Impressions of Bermuda
Bermuda Travel Blog› entry 5 of 13 › view all entries
Bermuda is awesome! If you've visited the Bahamas or islands in the Caribbean and expect Bermuda to be similar, you're in for a surprise! For some reason, lots of people get confused between Bermuda and the Bahamas. Both have similar names and both are in the Atlantic but, in my humble opinion, there the similarity stops. While poverty is pretty evident in the Bahamas, is appears to be absent in Bermuda. It may be there but I haven't seen it. Virtually every building is beautifully maintained and flowers are everywhere. I'd recommend a digital camera with lots of storage media or a laptop to store photos. Barring that, take as much film as you can afford because there's almost nowhere you can point a camera that wouldn't make a nice picture! Another major contrast is the people. While I've always had the feeling in the Bahamas that the locals would prefer it if I'd stay home and mail them my money, I've found the vast majority of the people of Bermuda to be cordial and downright friendly. Bus drivers seem to be an exception.
Getting around Bermuda is a bit of a bother. I normally prefer to rent a car as I like to be independent but renting a car is simply not possible. You can rent a motor scooter but we tried that last time and it was scary at best. The things are tiny with little wheels that don't make for a lot of stability. I used to own a motorcycle and I still had some trouble getting used to the scooter. Throw in narrow, winding roads, traffic on what we Americans call the "wrong" side of the street and a huge truck or bus inches from your back and it gets downright interesting. Oh, and my wife was delighted with the effect the helmet had on her hair! After out experience on the last visit, Linda assured me the motor scooter was not an option. Taxis are everywhere and the drivers are all happy to offer an island tour but I don't feel comfortable having someone drop me off at a beach, hoping he'll come back for me. We found the ferries and busses to be a fairly good alternative. For $23 (Bermuda currency is pegged to the US and US money is universally accepted), you can get a 3-day pass for both busses and ferries. The busses run very close together and the ferries are an especially picturesque way to get from "A" to "B".
As to the two main cities, I like St. George's best. I suppose there's more to do in Hamilton as it's a pretty big city but St. George's is so quaint it's painful. There are some shops and restaurants but mostly it's a place to stroll around. The Dockyards are on the West end of the island and are interesting for a short visit. Some ships put in there but we've avoided ships that do that. As I think of it, however, that would put you in a good spot from which to reach the beautiful beaches of the South Shore.
One of these days, we'll fly to Bermuda and stay in a hotel, probably on the South Shore.