So, my most recent sojourn took me to the tiny island of Bermuda for four days. Growing up I kept hearing about this mysterious Bermuda triangle where planes entered, but never exited and was always fearful of going there. However, when you find a good deal on Groupon and there is a cheap airfare, how can one resist? So, off I went to see this little island and brave the weather.
Day One After a long day of travel I arrived at my temporary residence which was located a very short distance from the airport and a 30 minute bus ride from the city of Hamilton. After a two-hour nap I ventured to the local Jamaican restaurant for steamed fish and rice and peas. On the way back, I visited the gas station next to my dwelling to grab a bottle of water. Normally I travel with some canned goods and food; however, since I am on a pretty strict diet, I have to watch what I eat. So, I had a little bit of food and so that I could just relax for most of the evening until it was time to go out again. While relaxing I checked out a couple of the NBA All-Star activities and just enjoyed my time doing absolutely nothing. Later that evening, I donned my “Tina” wig, get it girl jeans, and headed out for a night on the town with my new bestie (Vanessa) from the island. She took me to a few local hotspots and to a local bar where the had a valentines event that was attended by a handful of people. But, we were given a really kewl gift bag and were able to have a few laughs. After leaving that spot, Vanessa gave me a tour of the major spots around the island. She provided so much detailed information regarding the history of the island, various laws and regulations, and the culture of the people. Around 1:30a.m. we called it a night and headed back to our respect abodes.
I awoke around 10a.m. and made my way to town in an attempt to visit the local Saturday Market. Unfortunately, the market closes at 1p.m. and I made it just in time to see the vendors pack up. So, I journeyed to the local grocery store in Hamilton and picked up some munchies, found a local tourist shop where I picked up my souvenir shot glass, and proceeded to the local museum where I waited for my new friend. Upon her arrival, we hit a few local shops in search of some travel gear for Carnival in a few weeks (See Live Mi Life) and had a bite to eat before heading out. I was treated to a tour of Hamilton and surrounding areas during the day time. We also visited the beach which is located near the hotel where Vanessa works as the Chef Concierge. Although it was pretty windy and chilly, we stayed for a while to watch some wind surfers and just chat about our mutual interest regarding travel, our career endeavors and dreams. The day ended with a little more sightseeing before the torrential downpour put a cap on the day. Vanessa dropped me off at my hotel and I called it an early evening after having dinner.
Day three was a pretty easy breezy day for me as most of the shops are closed on Sunday. So, I headed into town around noon to catch a ferry to Dockyard. There was approximately an hour wait until the next ferry was scheduled to depart, so I bummed around in town, found a restaurant that was open and had vegetable soup and took a few pics of the local buildings. On my way back to the ferry dock, I passed through one of the alley ways that Vanessa and walked through a day earlier and was greeted by the BIGGEST damn rat/mouse I have ever seen in my life. Like I almost lost my liquid at the sight of this thing. And it did not even bother to scatter or flee when it saw me. I think that critter looked at me and said, “chick you are in my country, let me pass by first.”
After surviving rat/mousegate, I went back to the dock to wait for the ferry to arrive. The ferry ride takes approximately 15 minutes from Hamilton to arrive at the destination. Dockyard is home to a few restaurants, shops and some historical buildings. There is a local vendor who makes (and allows you to sample) rum flavored chocolate. Woiiiiii. I stopped by one of the smaller restaurants prior to departing Dockyard to purchase some soup and grab a drink– non-alcoholic of course (I was saving all drinking for Carnival). I made it back to Hamilton around 4p.m. and hiked my wait up the road to the bus depot to catch the bus back to the other side of the island. Instead of immediately going back to my resort, I went to one of the neighboring communities that Vanessa pointed out the first day we went out. This area was home to a stockade, a dunking chair and a replica of one of the ships that traveled to Jamestown. I grabbed a couple of photos, checked out the local architecture, enjoyed the sunshine for that day and headed to the bus stop to go back to the resort and call it a day.
Since this was my last full day on the island, I did not have much on my agenda. I just felt like taking it easy. However, I had plans to meet Vanessa at her job for lunch at 12:30p.m. Considering the fact that it typically took 30-45 minutes to get to Hamilton, I figured that it would take a little over an hour and one half to get to Vanessa’s hotel since it was a little further out from Hamilton, so I departed my resort at 10:30a.m. to allow enough time to get to the resort. As it turns out, it did not take that long to get to her resort; I actually arrived an hour ahead of schedule. Since I was so early, I killed 45 minutes playing candy crush and used the last 15 minutes to walk up the hill leading to the resort (The resort has a shuttle that would take me up the hill, but I figured I could get in some cardio by walking up the hill).
Vanessa was just finishing up with interviews when I arrived, so we proceeded to the hotel restaurant for a nice lunch and some chit-chat. I am an extremely picky eater, so I was a bit concerned that I would not find anything on the menu to eat. The entire time that I had been on the island, I craved soup, but apparently most of the restaurants serve “fish chowder”. I mentioned this to Vanessa and she said, “Oh no. Our fish chowder is not like what you are thinking about, it’s not the white based soup.” So, since she said that it was very good, I was trusting her word and decided to try it. Lo and behold, this was the BEST soup I’ve ever had. I cannot believe that this yummy stuff had been within my grasp the entire time and I didn’t eat it because I thought it was like the regular new england chowder. I darn near licked the bowl because it was so good. I could not believe how good this stuff was. Vanessa mentioned that some of her guests told her that the gas station next to my resort sells fish chowder as well. Who knew?
After lunch I went outside on the patio and checked my email while Vanessa completed another interview. A hour or so later, we regrouped and went to one of the lounge areas to chat and surf online for more caribbean fetes. We chatted for about an hour and made plans for what we would do when we arrived in Trini and made plans to keep in touch. I headed back down the hill to catch the bus ride back to the resort— BUT, before heading in for the resort I made a beeline to the gas station next to the resort and purchased a large to go cup of fish chowder. The chowder was good, but not as good as the bowl of soup at the restaurant. The rest of the evening was spent watching television, sending a few text messages and packing.
On the day of my departure, I arrived at the airport two hours prior to departure, proceeded through the multiple layers of security and grabbed a bottle of the local rum for the road. My flight departed on time and off I was back to the freezing cold, snow and land of no beach. All in all, the trip was relaxing and went well. I met a really awesome person and discovered my new favorite soup.
Bermuda is pretty pricey, so you need to be prepared to spend a pretty penny for accommodations and food. However, you can save some money on accommodations by checking out Groupon, Travelzoo and Livingsocial deals.
Bermudians are UBER friendly. So, if you are one of those uppity people from the mid-atlantic or north east who are not accustomed to greeting people with a simple “good morning”, “good afternoon”, or “good evening”, you may want to re-tool yourself. Bermudians believe in civility at a minimum.
If you are taking public transport (i.e. the bus), they only accept exact change, tokens or bus passes. If you are going to be on the island for a while, I would recommend that you invest in getting a pass which can be purchased at your local hotel.
– With respect to the directions. If you need to go in the direction of Hamilton, you stand on the side with the pink poles. If you are going away from Hamilton, you stand on the side with the blue poles. A good way to remember the difference is “the wind blew (blue) the bus away from Hamilton.”
– Note that the bus pass is good not only for the bus, but also for the ferry. So, you can definitely save some money if you have a number of stops to make throughout the day.
If you want to go to the Saturday market, know that they start at 8a.m. and it ends at 1p.m. The market is located in a building near pier 6.