A Bermudaful Visit

"Bermuda is the right country for a jaded man to "loaf" in. There are no harassments; the deep peace and quiet of the country sink into one's body and bones and give his conscience a rest." Mark Twain from Some Rambling Notes of an Idle Excursion
Each time we mentioned to friends or family that we were traveling to Bermuda, they would inevitably get the island confused with its tropical cousins, the Bahamas or Barbados.  Aside from the mysterious Bermuda triangle, most Americans know very little about this incredibly isolated island in the Atlantic. 

Bermuda, about an hour and a half by plane from New York, or a few days by sea, is a former British colony that boasts a glorious fusion of history and tropical flavor.  When approaching the island by sea as we did, the first striking feature of the country are the homes.  In a pastel prism of colors, Bermudian houses are painted in shades of pink and green and blue with contrasting stark white terraced rooftops.  
Intermingled with the brightly hued modern houses are structures that date from previous centuries, from British colonial times.  In the once capital of St. George, a church from 1615 sits alongside sandwich shops and souvenir stores.  The juxtaposition of crumbling, archaic structures next to glistening tropical storefronts will stimulate the travel-style of most any tourist, whether you're a history-buff or a lounge-lizard. 
Though small villages are spread across the island, the obvious draw of Bermuda are the famous pink-sand beaches, made such because of tiny bits of pulverized coral and seashells. The minute your toes touch the Bermudian sand, you cannot help but feel seaside serenity.  Unlike the grainy sands of California's beaches or the white sands along the Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda's pink sand makes the aqua of the warm water seem even more intense and crystalline.  In spite of the high temperatures and humidity, the soft sand stays cool to the touch as you spread out your beach towel and prop up your umbrella.
Great beaches and charming architecture aside, what truly impressed me about this tiny country were its people.  Unlike so many of the impoverished islands in the Caribbean, on Bermuda, citizens enjoy a very high gross domestic product and an astonishing minimum wage of nearly nineteen dollars an hour.  The visible results of this wealth are generally contented locals, pristine towns, carefully maintained roads, reliable public transportation, and an overall feeling of safety and security.  
The Bermudians we encountered along the way embraced us tourists, and welcomed us to their culture warmly.  Whether off to work at an investment firm in Hamilton cloaked in the famed Bermuda shorts or driving the bus route to Horseshoe Bay or purveying arts and crafts at the local market, the people of Bermuda were proud of their thriving country and delighted to share their beaches and their stories.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Pink Frenchie,

    You've got me dreaming
    of pink sand beaches . . .

    Wonderful to see Bermuda
    through your eyes
    and photos!


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