A Bahamas Holiday: It’s not Just A Pretty Beach!!

A Bahamas holiday usually sees all our attention turn to the beach, understandably, but lets get to know the Bahamas a bit better shall we, after all – it has personality and character as well as glossy magazine good looks!

In a short space of time I came to admire the Bahamas as an industrious, protective and proud (yet modest) island, unashamed of it’s traditional values and a welcoming host.

“The Bahamas is more beautiful than anywhere else on earth”……that’s one good reason for a Bahamas holiday!

Quoted by Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who took photographs of planet earth from space.

I have no reason to disagree with Chris, because I remember looking down from the plane window just before landing – and I was speechless. The colours below were like nothing I’d ever seen before, it looked like a variety of luminous blue and green lights were glowing under the water, with breathtaking contrasts!!

Still, there had to be more to it than just dazzling good looks and beachy charm, surely!

The blues of the Bahamas

Well it’s not just one island – it’s many islands! Perfect for an island hopping Bahamas holiday

The Bahamas is made up of over 700 small islands and only around 30 of them are inhabited. I’d need roughly a couple of years to spend a day on each one and some are owned by celebrities like Eddie Murphy and Johnny Depp (I could probably think of worse things to spend your millions on!) and of course Lenny Kravitz is well known for living in the Bahamas much of the time.

Over 700 islands make up the Bahamas

The Bahamas ‘is’ industrious

Despite having a largely import driven economy – the Bahamas actually exports a variety of goods including salt, polystyrene products, minerals and oil.

Conch fishing in the Bahamas

They take care of their own

Unless things have changed, generally speaking, foreigners cannot apply for a job in the Bahamas and expect the same chances as a native applicant. Non-citizens are only appointed if the Bahamas fails to fill the position with one of their own citizens.

Police Officer

It’s also illegal for natives to gamble. All those glamorous casinos in Nassau are a ‘no-go’ for the islanders – but non-citizens are welcome to throw their money down the drain whilst enjoying their Bahamas holiday πŸ’ΈπŸ’° There is obviously a forum of debate on this subject – but we won’t go into that today.

Gambling is illegal for Bahamas citizens but fine for tourists

They fight for their rights

Well the bus drivers are at the moment – they want better pay and conditions and strike action has been taken.

Buses on strike

The Bahamas is fearless

Well I guess you have to be when you’re rubbing shoulders with the Bermuda Triangle and doing battle with hurricanes.

Small and mighty

It snowed in the Bahamas

In 1977 it snowed in the Bahamas. There, I said it.

Unbelievable.

The snow didn’t settle, but snowflakes fell – brought over by a cold stream from Florida, apparently. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again during your next Bahamas holiday!

Bahamas beach hut

They’ve got one of the world’s biggest wine cellars

The world’s third largest I think! It’s called The Graycliff Collection, based in Nassau and boasts over 250,000 bottles – wine buffs book your flights now!

No shortage of wine in the Bahamas

They love Starbucks

Honestly, I was quite surprised by the number of Starbucks I encountered during my Bahamas holiday – but not a Costa or Pret in sight.

Starbucks on the beach!

The Bahamas was home to the real ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

Real pirates used to frequent the Bahamas about three centuries ago, particularly Nassau.

The Bahamas used to be a haven for pirates

They throw a pineapple celebration every year

Some of the sweetest pineapples in the world come from the Bahamas, and this is a cause for celebration. The annual pineapple festival takes place on Eleuthera in a region referred to as ‘Pineapple City’ (aka Gregory Town) and it’s been going strong for the past 30 years.

Eleuthera hosts the Bahamas’ annual Pineapple Festival!!

You’ll find the deepest blue hole in the world in the Bahamas

Dean’s hole, is 220 meters deep – yikes!

Blue holes are a diver’s delight

They’re quite americanised

Most of the accents I heard from locals carried a strong american twang, and of course it’s very popular with american tourists too – being only a 30 minute flight from Miami a Bahamas holiday makes a pretty good choice for a weekend trip!

I already mentioned the Starbucks trend, and the american dollar is accepted pretty much everywhere.

Even the police cars have a bit of an american style going on

Thinking back to my Bahamas holiday

I think it’s fair to say the Bahamas has some personality, gentle charm and unique qualities that stretch beyond the pristine sands.

However, the beaches really had me hooked. I fell in love with Eleuthera the minute I began walking down those steep sandy slopes to the vast sapphire blue and pink sandy beaches below. The mood was still, the beaches were empty and something deep inside me felt connected to the place, I guess you could say it moved me – I was pretty awe struck.

Eleuthera beach

Driving around Harbour Island in a golf buggy made the ambience all the more distinct and laid back (apart from the near misses while I was behind the wheel lol).

The aquarium on paradise Island also had me gripped – I had tropical fish as pets at the time and still find them fascinating to watch, they have a beauty that’s hard to get near and rarely seen – that’s special.

The Bahamas is also the only tropical place I’ve been so far and returned home without any bites, I still can’t believe it – the mosquitos must have been on vacation at the time. I wonder if I’d be so lucky next time round…..

The hardest goodbye

There’s a song for this….

During my last night on the island I didn’t want to go to bed. I sat out late into the night, resisting sleep, replaying all my vacation memories as I watched the odd boat or cruise ship pass by in the far distance – trying to imagine what fun they were probably having onboard.

This little island is the only place I’ve visited that had me feeling very sad and tearful when returning home.

I really didn’t want to leave, my eyes welled up and my heart sank to the floor as I sat on the plane waiting for take off, I was completely overwhelmed and shocked by my own outburst; that’s what the Bahamas did to me.

It’s a yes from me

So yes, for me the Bahamas is much more than just a pretty beach and despite seeing many other beautiful places, the lovely Bahamas still has an extra special place in my holiday memories and heart πŸ’›πŸŒ΄

Bahamas Vacation

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