Walking anywhere in Bermuda is like living the lines of Armstrong’s famous song:
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky Are also on the faces of people going by I see friends shaking hands saying “How do you do.” They’re really saying: “I love you!”
I have seen friendly people before, but Bermudians are by far the kindest, most friendly people I have ever met. So many smiling faces, the kindness in their eyes. I fell in love at a rate of, on the average, ten times a day.
Bermuda’s natural beauty is breathtaking. The water is turquoise in all its glory: so many shades. The beaches have a tinge of pink every now and then.
The country is an island, quite small in area (around 54 square km), and with a population of 68,000, it has one of highest densities in the world! The easiest way to get about is to get a bus pass ($12 for one day) and travel about. It is possible to rent a car, but they drive on the other side of the road (British Style); so I didn’t dare taking a chance. You can also rent a motorcycle which is a common commuting tool. But then, you can travel the whole country in a day with one bus pass, I mean it.
I visited the naval dockyard, a beautiful place with a great deal of history. There was an amazing mural by Graham Foster on the walls of the staircase at the National Museum. It took about 7000 hours to complete, and it will take a few hours to travel through 500 years of Bermuda’s history through the artist’s eyes.
St. George is a quaint, charming town with a lot of character. It is the oldest city in Bermuda. Steep alleys, meandering walk ways, beautiful churches, and a charming mayor. He asked us to mention him; so here it is.
Food was very expensive though often very good. At some point, Bermuda let go of agriculture in favour of tourism. Today, almost everything is imported. In St. George, in a very cozy cafe (Mama Angie’s), I had Bermuda’s traditional breakfast: cod (fish) and potatoes (both boiled), a banana, and a boiled egg. I had the choice of onion-butter sauce or tomato sauce as well. It was very interesting and certainly very healthy especially that I went with tomato sauce. I had never had fish for breakfast before.
Fish cakes were another favourite of the locals. I tried a few, and I liked them. The taste was similar to that of fish cutlets I had had in Bandar Abbas. Another thing that reminded me of Bandar Abbas was the jewelery boxes decorated with sea shells. It was so amazing to see the same thing (exactly the same) in two places so far apart made by two people who did not know of each others’ existence.
There was no university, only a college. Those in pursuit of higher education often traveled to Canada, UK, and the US. No universal health care either.
Some thing that caught my attention was lack of any visible racial tensions. Bermuda’s population is 60/40 black/white and others. I think Bermuda abolished slavery in 1834.
Bermuda is a very safe country; I heard a few guns have got into the country recently and that upset many people. Another thing I noticed was people’s resistance to the idea of having a casino there; despite financial benefits, they were concerned about who they were going to attract to their country.
The crystal caves, near St. George, are a must. At $20 (nearly $20 Canadian) I traveled underground to a world of fantastic natural creations. The sediments grow about one inch per 100 years; so don’t waste your time trying to see the shapes change. Our charming guide, Ron, told us that it was believed that water drops falling from the ceiling were kisses from the heavens. For every drop falling on you (by accident), you will have a whole day of good luck. I got a few kisses from the heavens! And the following day, we had sunshine brighter than ever.
The candy-coloured houses, the turquoise water, the pink beaches all must be the result of kisses dropped from the heavens on Bermuda. Given the age of the crystal caves, the people of Bermuda, with their bright beautiful smiles, with their gentle, kind manners must be the results of these heavenly kisses falling from the heavens on this beautiful land.