Posts tagged The Bahamas

Versailles Gardens and The Cloister

Please, please go see this garden with its adjoining cloister if you go to Paradise Island or Nassau. It a formal garden (you know I love them) with a long central axis, amazing vistas, and grassy terraces (I guess I could leave a little grass at Kilbourne Grove).  The cloister ,(oh, the gorgeous cloister, want one for my back yard ) which is across the street from the garden, looks down on a lacey iron  gazebo and the water with an amazing view of Nassau harbour.

In the Versaille Gardens, statues abound,  ranging from angels, a mother and child, a statue in the center of a lily pond, and even an old sundial in the center of the walkway. Apparently this garden was based on the Versaille garden in France, but it is much more intimate, with a human scale, I could actually imagine having this in my backyard, couldn’t you?

As you enter the garden from the street the long central axis gives you an overview of what is to come.

   

Mother and Child

Did I forget to mention Franklin Delano Roosevelt and David Livingston, staring each other in the eye for all eternity?

David Livingstone

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

While you are in Versaille, if you turn and look over your shoulder, you will see The Cloister.

Remember me telling you about the A & P heir, who bought Hog or Paradise Island in 1959. One of the items he added to the island was The Cloister.  This is a 14th century monastery, orginally purchased in France, by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920’s. It was dismantled and never rebuilt, until the 1960’s by Huntington Hartford, owner of Paradise Island.

The  intricate Augustinian stone structural ruins,  are an admired tourist (and wedding) attraction. 

I can see why, imagine having your wedding photos taken here, such a gorgeous background.

 The structure allows it’s visitors to walk through it, right to the center,

 where a small garden encircles

a stone figure of a woman.

Each pillar of the stone structure has different carvings adding to the detail of the ruin.

A path leads from The Cloister, to the water where,

a circular gazebo, at the foot of the path, has a leafy design, curving into an arch,  with the sun shining through the top of the gazebo, shadows are created on the stone.

And it was a perfect palce for us to stop and have a picnic lunch, while gazing at the city of Nassau.

A carved table just outside the cloister has this carved in it, (sorry, my photo didn’t turn out, you can see the table in the above picture, but  I had to look up the inscription).

“This monastery was built in the XII-XIII cent. in Montrejau, France by the Augustinian order

It was rebuilt in 1968 by J.J. Castremanne for H. Hartford, Arch. J.L. Volk”

I am in love…

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Paradise Island

Paradise Island is directly on the other side of Nassau, and there is not only two bridges linking these two islands, but also ferries run back and forth for only $4.00. Ian and I love any excuse to get out on the water, so of course we were excited to take it over to Paradise Island. Back in the day, Paradise Island used to be known as Hog Island, but the heir to the A & P fortune, purchased it in 1959 and started developing it as a playground for the rich and famous.

I think its biggest claim to fame nowadays  is the Atlantis Hotel.

Although some people feel it is very Las Vegas,

Ian decided it is a Disney Land for adults. 

 Probably anything you wanted to do, this hotel will provide, including a casino to gamble away your souvenir money.

The architecture is amazing.

You could purchase day passes to use all the facilities, but we contented ourselves with taking photos.

However, there was certainly time to check out the casino, (but of course not gamble, lol).  The entrance to the casino is marked by the Crystal Gate by Dale Chihuly.

 

Look at these amazing sculptures also by glass artist Dale Chihuly. 

I don’t know if this one is by Dale Chihuly, but I love it.

And these were the guards as we were leaving the casino.

They might not have been to happy as we were leaving with the Mills family fortune intact, lol.

Next post, another garden in Paradise…

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Nassau

For me, one of the best parts of Ian’s job is travelling with him if he has to go somewhere for work. That is the way I got to visit Trinidad, and now Nassau, (and I am always happy to bump up my country count).

We had a choice of three hotels to stay in, one on Paradise Island, one on Cable Beach, but we chose the British Colonist which is right in Nassau

 and I am very glad we did. Not only was it an amazing hotel,

with wonderful poolside furniture,

Very cool beds to lie on by the pool.

 but it was very cool to be laying on the beach and see a cruise ship come in to dock.

From the balcony

In my mind, Nassau was very smart. They dredged out the channel between Nassau and Paradise Island, and built the Price George Wharf.  This way the passengers get off the ships, and they are right in the heart of Nassau, and it is reflected in the large number of interesting shops and restaurants. And Ian and I tried to take advantage of every one.

There were a lot of alleys that ran between Woodes Rogers Walk (which runs beside the harbour) and Bay Street, the main shopping street.

Just down Bay Street,from the hotel, are the Parliament Buildings for The Bahamas.

Queen Victoria

 Nassau is the capital city of The Bahamas, which is made up of 700 islands, although only 30 are inhabited.  We took a walking tour, and we were able to go inside the House of Parliament.

 You can see where the Ministers of Parliament sit when the House is in.

Downstairs on the wall are fragments of masonry,

that represent a link in the chain of the Parliament of the British Empire and came from Westminster Hall, London in 1935.

Outside, is the Garden of Remembrance 

and the Cenotaph.

At the other end, is the Nassau Public Library.

Built in 1797,  this used to be a jail, but in 1897 became the library. Unfortunately I did not make it in, but the roof is amazing.

We were also taken inside Christ Church Cathedral.

 I stupidly didn’t get a photo of the outside, (how did that happen?) but inside was beautiful. Lovely buttresses,

 leading into carved columns.

Very pretty font.

We walked past Jacaranda House.

This was built in 1840 by the Chief Justice, Sir George Anderson, but is probably most famous for being the home of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, when he was the Governor of Bahamas.

Policemen looking very smart in their uniforms,

although how they keep their jackets so white, I don’t know. This little house was in the middle of Bay Street.

This was on just one of my days in Nassau, next time I will tell you about the Nassau Botanic Garden…

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See you soon…

I am off to Nassau, The Bahamas today, and not back until late Saturday. It is lovely having a husband who has to travel (a bit) for his job, and I get to go along with him.

I will return next week and show you all the interesting things we saw and did on this very short trip.

P.S. I am not taking this helicopter, or this boat, they happened to be at the yacht club when I was laying on the beach and I got the photo. I think the helicopter was in for the Talisker Atlantic Challenge.  The rowboats have been landing all week after rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, can you imagine?

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