Monday, March 2, 2020

Travel the World 2020 - Week 9

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Of course I couldn't stop, so this year I'm continuing with fifty more countries, one per week.

I normally post this series on Tuesdays, but this week I have another post that needs to be on my blog on Tuesday, so I'm posting on Monday instead.

This week's country is...

The Bahamas

 The Bahamas are a group of islands located off the east coast of Florida. There are over 700 islands in the Bahamas; only about 30 of them are inhabited.

Of the almost 400,000 people who live in the country, about 70% of them live on the island of New Providence, the location of the capital, Nassau.

The Bahamas is an independent country. It was formerly a British Territory for 325 years. It became independent in 1973 and joined the United Nations during the same year.

It’s one of 11 countries in the world with the word “The” in its official name. The official name of the country is the “Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”
Tourism makes about 40-45% of the nation’s economy. It has excellent beaches, flora, fauna and many recreational and resort facilities.

The Bahamas is the second closest non-bordering country to the United States. The island of Bimini is only 50 miles from Miami. Regular ferries can actually take you between Miami and Bimini in about two hours flat. (Only Russia is closer, with the distance between Big and Little Diomede Islands being only 2.5 miles.)
Because it’s mostly made of limestone, the islands are riddled with caves that were created thousands of years ago when the seas were over 100 feet lower than they are today. As the sea levels rose after the last glaciation, they became filled with water, making them the perfect place to go cave diving.

It's possible to swim in the same cave as James Bond. Thunderball Grotto is an accessible underwater cave that gets its name from the James Bond film Thunderball, which used the cave for underwater scenes. The entrance to the cave is not readily visible as most of it is underwater. Getting in is intimidating, but once inside it's possible to swim and breathe on the surface of the water.

On January 17, 1977, a cold wave swept southern Florida and brought cold weather all the way to the Bahamas. On that day, for the only time in recorded history, snow fell on the city of Freeport on the island of Grand Bahama. The snow didn’t accumulate, but snowflakes did fall!

Big Major Cay – or Pig Beach – is renowned for its four-legged residents, who spend their time wallowing in the shallows. The pigs control the island, roaming on their own terms, but they prefer to stay in the shade during the sunny hours, venturing onto the beach and into the waters when it cools down a bit. It’s unclear how the pigs got there, some believing they survived a shipwreck, others say that sailors left them there for a future meal and never returned. 

There is a pink beach in The Bahamas. Pink Sands, as the beach is called, consists of a unique mix of coral, broken shells, miniature rocks and calcium carbonate speckles giving the beach its pink coloring.

There is no sales or income tax in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas’ $1 note has an image of the Nassau Police Marching Band on the currency, making them the only marching band in the world to appear on any legal tender.

The Bahamas is the third most expensive country in the world to live, according to Numbeo's annual cost of living survey, which takes into account the price of around 50 items, including a wide variety of accommodation, food and drink from both supermarkets and restaurants, clothing, taxi fares, leisure activities, utility, internet and mobile phone bills. Only Bermuda and Switzerland are costlier.

The highest point in the Bahamas is only 207 feet above sea level. Almost all land in the Bahamas is made of raised coral reefs or sandbars. As a result, there is very little elevation in the entire country. The highest point is Mount Alvernia on Cat Island which is a raised, tilted reef. 

There are only four countries in the world with a lower "highest point" than the Bahamas: The Gambia, The Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and the Maldives.

The Bahamas has the world’s third largest registry of ships.

There is no railway in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas has a weight problem – even more so than the US. Almost 35 per cent of the adult population are considered obese.

There are ten branches of Starbucks in The Bahamas. With a population of 390,000, that works out at more than 26 per million residents. Only three countries (the US, Canada and Monaco) have more Starbucks per capita. 

I decided to let this Bahamas fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Pirates, privateers and buccaneers infested the area from the early 1600s to the 1700s. The shallow waters provided the perfect place for experienced pirates to lure heavily laden merchant ships and Spanish galleons on to the reefs, where they were wrecked and relieved of their cargos. The most famous pirate was Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, who was appointed magistrate of the self-declared Pirates Republic, a stronghold in Nassau which brought 11 years of havoc to the region.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamps: Lizzie Anne Ahoy Matey and Nellie Snellen Sweet Elie stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: AMuse Studio, Recollections 110# White and SU Cameo  Coral and Sahara Sand CS and AMuse Studio Polkadot DP

Dies: MFT Wonky Stitch Rectangle and Spellbinders Circles

Embellishments: Recollections Enamel Dots and Heart


Barb said...

What a sweet image--cute card!

Shelly Schmidt said...

Interesting and informative- many new things learned : ) And, your card is so cute and sweet!

Lynn McAuley said...

I love this precious pirate!! Would love to visit the Bahamas!!