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Old 03-13-2016   #1 (permalink)
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The pink sands of Bermuda

I thought I should finally get around to writing my quick review of our trip to Bermuda in October 2015...it's amazing how quickly time gets away from you when you get back from a trip and back to "real life". And with our impending trip to Mexico coming up next month, now is a great time to get this done. It won't be a long one, just the highlights.

We flew on WestJet from Edmonton to Toronto to get our connection to Bermuda on October 13. It was a fairly quick flight with no issues and we landed right on time just after lunch. There was some great views of the island(s) as you land practically on the ocean. Bermuda is made up of a few main islands, all connected by causeways.



The houses are all tropical pastel colours with white roofs. The white grooved roof serves a purpose: it is a rain capturing system, and the lime on the roof helps to purify the water before it's collected in a cistern that typically sits under the house.





Grabbed a taxi into the Spanish Point area of Hamilton where our rental was located. As Bermuda is a British oversees territory, they drive on the left (this was a first for us, lol). You can see how close the ocean is to the airport (just across the street).



(Stay tuned...more to come when Photobucket starts working properly)
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Old 03-13-2016   #2 (permalink)
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Since I can't really remember what we did day to day, I'll touch on some of the places we visited.

Since there are no rental cars available on Bermuda (seriously, none), we had the option of renting scooters (and taking our life into our own hands), fairly expensive taxis, or the local bus. We opted for the latter. They have these cute pink busses that run almost everywhere. Our only complaint was that the run to Spanish Point where we were staying stopped at 6:30 p.m., so whenever we went into the city for dinner we had to take a taxi back. Not a huge deal, but a little more costly.

Hamilton was a beautiful small city, with loads of colourful historic buildings lining the harbour. There's lots of great restaurants & pubs, but nothing is what I would call cheap. This photo is from the water (on the harbour ferry).



We took the harbour ferry a few times over the the Dockyards. It was included in the cost of our bus pass, and it was a great way to cool off and watch the Americas Cup racers doing their practice runs prior to the qualifying races (which ended up being delayed a couple of days due to no wind!).







At the Dockyards you can find the National Museum of Bermuda which is comprised of a fortress, many buildings, dock where the cruise ships come in, dolphin training area, and lots of shops. We spent an entire day walking around and you can easily spend quite a bit of money if you don't watch yourself since this area is highly touristy and definitely caters to the cruise ship passengers. We did stop for a bite to eat at The Frog & Onion Pub. It was pretty good pub food, and I had a HUGE frozen drink to cool down (it was unseasonably hot). We also stopped earlier at the Dockyard Pastry Shop for croissants and iced coffees and that was great as well.

















We preferred to spend our time in and around Hamilton. We walked around the downtown, checked out the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, browsed the shops...it was a nice small city to explore for a few days.

One evening we met up with my childhood friend, Jennifer, and her husband, Shannon, as well as a few of their friends, and we watched the opening ceremonies of the Americas Cup down on the Hamilton harbour front. Afterward we headed to a beautiful restaurant called Devils Isle and had a huge spread of food & drink on the outdoor patio. Great food, not cheap.



On Wednesday nights on Front Street in Hamilton they close off the street to traffic and there are stalls selling food, crafts, etc. We bought a famous Bermuda Fish Sandwich which was HUGE and served traditionally on raisin brown bread with coleslaw. It was pretty good, but at $19 it was a tad spendy. I also purchased some beautiful silver & pink sand jewellery made by Alexandra Mosher as gifts for my mom & sister...forgot to get any for myself!





(stay tuned for more later, including St. George, Flatts Village, Horseshow Bay Beach, etc.)
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Old 03-13-2016   #3 (permalink)
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I am really enjoying this, we went to Bermuda many years ago and loved it but it is expensive like you say. One reason we never went back. Thx for sharing!
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Old 03-14-2016   #4 (permalink)
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We were told that Flatts Village is one of the most photographed places in Bermuda, and it's easy to see why. Such brightly coloured houses set on the bluest water. We had stopped for a visit to the aquarium and easily took these great photos from right across the street.







We went into St. George a couple of times. It's such a beautiful town with many historic buildings. We ate at Wahoo's on the waterfront, grabbed Bailey's ice cream from a local shop, and leisurley walked about the many little streets and ally's for a bit. We also caught the daily "dunking of the the wench" at the town square/waterfront which happens daily around noon, I believe. They put on a show with actors, it was kind of funny. We also visited St. Peter's church which is the oldest Anglican church outside of England.






















After visiting town, we grabbed the beach bus (a small van) for $6 which has a hop on hop off bus to a few different beaches near St. George. We passed along the Unfinished church on the way to Tobacco Bay and Fort St. Catherines. Very neat area. We spent a few hours at the beach club at Tobacco Bay enjoying some dark n' stormy's. Scott did a little snorkelling, too.











On our second day we arranged for a half-day private tour with Colin Jennings. I had read about his services on another forum and decided to touch base. He charges $50 per hour and will bring you anywhere you want, so we arranged for a custom sightseeing tour of the area from Horseshoe Bay to St. George so we could get a better idea of the lay of the land and what we wanted to visit further over the next week. It was great. We visited the lighthouse with great views of the surrounding area, a quick visit to Horseshoe Bay, Warwick Long Bay and Jobsons Cove beaches, toured down near all the mansions owned by the rich & famous on a golf course, stopped for a bite to eat at the Swizzle Inn (swizzle in, swagger out...definitely did that after a few of those famous rum swizzles lol), a quick tour of Crystal Caves (muy expensivo for what it is), tour around the narrow streets of St. George, and lots of history and knowledge of the whole country. Well worth the money.





Up next, more beaches...
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Old 03-14-2016   #5 (permalink)
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Beautiful photos

Where are the pink sands?
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Old 03-14-2016   #6 (permalink)
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Beautiful photos

Where are the pink sands?
Coming right up!
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Old 03-14-2016   #7 (permalink)
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So, one of the things that sold me on Bermuda was that it has pink sand. Unfortunately, it's not quite as pink as the brochures make it out to be, but it definitely does have a pink hue when wet, and I brought home a baggie full of it and you can see the pink grains in it. The most visited beach has to be Horseshoe Bay Beach and environs and I can see why. Such a beautiful crescent beach that connects to miles of other beaches and coves. The beach wasn't too crowded when we were there, though apparently gets insane when cruise ships are in. We hung out for a bit, climbed the rocks for a better view, and then hiked down the beach to explore Jobsons Cove and Warwick Long Bay beaches. Our favourite was Jobsons Cove. Even though it so tiny (literally only room for a few people), it had beautiful shallow protected water that was perfect for snorkelling and for people like me who aren't strong swimmers. Scott snorkelled around with a couple of friendly parrot fish for ages and then climbed the rocks for a better view there as well.













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Old 03-14-2016   #8 (permalink)
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And finally here's just a few more photos.



































Thanks for viewing!

We had a great trip and will definitely visit Bermuda again one day. The people are some of the friendliest I've met anywhere and they couldn't do enough for you. No one tried to rip us off, no one expected a tip or anything, just honest to goodness pride in showing you their country.

Try the dark n' stormy and the rum swizzle...strong yet so yummy. The Bermuda fish chowder with sherry peppers is delicious, too.

If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 03-16-2016   #9 (permalink)
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Aaah, the Swizzle Inn!! I have some kind of foggy memories of that place!!

Bermuda is beautiful...and I LOVE renting a scooter there. People love to scare you off about it, but if you can ride a bike around a little traffic, you can certainly manage a scooter.....we had no problems at all.

Beautiful Pics, and sounds like it was a GREAT trip!! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-16-2016   #10 (permalink)
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Aaah, the Swizzle Inn!! I have some kind of foggy memories of that place!!

Bermuda is beautiful...and I LOVE renting a scooter there. People love to scare you off about it, but if you can ride a bike around a little traffic, you can certainly manage a scooter.....we had no problems at all.

Beautiful Pics, and sounds like it was a GREAT trip!! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks! Yes, the Swizzle Inn was great. We shared a jog of rum swizzles not thinking they would be very strong, and boy were we wrong...I was a tad tipsy when we left so say the least, haha.

We opted not to rent the scooters since I'm fairly incompetent driving anything on two wheels, lol...and I'm glad we didn't because everyone drives like maniacs and the roads are so narrow and dangerous! Honestly getting around on bus and in taxis was easy enough and not too expensive, so I don't feel like we missed much by not getting scooters, though I know many other people prefer the little bit of added freedom with scooters.

It was a great trip and I'm glad we went. However, we spent more in one week there than we did in three weeks in Mexico, so it'll be a few years before we return. I like the value for money that Mexico gives us, so I'm really looking forward to our upcoming trip.

Cheers!
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Old 03-18-2016   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting; interesting TR and I love your pictures!
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Old 03-22-2016   #12 (permalink)
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Fantastic photos of a great place. Have not been since 2002 and you make me want to see it all again.
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Old 03-25-2016   #13 (permalink)
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Awesome pics and sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing all of this.
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Old 03-25-2016   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by newfiegirl22 View Post
Thanks! Yes, the Swizzle Inn was great. We shared a jog of rum swizzles not thinking they would be very strong, and boy were we wrong...I was a tad tipsy when we left so say the least, haha.

We opted not to rent the scooters since I'm fairly incompetent driving anything on two wheels, lol...and I'm glad we didn't because everyone drives like maniacs and the roads are so narrow and dangerous! Honestly getting around on bus and in taxis was easy enough and not too expensive, so I don't feel like we missed much by not getting scooters, though I know many other people prefer the little bit of added freedom with scooters.

It was a great trip and I'm glad we went. However, we spent more in one week there than we did in three weeks in Mexico, so it'll be a few years before we return. I like the value for money that Mexico gives us, so I'm really looking forward to our upcoming trip.

Cheers!
I should add that on one trip we were with friends and all 4 of us rented our own scooters...I am much more comfortable driving one than riding on one. (not surprising, I much prefer to be the driver in most circumstances). The other woman we were with was not so good with the scooter, and she ran right through a row of hedges JUST LIKE THE LITTLE RASCALS, although I'm sure you're too young to remember that. Only difference was she still had her clothes on when she came out on the other side. I'm about busting a gut right now remembering that....the rest of us had to drop our scooters we were laughing so hard......
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Old 03-25-2016   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the kind words! It was a great trip indeed, but I'm very much looking forward to getting back to Mexico and exploring a little more, further down the coast.

And Debbiec, as for the scooters, that actually almost happened to me prior to the trip, haha...I was attempting to try my sisters scooter out in her driveway before we left on the trip, however I was too afraid to let go of the brake while at the same time hitting the gas and I spun out and almost lost control...all as Scott videoed said attempt, lol. It was pretty funny for everyone watching...I was mortified...but at least I can laugh about it now. Anyways, I still contend that for me scooters are a no-go...especially after seeing the narrow uneven roads in Bermuda.
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