Here's a brief recap of Part 1 of this blog, which features Dave Marx's Annual Walking Tour of Nassau. We gathered at the Walt Disney Theatre, passed through the Rawson Square Welcome Center and Market, headed up Bay Street, visited the Christ Church, I fell down and made a fool of my myself and finally we stopped by the Government House where Dave gave us some info about the Bahamian Government. That's my Reader's Digest version.
The next area of interest was the Financial District. We made our way across Market Street to Peck's Slope, an unmarked lane on the left in the picture below. This first picture looks very peaceful but I think this was the only "second" that cars and trucks were not racing through the intersection.
Our goal of the walk was to reach three of the most popular tourist spots that are located at the highest point is Nassau; Fort Fincastle, the Water Tower and the Queen's Staircase located on Bennett's Hill.
This is where the tour became very interesting. As we closed in on our goal, we passed the Police Headquarters and crossed East Street. The neighborhood took a turn for the worst but we soldiered on. I will say that I was very glad to be in large group as they say there is strength in numbers. Personally, I would not advise you taking this route, if walking. You can reach the Queen's Staircase and Bennett's Hill from the downtown area of Nassau and walk up to the Water Tower and Fort, the reverse of our route. We finished at the Queen's Staircase and walked down the stairs.
Finally we reached the Water Tower. MouseFest-ers Joan and Kevin took a moment to pose for us as we arrived. The last hill was a killer. There is small market of local vendors that sells souvenirs and thankfully, cold drinks. The final part of the walk was tough but well worth it when we saw the view of the island from the top of Fort Fincastle.
Nassau's most visited attraction is the Queen's Staircase. The set of 65 steps, recently renovated, carved out of solid lime stone by slaves in the late 18th century, between 1793 and 1794. It is reported that slaves were forced to cut through rocks with axes and other sharp hand tools. This 102 foot staircase was named in honor of the 65 years of Queen's Victoria's reign. Oddly, the staircase is located at the south end of Elizabeth Avenue. Construction of this monument is still regarded as remarkable. For practical purposes, the staircase provides a shorter route to and from Bennett’s Hill.
After descending the Queen's Staircase, we worked our way back to the center of Nassau. We made a brief stop outside of the Bahamas Historical Society Museum and finally, the Parliament Building (I think) on Bay Street. One of the things I like about Nassau is it still has a very "Colonial British" feel to it.
After Dave's Walking Tour, I strolled over to the Straw Market where I met Brenda, from MouseFanTravel.com and her husband Ron. The Straw Market is still in a rebuilding phase due to a fire in 2001. One of Dave's tips regarding this spot, is to go inside the market for the better prices instead of buying from the vendors located on the outside or ends of the aisles.
The previous post in this blog was MouseFest Cruise -- Day 2 -- Monday, Dec 3 -- Nassau, Part 1.
The next post in this blog is MouseFest Cruise Wednesday - Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.