"zChris' Bermuda" Bermuda by zChris
Bermuda Travel Guide: 734 reviews and 2,263 photos
<center><b>Bermuda: The Remains of an Empire</b></center>
I couldn't believe when I read it. When Hong Kong was turned over to China in 1997, Bermuda became the largest outpost of the British Empire outside Europe. And yet this land- of sun and pastel colours, palm trees and pink sand- seemed so far removed from London that it was scarcely conceivable. Truly, it showed the extent of the former power of Britain that this tiny island of such startling contrast to the mother country still waved the Union Jack.
Bermuda was surprisingly only about two hours from Boston. Many people think it's way out near Africa somewhere or in the Carribean. Not so, it's just about 800 miles off the coast of South Carolina. The swift plane I was in circled the part of the island the airport was on and touched down for a smooth landing amongst beautifully maintained pastel terminals. Passing through customs easily, the entourage was greeted by a man in Bermuda shorts with a thick accent- it was apparent his family had left Britain for these shores long ago.
Remnants of the Empire haunt one everywhere. In Hamilton, a docked frigate shows off British naval strength, while across the Great Sound the Royal Naval Dockyard stands testimony to the might of Victorian England. And even in the pastel buildings, shops with names like Trimmingham's and the Old Irish Linen Shop are passed by men wearing colourful shorts but rather serious blue blazers and proper ties.
Indeed, one of the most apparent traditions Britain has left upon this tiny island is the utter properness. The buses, although rather laughingly pink, run very much on time between uniform shelters. Tea time is held puntually at every major hotel. In some way, Bermuda's transformation into an international business centre, the "Luxembourg of the North Atlantic", seems to have been concocted to contradict the rise in tourism there. I think, in some way, native Bermudians enjoy their proper ways, and would hate to see it ruined by sloppy tourists and vacationers. The contrast seems to continuially brew- while tea was taken at a terrace at my hotel, below on the beach the hut which rented water apparati was blasting the latest American hip-hop.
I found Bermuda to be almost the epitome of a perfect holiday destination- a small, easily explorable place with glistening beaches, a bustling city, a historic town, some quaint villages, ready access to good (American) cultural charms, and a wonderful, if hard to understand at first, culture. If I could find any qualm with Bermuda it would have to be that the island is too small...it seemed that in five days I had accomplished everything which I had set out to do there.
Nevertheless, I will go back to Bermuda. How can I resist the charms of a little slice of Britain (albeit with better weather) only 120 minutes from my home? If anything, I should like to see beyond the tourist Bermuda to the Bermuda most don't see- that of its residents and subtle local culture.
Go to the city- Hamilton! Bermuda's capital, largest population centre, and shopping centre, home of international... more travel advice
Located above the City of Hamilton on Happy Valley Road, the walk to the Fort is a steep climb but well worth it. From... more travel advice
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