica in front of Pride

Enchantment

Enchantment


They took me around the side in the wheelchair and gave me a pat down but it didn't take as long as the one in Hawaii at the Big Island airport. Bob went through the regular line.

We went up to the Windjammer and there were few enough people that it was fairly easy to get something to eat.
5015277-Bobs_lunch_in_the_Windjammer_Nassau.jpgBob's lunch and my lunch in the Windjammer

Bob's lunch and my lunch in the Windjammer


Seven Seas Navigator

Seven Seas Navigator

NCL Gem lifeboats from adjoining ship

NCL Gem lifeboats from adjoining ship


I tried the wi-fi again and it still didn't work. I asked and they said the technician came on the boat at noon. So Bob took me to Tribond Trivia and left (he doesn't like that kind of trivia). We did pretty well - another man and I could figure out most of the answers- but we didn't win. Then we went back to the room and took a nap.

I had three and Bob had four appetizers for dinner and no entree. He had two and I had one
Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail


we both had carrot apple soup, and then I had
Spinach pie

Spinach pie


and he had split pea soup. I had
Kahlua creme brulee

Kahlua creme brulee


for dessert and he had ice cream. Their breads are very good and their desserts are good but sometimes the rest leaves a lot to be desired. Any cream soups are thin - it is if they took a canned cream soup, instead of diluting in half with milk, they diluted in quarters.

I went out on deck to take some pictures of the harbor which we left while we were at dinner. There were some people out there quite drunk. I had met one of the women before but she couldn't articulate well enough to tell me where it was or what we talked about. I remembered her but not what we had talked about.

I could see the lights of Nassau on both sides of the ship so I assumed we were going north up the backside of the Berry Islands.
56335370-d212-11ea-be6a-2d09df4c0b83.JPGLeaving Nassau

Leaving Nassau


The wi-fi was in operation again so I logged on an uploaded pictures and sent email. Our towel animal was a rabbit. They have fixed the bow camera but it doesn't look like a bow camera.
Towel rabbit

Towel rabbit

Tomorrow we go to Coco Cay which is RCI's private island in the Berry Islands.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:53 Archived in Bahamas

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