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Bahamas: Luxury in the Caribbean


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The radiant blue of the sky, melds seamlessly into the pristine blue of the ocean. BAHAMAS - by air or by sea, it is an island string with strong ties to its Colonial past, and 21st century companies using it as a tax haven.

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The radiant blue of the sky, melds seamlessly into the pristine blue of the ocean. BAHAMAS - by air or by sea, it is an island string with strong ties to its Colonial past, and 21st century companies using it as a tax haven.



Bahamas has very strong ties to its British Colonial history. Navy blazer, tie and grey flannels gave way to the navy blazer, tie and white pants for gentlemen.  Ladies are still required to be elegant and gracious, and wear large floppy brimmed hats, because the sun can be very strong at times.  The "guards" at the government offices, and High Commissioner's Home, are replicas of British regimental outfits - but in lighter weight cloth.  Marching bands, plumed helmets, the Sergeant Major leader of the Pipes and Drums, all add majestic panoply to local ceremonials that bring delight to a stay in  the Bahamas.


It is a string of islands, Eleuthra, Abaco, among the other most famous.  All have their own distinctive style and flavor.  The most important avenue in the country is FRONT STREET, where shopping includes all the fabulous branded stores to be found in London, Paris or Rome. Even famed English emporium Marks & Spencer (Marks and Sparks to the cognoscenti around the globe) has an outpost there. If you need a Brit fix, this is the place to go.


Two other famous places in The Bahamas include the super exclusive territory Lyford Cay. Long the exclusive territory of the super-rich, homes are in the high multi-million dollar range, with small private planes and large super-yachts bringing the world's wealthiest to their homes.  It's "not open to the public," as other than private homes and private clubs, there is nothing to see or do there. But on the other hand, Paradise Island is a tourist magnet for people around the globe.


The vision of then legendary developer Sol Kerzner, ATLANTIS arose from the sea about 15 years ago. It kept it's ties to the sea, with aquariums dotted throughout the property. Walkways under the sea give every visitor an amazing feeling of being inside the fish tank. Rare fish and ocean life thrive in abundance there.  Water sports, water views, water events dominate the scene, and ATLANTIS was built to entice people of all ages to visit and relax in this Aquatic Paradise on Paradise Island.  


There are hotels/facilities for 3 levels of visitors. The strictly family-tourist hotel is a marvelous place for families of all ages on a budget. Once you've bought your all-inclusive package, that's what you'll get. Other than buying drinks and souvenirs you need never go into your wallet again.  A more upscale "business" package is available for the more affluent but watching a budget crowd.


The piece de resistance of Atlantis is the famed OCEAN CLUB. Long a staple of holidays in the Bahamas, the Ocean Club was updated into a five star deluxe property, and the domain of the world's wealthiest travelers.   


Front Street is where the ocean liners and passenger cruise ships dock, unloading tourists with open wallets to taste the delights of this miniature Paradise.  Away from the elegance of the formal shops, a trip down the local market streets, brings one in close touch with the warmth of the people.  Traditional craft offerings, some fabulous some less than, make excellent gifts to give at home.  Exotic foodstuff, fruits, fish and shellfish, unknown vegetables, are all taste delights.  Spending a few hours between the elegant shops and the fun marketplace, make it a unique experience.


And, if you're thirsty, tea in the Colonial Hotel brings one back to silver service tea parties, scones and jam, finger sandwiches, and all the niceties that make this a truly "British" experience.


As with all off shore islands that dot the coastlines of north and south America, they bear a share of the vile and tortured history of the slave trade from Africa.  A fortress by the sea, cramped cells, iron chains, are all remnants of the slave trade.  If such a trip back makes us realize the unspeakable horror that man inflicted on man, then let us all see it.  We need to be reminded that those are some of the darkest days of history, and there is no way to simply clean it up or whitewash it.


Close your eyes, see the pretty homes in front of you. Hear the lapping of the waves, and feel the hot Bahamas sun on your face. Now think about that trip, and we'll delve into Paradise a little more later.


November 8, 2022


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