‘Send a postcard this Christmas’
Writing is a permanent act—an art that can never be erased even as time flies by. Postcards nowadays are a rarity and hand-written letters are a dying art. With the advent of different social media platforms (such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) that allow account users to post their photos and shout to the world where they are and what they do, the pleasure of a pen-on-paper writing process is being lost. So why not, for a change, send a postcard this merry season and create a memory that will last a lifetime?
Start practicing this unique medium of self-expression in Bahamas, an archipelago lying north of Cuba and east of the Florida Keys in the Atlantic Ocean. Formally called as the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, it consists of 700 islands including the New Providence Island (where the capital city is situated), the Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, Eleuthera Island, Andros Island, and Long Island. The country’s name originated from the Spanish word baja mar meaning shallow sea. It is believed that Christopher Columbus, the famous Genoese explorer, first landed in its San Salvador Island during his mission to discover the lands of the western hemisphere.
Aside from the picturesque view of Bahamas, what really makes the country popular is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a three- to four-day cruise offered to visitors who want to hop from island to island, from landmark to landmark, and from beach to beach all aboard a top of the line luxury sea vessels.
Cruise into the Sea
Cleary the best choice for your Bahamas cruising experience is the Norwegian Sky, owned and controlled by the Norwegian Cruise Line.
It boasts of suites complete with dining and living rooms, bedrooms, bath tubs, and shower rooms as well as large balconies that can accommodate three to five guests at once. Passengers can also enjoy sumptuous meals and drinks in their numerous restaurants, bars, and lounges as well as relax in the spa, fitness centers, and entertainment areas such as clubs, sports court, and pools.
Accommodating over 2,000 passengers with their hospitable and attentive crews, the sailing vessel travels from Miami to the Bahamas with stops at Freeport in the Grand Bahama Island, Great Stirrup Cay in the Berry Islands, and Nassau in New Providence Island.
It Takes a City
Usually, the highlights of the journey lie in Nassau since most of the commercial establishments and historical landmarks are found in this city. Some of them are the Cable Beach (which gets its name from the submarine telegraph cable that first came along the area’s shore), the Blue Lagoon Island (affectionately called “Salt Cay”), and the Ardasta Gardens, Zoo and Convention Centre (where Flamingos in a marching formation entertain the visitors).
Nassau also takes pride of their downtown sceneries. Thousands of tourists enjoy visiting the Straw Market, a public bazaar where handmade hats, baskets, wooden carvings, and other souvenir items can be bought. Travelers can also climb up the famous Queen’s Staircase, an 18th century limestone staircase found in the Fort Fincastle and named after Queen Victoria, who abolished slavery in the country.
Also a must-see is the Pirates of Nassau Museum where one can find a replica of the pirate ship called Revenge, along with other pirate paraphernalia and artefacts. There is also the Pompey Museum, also known as the Vendue House, where chronological accounts of slavery in the country are exhibited. Meanwhile, the Yellow Tower seen at the Port Terminal stands as a favorite starting point for many travellers who come in the city.
Before returning to your respective cruising ships, take the time to roam around the Ghost Town, an abandoned seaside resort once built to attract tourists in the area. Although most of the shops are now closed, it’s still worth the visit as it greatly portrays the life and culture of the Bahamian locals before the resort’s destruction from years and years ago.
Another word for “Happiness”
Water is another word for happiness and Bahamas’s shorelines are the living proof. Find an ultimate Bahamian experience in Paradise Island of Nassau City. Once known as the Hog Island, the area is a popular destination for tourists and locals who are looking for a place to relax and enjoy their vacation.
With its warm weather and sandy white beach, the area truly deserves to be hailed as a paradise sent from heaven. The striking landscapes have made Paradise Island a set location for TV programs such as Survivor: All Stars and films like Pirates of the Caribbean, After the Sunset, and selected James Bond movies Thunderball and Casino Royale.
Book a hotel and stay for a night in the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and try their aquatic adventures such as the Mayan Temple Slide and The Dig. The Mayan Temple Slide has its unique and interesting style, composed of 4 large slides designed similar to the Mayan Architecture. Choose from the array of exciting slides: the Leap of Faith, where you enter into a clear tunnel that goes through a shark tank; the Challenger Slides allow you to compete with another person and determine who reaches the bottom first; the Jungle Slide that takes you through series of manmade Safaris and caves; and the five-story Serpent Slide.
The Dig, on the other hand, is a set of aquariums located beneath the Royal Towers. Considered as the world’s largest open-air marine environment, aquatic species like the angelfish, manta rays, jellyfish, barracudas and sharks are seen in their natural habitat.
Other recreational activities include fishing, diving, snorkelling, sailing, and the all-time favourite, swimming with the friendly and loyal dolphins. Interactions with sea lions, sea squirts and stingrays are also an opportunity that should not be missed. They also allow you to train the sea animals for a day. Villas with an ocean view are also offered for those groups with large number of tourists.
For those avid fans of the film “Pirates of the Caribbean”, now is your time to experience a real Caribbean relaxation in the beaches along the Paradise Island. Whether you rent a motorboat or ride water taxis that will bring you to nearby islands, whether you wade in the pristine waters or bask in the sunlight, whether you eat until your stomach is full with different delicacies or drink with your buddies in bars and restaurants, whether you walk bare foot in the sand or have a massage, all of these are possible in Paradise Island.
And since you’re in for a good treat, why not take the time to drop by the Hog Island Lighthouse built in 1817? Check out the steel bridge connecting Nassau to Paradise Island. You can also visit 14th century cloisters of the ruined French monastery. Erected by Huntington Hartford in the year 1960s, the cloisters are still worth the picture as it depicts not only the history of the city but the country as a whole.
In a digital world where instant messages and emails overtake the process of personal hand written mails, postcards are a simple way of expressing your enthusiasm in every place you visited. It’s a personal touch that tells your loved ones that you remember them and take the time to write to them—even for only a few words—about your journeys around the world. It’s never an idea of boasting to everyone that you’ve stepped into another country; it’s more of relishing and transforming your experiences through the flow of thoughts brought by the physical act of writing.
Remember the times where the world wide web is just a farfetched idea. Recall the feeling of happiness whenever you read love letter to your husband or your wife during your anniversaries, or the cards you receive form your parents during your birthdays, or even the small notes you get from your friends telling you that you’re a great person. All of these (complete with the unique way they write their G’s or even their A’s) certainly create a strong bond between people and an exceptional way of communicating with others that you truly care for.
Those commercially printed cards can bring back the times forgotten by many, and by using it, you can also help in the tourism of the country you’ve visited. So, again, send a postcard during the holidays and greet everyone from the bottom of your heart.