The last few weeks I’ve felt like I’m underwater. It’s been hard to get a really deep breath. And impossible to sigh. Too much going on, particularly on the work front. But finally it’s slowing down. On Sunday I was able to sit down and dive into my pictures (fair warning: they are many). I had to find out what I’ve been up to between all the Sundays that have flown by in a flash. And, indeed, I’ve been underwater for real. For the first time in years. Here’s the proof.
However, I wouldn’t bank on a career as an underwater photographer. For obvious reasons. But as I’m flying north and more north today, it warms my soul to look back at pictures from a short cruise to Bahamas with my friends last month. That was so much fun. And food, I might add.
During the first day at sea, we had time to examine our ship, the Enchantment of the Seas. And there was much to explore, from vast sundecks, solariums and common gathering places to bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and shops. Plenty of programming too. Anyone so inclined could easily put stress right back into their lives and run from one event to another. Not me and my friends. We wanted to relax and enjoy the sail. Lagom is best as we say in Sweden. Life onboard was full of small delights, such as the ‘animals’ I would find in my cozy stateroom waiting for me on the sofa or on the bed every night.
Our first port of call was Nassau, the capital of Bahamas. It seemed to be the port of call for some other ships as well. I suspect this scene gets repeated many times each week.
I had been there twice before, but coming from the north I had spent my days mostly on the beach. This time was different. We set out to discover the city. We started off by visiting Fort Charlotte (est. 1788) situated on a hill above the town. It certainly was a great place to spot enemy ships approaching from the ocean. Luckily we were only approached by an army of vendors.
Quite unexpectedly, we spotted Christopher Columbus. In October 1492, he sighted a Bahamian island (probably the Watling Island) and believed he had arrived in East Asia. Poor man. He went ashore and claimed this Asia for his sponsors in Spain. Sponsorship is quite an established phenomenon.
We also visited the John Watling Rum Distillery. It was a tasty experience. The Pina Colada we were served didn’t leave much to desire…other than perhaps a more generous serving.
On the distillery grounds I finally got an opportunity to ‘shoot’ some birds. Two handsome roosters were touring the front yard.
I also discovered that the flower and fruit trees along our route matched the many colorful buildings in town…
… and that the little barrier islands out in the sea were, indeed, very Caribbean.
We also visited the Paradise Island, just over the Sidney Poiter Bridge from Nassau, famous its trademark hotel, the Atlantis.
We politely declined the offer to stay at the Michael Jackson Penthouse Suite for the bargain price of $25,000 a night. We simply couldn’t stay for the required minimum of four nights as we had to head back to the ship. But I have to say the hotel is quite impressive. Both outside and inside. The massive aquarium was definitely worth a visit.
Our second port of call was Cococay, a tropical island less than a day’s sail away from Nassau. That day was all about relaxation. On the beach, in the water and underwater.
The only wildlife, in addition to some seabirds, I spotted on the island were iguanas. Several families with parents, kids, aunts and uncles.
That was a fun little cruise which still warmed me when I had to go to chilly NYC shortly after coming home. My week there was filled with meetings, but I got one free afternoon. I decided to play tourist…and take pictures.
I started at the 911 memorial and museum. That visit was a stark reminder of that sad and chaotic day in 2001, which I had experienced in Washington D.C. All my memories from that horrible day came back.
While there, I decided to visit the Observatorium at the new World Trade Center One. The views from up there were fantastic.
I rounded up my afternoon on a cruise around Manhattan. The city appeared softer and somewhat more … human in the warm light of the setting sun.
And I really wanted to see Lady Liberty again. It had been quite a while, but I still remembered the steep staircase up to her crown. Now I admired her from the water. Amazingly, she doesn’t seem to age like the rest of us.
Okay. After a work filled couple of weeks at home onto the next adventure. Right now I’m in the windy city waiting for my next flight over the big pond to celebrate the holidays with family. I’m hoping to exchange the warm holiday lights at home to a white Christmas.
Thank you all for heart-warming friendships here in the blogging world. I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas and lots of blessings in the new year.