Bermuda is in the northern part of the Bermuda Triangle where several aircraft and vessels reportedly disappeared. To unfold what it looks like to travel to a mysterious island, I booked a holiday to Bermuda strolled along the pink-sand beaches, viewed the pastel houses and manicured gardens, and spoke to other travelers and locals.
During my short visit, I discovered many appealing places and found out that the locals are very friendly and accommodating. It reminded me why island life is so appealing and brought back my memories of Hawaii where the Aloha spirit spread all over the island. It is a totally safe place to visit and has many beautiful sites to explore.
Hamilton Harbour is named after Hamilton, a port city in Bermuda, as the main port for passenger ships, cargo ships, and yachts. However, the narrow channel in Hamilton Harbor makes the large cruise ships difficult to navigate the routes and the small islands scattered around the harbor created barriers for ships to enter the port. For this reason, you frequently see small vessels on the waterfront and large cruise ships on the west end.
The most famous street around Hamilton Harbor is Front Street, where shops, office buildings, beaches, and outdoor sitting areas populate the place. If you arrive by ship, you will walk straight to the front street and integrate yourself into the busiest part of Bermuda.
I am not into shopping and visiting business districts, so I spent two afternoons walking around Hamilton Harbour and enjoying the view from the waterfront and the colorful pastel houses on both sides. There are many vessels and cruises that take you to the other parts of the island where you will experience other stunning parts of Bermuda.
Pink Sand Beaches
There are countless pink-sand beaches in Bermuda, as if pink sand is the heritage of this island. I spent half-day walking around the pink-sand beaches and found out that Horseshoe Beach is my favorite.
After the cruise ship docked at King’s Wharf, I hitchhiked to Horseshoe Bay and enjoyed my walk to this beautiful beach with pink, powdery sand and turquoise water. As I visited the beach on a weekday, there were no crowds and only a few locals on the shore. The water was a bit cold to dive in but it was addictive to spend half an hour walking along the oceanfront from Horseshoe Bay to Warwick Bay, checking out the little coves, and embracing the tranquility and a sense of infinity along the way.
Crystal and Fantasy Caves
It did not take me long to realize that parts of Bermuda’s natural wonder lie underground. A 90- minute guided tour led me down 100 steps, taking me close to the deep, clear underwater pools with cerulean waters, where I learned the interesting story of the discovery of the Crystal and Fantasy Caves.
Both caves are filled with incredible formations and unimaginable shapes. Looking up to the ceiling, there are chandelier clusters and crystallized soda straws while looking down at the water there are shrimps who have been blind before birth because they have been in the dim environment for too long.
The highlight of the trip is when all the lights were turned off and we stood alone in the pitch-black caves for a few seconds. It is where we all learned it is almost impossible to survive in the darkness as a human.
Upon exiting the cave is Bermuda’s famous ice cream shop, Bailey’s. Though it was wonderful to grab a cone of ice-cream in the summer afternoon, the shop was closed when I get out around 4:30 pm so I decided to take the bus to town and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Hamilton Harbour.
St George Town
St George Town was the first English town established in North America and it was named after Sir George Simons, the founder of Bermuda, where his team landed in 1609 after experiencing a shipwreck at a reef nearby. St George Town is a UNESCO heritage site and, to this day, the town still maintains its colonial roots with winding streets, period actors, and old town halls.
If you are in George Town on Wednesday and Saturdays, you can take a free walking tour at Kings Square at 10:30 am. The tour takes you around the narrow streets to discover the colorful buildings, St Peter Church, Somer’s Garden, St Catherine Forts, and historical Queen Street. The tour ends in the town hall where you get to learn the politics of Bermuda and where the Duck of the Wench takes place—a comedic, historical reenactment of public punishment of a gossip nag.
St Catherine Beach
My favorite activity in Bermuda is to take an afternoon soaking under the sun at the beach side, look at the turquoise blue water, and embracing the tranquility coming along. It is very soothing when I can hear the waves crashing on the shore, listen to the palm trees swaying in the wind, and sometimes lie on the shore and play with powdery sand.
From the beach, I could easily understand why Bermuda is a famous destination in North America, with residents coming from all over the world. While the natural beauty of the island is appealing, Bermuda is the sixth wealthiest country on earth, with a low unemployment rate and the high gross national income per capital (Wall Street, 2015). Although the cost of living in Bermuda is expensive (a meal at an inexpensive restaurant could easily cost $20), residents live in joy and comfort. As a result, there is little tension between different ethnicity and between locals and travelers.
There are many parts of Bermuda that attract visitors, but the biggest one is that everyone I met on the beach was friendly. On St Catherine beach, strangers wave, talk and laugh with each other as if they were old friends. I met three travelers from the UK and we enjoyed our conversation so much that I almost missed the last bus to Hamilton.
The Aloha Spirit originates in Hawaii where residents share their kindness, sincerity, and warmth with each other, and hence emote good feelings to others. In Bermuda, I see the Aloha spirit and island life go hand in hand again.
During my holiday to Bermuda, I hardly found rude or nasty people. Instead, residents embraced me and welcomed me to the beautiful island. Walking and taking the bus around the island, you do not feel you are a traveler and a foreigner but as a part of the community where people talk with you and genuinely want to make friends with you. Combined with the beautiful beaches and natural wonder of this island, you will have a difficult time leaving Bermuda.
Bermuda International Airport
Before my flight to Toronto, I took a short walk around the airport for one last glance of the beach scene. It was my first sight of Bermuda and it did deliver the beauty of the Caribbean island.
As much as I enjoyed my holiday in Bermuda, I spent another few hours on the plane, watching the beautiful island fade away under the sunset as I headed back to Toronto to embrace the inclement weather in mid-February.
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