By Jen Lewallen
What would you do if you had the opportunity to spend one day in the lost city of Atlantis? While the real Atlantis (yes, I believe in it) has been lost for thousands of years, I was fortunate enough to visit the next best thing, Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Believe me when I tell you that it was no less magical than the real thing.
From the moment I stepped into the lobby of the Royal Towers, I felt like I had been transported to a different world. Everywhere you turn is a treat for the senses. Walking along the marble floors, I gazed at the intricately-carved columns and glass light sculptures that accompanied me along my way. The number of times I paused to gaze up at the seemingly ancient works of art, painted ceilings, and “archaeological artifacts” would be too many to count. The delicious smells of Mediterranean fare tempted me enough to stop for lunch at Mosaic. Different stations throughout the restaurant prepare fresh food to your liking. My personal favorite was the Churrasco, a Spanish-style grilled pork that was so juicy my mouth still waters at the thought of it. The sounds of joy and laughter from visitors of every age were so infectious I couldn’t help but keep grinning from ear to ear!
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My adventures in Aqua Wonderland!
I have always been a nature-lover and a travel enthusiast. Never before has a resort captivated me with creatures like Atlantis did. One minute I’m walking through its corridors trying decipher ancient hieroglyphics when concrete gives way to glass that opens a window into the heart of the ocean. Fish of every kind, both large and small, swam past as I stood transfixed to the spot. With so many sea creatures to see, I forced myself to keep exploring to see what else I could find. Walking around the grounds, I found different pools filled with rays, sharks, and sea turtles. My favorite discovery of all was a beautiful girl named Rosa. I noticed the tips of her wings waving to me from the moat-like lagoon that runs along the back of the Royal Tower. Upon closer inspection I realized that Rosa was a huge manta ray! Noticing my fascination, a staff member stopped to introduce me to this stunning specimen. I found out that she was 15-foot across from wing tip to wing tip. I was shocked to find out that she was just a baby and could eventually grow up to 23 feet! When she got big enough, Atlantis would release her back into the wild and take in another baby to raise, starting the cycle over again.
No visit to Atlantis would be complete without a trip to the water park. Being a thrill-seeker, I bought myself a day pass and took turns on the many slides, some of which feature clear tunnels that go through the larger aquarium tanks. I decided to be extra daring and try out the Leap of Faith, a 60-foot almost vertical drop that propelled me through a clear-acrylic tunnel submerged in shark-infested waters. In-between screams, I took full advantage of my day pass, which gave me access to The Dig, a true aquarium experience with different exhibits throughout a network of caverns.
At the end of the day, I was sad to leave such a magical place. I like to think that the real lost city of Atlantis was just as grand, with people and sea life living in harmony. We may never find the city that sunk into the sea, but Atlantis, Paradise Island will leave you just as fascinated as the real thing.