Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Bahamas: Day 1 - A room with a view

Light sea green. Teal. Dark turquiose. Aqua. Sky blue. Cyan. I couldn't recall enough shades of blue to match the different colors of the Atlantic ocean that I could detect from my airplane window as our jetBlue flight started its descent into Nassau International Airport in the islands of the Bahamas. My eyes lit up as I took in the breathtaking expanse below, thrilled as could be to experience for the first time, the ocean at her purest.

We stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island in their Coral Towers. The buxom Bahamian who checked us in seemed to have a soft spot for Indians so we lucked out and got a lovely room with a balcony and a spectacular view as shown in the picture above. Sunrise and sunset viewings from the balcony were relaxing and energizing at the same time. The sheer sense of calm and beauty soothed the mind and rejuvenated the soul.

Atlantis is an amazing resort though hardly exclusive. You get a very Vegas-like feeling with the top-notch restaurants, shopping, gaming, swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness center, non-stop entertainment and family-friendly activities. The trick is to know when and where to avoid the crowds. I found the Royal Towers area a little more secluded than the rest of the resort. And the best time to explore is early in the morning when all the kids are still in bed.

The most interesting, and absolutely fascinating, parts of the resort were the marine habitats. The different lagoons house over 50,000 sea animals from some 200 species. From phosphorescent jellyfish and dazzling colored fish to sharks, barracudas and stingrays, you can get close-up views of all kinds of sea creatures at the Atlantis. It's so easy to stare endlessly at the lagoons and the larger-than life fish tanks, tasting a bit of what life under the ocean must be like.

In my next couple of posts, I'll share the highlights of my vacation from days two and three, including more photos.


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