We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow
Rough week last week, right? I think we can all agree that this week can only be better….RIGHT? Thanks for your kind words on my Boston post. It did actually help to write about it, a little. Before the deluge of last week’s awful events, I was in Bermuda for vacation. I had been planning on doing a quick recap post last week, but obviously, it didn’t seem appropriate. But I think I, at least, could use a spin down memory lane, so here are a few of my impressions and photos from the trip.
One of our main motivations when we chose Bermuda for our vacation was its proximity. Only a two-hour flight from NYC, Bermuda lies off the coast of the Carolinas, to the East. It is not technically a part of the Carribbean and is actually a British territory (meaning they drive on the “wrong” side of the road). Because it’s pretty far north as far as tropical islands, April is still considered the off season because temperatures haven’t quite warmed up yet, and so we were able to get a good deal on a nice hotel and the island was relatively uncrowded.
Given these practical reasons, I was actually taken aback at how beautiful it is. The water is that clear crystal blue you usually only see in commercials and on post cards, and the sand is soft and white (or pink, in some places). We got lucky with the weather, for the most part–nearly every day we were there it was warm and sunny, with temps in the low 70s. We were told this is not typical, and indeed, our last morning was gray and chill.
In Bermuda, the houses are sherbet-colored and have names like “Hibiscus Cottage.” They line the winding roads and hills like brightly-colored children’s toys. When you’re a tourist, you’re prohibited from renting a car, so your options are renting a moped or taking the bus. Because I’m tragically uncoordinated and found the roads way too narrow and windy to even entertain the idea of riding a scooter on it, the bus was our main way to go. The island is long and narrow, with just a few main roads, each of which is punctuated by small bus shelters every few hundred feet. These are two directions–a blue pole if you’re heading away from Hamilton (the main city and capital) and a pink pole if you’re heading toward it. Really, there’s no way to get lost. Riding the bus was not only the best way to see the island, but it was also really interesting to ride along with the locals, on their way home from work or school. I have heard that in other tropical locations, like Mexico and Jamaica, the tourist areas are sharply separated from the areas where people actually live, so it was nice to be able to experience the island with no restrictions.
We stayed at a family-owned hotel called the Pompano Beach Club, where everyone was exceedingly friendly. Our room looked out on the ocean so we spent a lot of time sitting in the white plastic chairs on our balcony, just being hypnotized by the sparkling blue of the water. It being the off season, we had the run of the place to ourselves for a couple of days before the weekend crew showed up, so the peace and quiet was really nice–a much-needed change from the frantic pace of NYC. Our meals were included as well, which took the stress and pressure off of trying to find a new place to eat every night. Also, the island is quite expensive, even by New York standards, so it was a relief not to spend $100 a night on dinner as well.
During our four days there, I explored the oldest settlement, ate fried seafood on a dock, walked through a lovely crumbling graveyard, took the bus from one tip of the island to the other multiple times, drank cocktails while waiting for the sunset, descended into a cave full of stalactites thousands of years old, layed on the beach, went swimming in the pool, bought a dress at the English Sports Shop, had a happy hour beer suspended above the main drag of Hamilton, was sad when our glass-bottomed boat whale watching tour was cancelled, took a ferry, got a bad sunburn, went to the zoo and aquarium, and learned so much more about the place and the people than I expected.