Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kate Miller 4: A Norwegian Paradise

Let's just say our first day in the Bahamas was less "paradise-y" than I had anticipated... but I took pictures anyway.

4. A Norwegian Paradise
one of the tenders
            On Wednesday, the Jewel anchored just off the banks of Grand Stirrup Cay of the Bahamas. All accounts said that this was a “Caribbean Paradise” and Kate was looking forward to taking pictures of tropical plants and flowers, lounging in the sun, playing in the water, and roaming over the island with Mister, seeking out idyllic spots.
            The island was small. To get there, passengers got on little ferries (called ‘tenders’ for some reason), which in turn dropped them at the island’s dock. In the morning, Kate and Mister took their time getting ready and eating breakfast, then went back to their cabin to gather their ‘sun and fun’ gear. The line for the tenders was intimidating. It snaked down the hall and up the stairs on their deck. Just to get their room, they had to duck under a corded off section of the staircase.
            But, when their group number was called, they went to a different place to embark the tender, and there was no wait, except for the tender to be filled. The island itself had beautiful coves, with sapphire water lapping gently up to the rocky edges of the narrow passageway. They docked and disembarked and went through an ‘entrance’ into the island, though everyone had to stop and get their picture taken with someone in a dolphin costume. Awkward. That’s not going to be one for the scrapbook, Kate thought scornfully.
            The island was hard and rocky, not at all soft and sandy like Kate had expected. The sand on the beach must have been imported. There were rows and rows of nice blue lounge chairs, and some of them even had tent-like coverings to stay out of the sun for those desiring to avoid impersonating lobsters. Kate and Mister did want, and they made their way over to one of the available tents to start setting it up. Instantly, a small man, appeared by their side talking quickly and waving a clipboard. It appeared that the tents were only available if you made a reservation for it. “You can make reservation now…” he said hopefully shoving the clipboard at them. Kate shook her head and they moved away toward the regular lounge chairs. Reservations…hmph. Strike one for paradise, she thought.
The grand sand castle
            They found a nice spot and read in the sun for a while, then took a dip in the water, which was surprisingly cold considering the temperature of the air. Then came the necessary construction of a grand sand castle. When the sea began to reclaim its own, they left their things on the chairs and decided to explore a little bit—an unfortunate decision considering that their sandals were among the things left. The island as a whole proved to be extremely rocky and barren. The water indeed was gorgeous, but it was rocky. Kate could find no lush tropical trees and flowers and vines. In fact, the few trees that were there looked dusty and rather the worse for their existence. Kate considered these things aloud to Mister, then summed up, “I guess that’s what you get for buying your island from an oil company.” Strike two for paradise.
Beautiful water surrounded by rocks
            Eventually, they found their way back to the little cruise village, where there was a cafeteria, volleyball nets, dance and aerobic area, and (of course) shopping stalls. Kate decided to check out the last while Mister sat in the shade and read his book. Kate thought there might be some lovely Bahaman jewelry or trinkets. No. There was ‘Bahaman’ jewelry and many trinkets, but they weren’t lovely. They were gaudy, with “Bahamas” or “Grand Stirrup Cay” written all over them. Ugh. She thought. I might feel touristy, but this is over the top. Poo. Strike three for Norwegian paradise. Like Alaska, Norwegian paradise should include salmon and fjords. That’s good enough for me… 
More rocks 

Before we put on our lobster costumes

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