The Bahamas have clear water
Our best moments in the Bahamas
Exciting questions on beautiful islands: Under the motto #MyBestBahamasMoment, the Bahamas Tourism Office invites us to get to know the archipelago in a completely different way. Bianca Schabel, Jonathan Steinhoff and I, Ann-Christin Rabe, are flying to the Bahamas to face the challenges there with four other teams. Each group has its tasks on a different one of the Out Islands. After solving a riddle, we know: Long Island is waiting for our team. We meet swimming pigs, crack tasty conches and look for the Tropic of Cancer. The adventure begins!
System administrator at CANUSA in Hamburg
System administrator at CANUSA in Hamburg
We - Bianca, Jonathan and I, Ann-Christin - set off for Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Bianca flies from Stuttgart via Atlanta, while Jonathan and I arrive from Hamburg via London. On the second day after our arrival, we meet with the other participants in the competition and get to know each other over a delicious dinner in the Cleo restaurant.
Nassau, Big Major Cay and swimming pigs
The next day it starts with a highlight: We visit the famous swimming pigs Big Major Cay! A small plane takes us from Nassau to within 40 minutes George Town on Great Exuma, then the bus continues to the boat dock in the north of the island. Even during the boat trip, I can only be amazed: It is really impressive how many different shades of blue the crystal clear water can shimmer - unimaginable! Then we come to the swimming pigs, and even if we are not alone here and have to share the animals' attention, we can take a lot of exciting photos. The pigs seem to love to jostle into the picture, while you just want to photograph one of their conspecifics.
After almost half an hour we start our way back, but we tie up briefly on an incredibly beautiful sandbank. Icing sugar white, incredibly soft sand and all around the crystal clear, turquoise sea - I am right in the middle of paradise!
Our hunger is becoming more and more evident. We feed him with a delicious, typical Bahamian meal in Lorraine’s café Great Guana Cay. Well strengthened, it goes on to the next highlights. Who has swam with sharks before? At the Compass Cay you have the opportunity to venture into the water with peaceful nurse sharks and even stroke them. Jonathan is the bravest of us and we are happy to take him back on the boat a little later. The sunset is slowly approaching, but before it gets dark we reach it Allan Cay Iguanawhere the hungry iguanas are already waiting for us. These reptiles are so trusting that they can even eat out of your hand. After a beautiful sunset over the sea, we reach the port again shortly before dark. This excursion can also be done by boat from Nassau. It should be noted that the boat tour is quite long. There is no time to see all these animals in peace and to really enjoy the excursion. It is much better to do it directly from the Exumas.
Downtown Nassau and the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas
The new day brings us after Downtown Nassauwhere we want to join the Tru Bahamian Food Tour. But first we go to Bahamian ’Cooking, to be pampered with Bahamian food: It starts with conch fritters, followed by chicken with baked bananas, peas and rice and cole slaw. I think it's all really delicious and can underline the good reviews on various portals. It should be noted, however, that this restaurant is only open during the day.
Now a tour that has been redesigned for our group begins, which is why we have the opportunity to visit the Graycliff Hotel with its wine cellar and cigar factory. The hotel houses the only 5-star restaurant in the Bahamas and the third largest private wine collection in the world. I find it very impressive to take a look at the 270,000 or so bottles.
Opposite the hotel, in a converted church, is the winery Bahama barrels, the first of the island state. We can try some of the wines here, then continue to National Art Gallery of the Bahamas. A wedding is being celebrated on the premises. Various types of events are often held here, as the area can be used by all members of the community. In addition, they are not only committed to up-and-coming Bahamian artists, but also involve the locals here on site through large wall paintings. In Frankie Gone Bananas, a typical Bahamian fish fry restaurant, we end the evening with the best food and live music.
The My Best Bahamas Moment Challenge
The plane takes off at 9 a.m. and takes us over to Long Island in just an hour, where the challenges await us. Exciting tasks await Bianca, Jonathan and me over the next two days:
2 days, 3 people and 7 questions
- Tried one Conch to open and record it in a video.
- Where does the diver train William Trubridge preferably
- Stand on the Tropic of Cancer!
- Which is considered the most beautiful Natural pool this island?
- Visited Cape Santa Maria. Which hotels are on this dream beach?
- Christoph Columbus first entered America on an island in the Bahamas. Take a picture of you at Columbus Monument!
- Who is famous for his Conch salad, and how is this salad prepared? Put it in a recipe.
Before we start these challenges on Long Island for us, we take a boat tour with Bahamas Discovery Quest. We drive through mangroves on a canal and then head for the Atlantic, the water shimmering in various shades of blue. Then there is a surprise: Swimming pigs are also at home on Long Island - more so than we are on the Exumas have seen. Here we even have them all to ourselves in front of a wonderful backdrop. If swimming pigs want to see, the best thing to do is stop by those on Long Island. I find the experience here even more impressive than that on the Exumas!
Open a conch on Lunch Cay
Hungry we steer the small uninhabited island Lunch Cay on, which is upstream of a sandbank. Our guides Teresa and Charles cook our lunch on a grill while we explore the island. There are numerous conches to be seen here on the beach, and I can't get enough of the colors of the sea. Then we sit on the beach with our grilled food and salad and enjoy both the food and the beautiful surroundings.
“It goes on, we want to show you something else!” Teresa calls out to us. It is difficult for us to part with this small island, but of course we are curious. Our little motorboat is already on its way until it stops somewhere on the water. In front of us there is a sandbank, on which we also hike along. It must be pretty fun to watch us do it because we keep sinking through numerous depressions in the sand. But Charles manages to lead us safely through the sand and show us sea cucumbers, conches and also starfish.
We see small brown, but also full-grown, bright red starfish. None of us expected this special encounter. We reach the pier just in time for sunset, and Charles helps us solve one of our tasks: we become one Conch open, Bianca takes over and starts right away. It's not that hard at all, she's done with it pretty quickly. I would not have thought that. Now we know: Teresa and Charles love "their" Long Island, that becomes more than clear during this trip to paradise. So we not only take the breathtaking impressions of the day with us, but also a lot of interesting facts about this island and its nature.
We bring our things to the hotel in Clarence Town. This accommodation in the middle of the island is ideal for us to solve the next task. I think the location is perfect: from the balcony I have a wonderful view of the shimmering turquoise water. Directly in front of us is the small town with the Twin Churches and the good restaurant Lighthouse Point, where we strengthen ourselves with a dinner.
The depth of Dean’s Blue Hole and the Tropic of Cancer
Just in time for sunrise, before breakfast, we drive to the in just ten minutes Dean’s Blue Hole. This sea hole, which extends 202 meters into the depth, is the freediver's favorite training site William Trubridge - We have thus solved the second question. A deep blue hole shimmers here in the sea and exerts a strong pull. On one side, the Blue Hole is surrounded by cliffs, from which you can jump into the water, on the other side is the open sea - a very beautiful backdrop. If you want to dive deep, very deep - like William Trubridge - this is the right place for you.
Then we go back to the hotel because we want to catch up on our breakfast first. Well strengthened, our way leads us north, where we first stop at the Hamilton’s Cave to stop. Although this is not part of the challenge, we are still interested in the largest cave in the Bahamas. You can only enter the cave together with the owner, who then leads us through the extensive network of paths and tunnels.
While we continue in a northerly direction, we make a short stop at Tropic of Cancer a, at the "Tropic of Cancer".
The constellation Cancer does not move further north than here. A sign by the side of the road shows us this, and we can check off one of our tasks again.
The most beautiful Natural pool Finding the island is also on our list. And we will find the solution in front of the Stella Maris Resort. The swimming pool is built directly into the sea and protected from the strong waves by rocks. During our walk through the extensive complex we noticed that everything is very well maintained and that many of the houses offer a great view of the sea.
Another wonderful hotel awaits us afterwards on Cape Santa Maria. The resort of the same name is the only hotel on this dream beach - and this is considered one of the most beautiful in the entire Bahamas. Here we have the opportunity to look at both the cottages and the villas, which impressed us very much. Above all, I won't forget the great view of the wonderful sea anytime soon. We are so drawn to the sea that we rent kayaks and use them to explore the nearby lagoon.
Hike and enjoy: the Columbus Monument and a conch salad
With a heavy heart we have to leave this beautiful piece of earth again to Columbus Monument to pay a visit. Until now, we thought that we would make faster progress with this challenge: go there, take photos, continue. Not even close! Just behind the Cape Santa Maria Resort we see a sign that shows us the direction to the monument. But after the first half a kilometer, it is clear to us that we shouldn't drive this very stony, bumpy path with the rental car and rather move on foot instead. The sun sinks lower and lower as we hike valiantly. We have concerns about taking the photo of ourselves in the dark. But after about three kilometers on foot, we reach the monument just in time for sunset. So came somewhere here Christoph Columbus 1493 in America, the New World.
The way back is now waiting for us - it's not that easy if you walk around with flip-flops ... It is definitely worth visiting this monument, because from the hill you have a magnificent view of the sea and the Island. If you don't have an all-terrain vehicle, you'd better make a hike out of it and take enough time for it.
By the way, you don't have to worry about driving your car on Long Island. There is left-hand traffic, but since the island has only one road from north to south and there is little traffic, driving here is quite relaxed.
Now in the evening there is only one task ahead of us: we should be the most popular Conch salad the island, i.e. a salad with lots of the special conch clams. We do that - with success - in the Max Conch Bar, which we then also use for an extensive dinner, because only breakfast and a very tasty banana bread brought us through the day.
We also need some energy for the rest of the evening, because the day is not over. Finally, we have to prepare our presentation. So we sit down on the balcony with our laptops. The result is a video that keeps this trip alive!
Our party at the Graycliff Hotel
Now we are unfortunately saying goodbye to Long Island, because we are going back to Nassau. There we check into a hotel that is located on Paradise Island is located very close to the huge Atlantis Hotel. We are looking forward to the presentation, in which some members of the Bahamian tourism agency as well as hoteliers and agents will be on the jury. All five participating teams each present "their" island of the Out Islands and their #MyBestBahamasMoment - their best moments in the Bahamas. Who has won will not be announced until the evening.
So we still have enough time to celebrate our reunion with the other teams before our farewell dinner at the Graycliff Hotel. At the champagne reception we are surprised by a Junkanoo group who sweep everyone away, exude an overwhelming zest for life and whose music none of us can keep our feet still.
After the meal, the moment has come and the tension can be clearly felt. Who won the competition? Unfortunately not us, even if we narrowly missed out on the win. But we also think that the winning team deserved first place - congratulations! Now the tension of the last few days has dropped, so that we will enjoy the next few hours wonderfully.
The moment to say goodbye arrives very suddenly, far too quickly: In the morning we are picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport. Bianca flies back to Stuttgart via Atlanta, Jonathans and my way leads us back to Hamburg via Miami and London. We are overwhelmed by our impressions, and the memories of this trip will last for a long, very long time. It may also be an advertising slogan, but we can now say with full conviction: "It's better in the Bahamas!"
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