A popular early-morning exercise regime for locals, the "66 Steps" (as Bahamians call them) are thought to have been carved out of a solid limestone cliff by slaves in the 1790s. The staircase was later named to honor Queen Victoria's reign. Pick up some souvenirs at the ad hoc straw market along the narrow road that leads to the site.
Top of Elizabeth Ave. hill, south of Shirley St., Nassau, New Providence Island, Bahamas
Mar 2, 2008
Like much of the Bahamas, this site is crumbling down and overrun with hucksters pushing knock-off merchandise and crap woven out of straw. There's no signage to explain why these stairs were built, nor is there any explanation of the nearby fort. You're allowed to simply walk into the open-air fort, but you'll be accosted the entire time by mumbling young boys tagging along beside you demanding money for giving you a "tour" of something you can walk
thru in 4 minutes. The view from the top was impressive, but again was marred by the constant chatter of urchins begging for change. Unlike most cities I've visited, there appears to be no effort being made to preserve these allegedly historical sites, or even put up a sign to explain who built them or why. 3rd World tourism can be a mixed bag at best, but in the Bahamas it's in-your-face depressing to see firsthand how whatever culture these people originally possessed has been utterly co-opted by T-shirt stands and Booze Cruises. I'm only giving this specific site a score of 3 because it's free, but unless you're already in the neighborhood it's hardly worth it.