A Travellerspoint blog

Bermuda

The Nine Parishes/Tribes of Bermuda

Warmed by the Gulf Stream


View 1964 Ship Follower & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Bermuda is a unique place - a series of islands divided into nine parishes or "tribes" which are named after the great gentlemen “adventurers”. This is important to recognize since virtually every attraction, restaurant and hotel is located by its parish name.

Bermuda was originally a volcano, and the islands are curled around the two largest remaining caldera sounds - Castle Harbour and Great Sound
Map

Map


According to our guide, if it has a tree on it, it is an island. If not, it is just a rock.
Waterlily pond with map of Bermuda

Waterlily pond with map of Bermuda

From northeast to southwest the tribes/parishes are

1) St George's Parish

which includes the town of St. George. St. George's Parish is named after the founder of the Bermuda colony, Admiral Sir George Somers. The Shakespeare play "The Tempest" is based on the adventures of Sir George Somers. St. George was the first capitol of Bermuda.
The white building (top center) is the Old State House 1963

The white building (top center) is the Old State House 1963


St. George's Parish consists of many smaller islands, notably Coney, Paget, Nonsuch, Castle, and Smith's Islands. Technically, St. George's also includes the island of St. David's. St. David's Island, and Cooper's Island, and Longbird Island became a single, contiguous landmass during the Second World War construction of what is now L.F. Wade International Airport, formerly a joint USAAF/RAF base, Kindley Field (and subsequently a USAF base, Kindley Air Force Base, then a US Navy air station, NAS Bermuda.

2) Hamilton Parish

which does NOT include the city of Hamilton and does include Tuckers town which isn't really a town. Hamilton Parrish is just south of St George and is on the north side of Harrington Sound. It was originally called Harrington Tribe, after Lucy Harrington, a wealthy and influential woman in the Elizabethan era. Subsequently it was named after another Elizabethan patron, James Hamilton, 2nd Marquis of Hamilton in the Scottish peerage (1589 to 1625). He was one of the gentlemen Adventurers who invested in the Bermuda Company to colonize it from 1615. As he was the largest shareholder in the original Hamilton Tribe, it took his name. Early settlers called the Parish or Tribe Bailey's Bay. In 1623, adventurer Captain John Smith, famous in American, Bermudian and British history, encountered many spooky caves in this Parish. It has deep water limestone caves, with subterranean passages. Altogether, there are 10 accessible caves in Bermuda that have sea water pools with a maximum depth of 80 feet given tidal variations. Most are in this Parish.

3) Smith's Parish

If you want to go to Flatts Village and the BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo) you come to Smith's.
Flatts from the BAMZ 2004

Flatts from the BAMZ 2004


Smith Parish is between Pembroke Parish (Hamilton - the current capitol city of Bermuda) and St. George's Parish (the first settlement and old capitol). Some of the railway walking trail is in Smith Parish. Smith's Parish has sea frontage on the South and North shores and southern side of the inland lake of Harrington Sound. It is named after one of Bermuda's Elizabethan patrons, Sir Thomas Smith or Smythe (1588-1624) who became the first Governor of the famous East India Company and first Governor of the Somers Isles Company - Bermuda - an office he held at the time of his death in 1625. Verdmont, the original home of the customs inspector for Bermuda is in Smith Parish on Collector's Hill. Also in Smith Parish is Spittal Pond Nature Reserve

4) Pembroke Parish

includes the capitol city of Hamilton. Pembroke Parish is centrally located on Main Island. It has North Shore and Hamilton Harbor sea frontage. It was named after Bermuda's Elizabethan patron, English aristocrat William Herbert, the (third) Earl of Pembroke (1580-1630). Pembroke was the nephew of Sir Philip Sydney and richest peer in England. He took his title from the market town of Pembroke in Pembrokeshire, Wales. In addition to the capitol city of Hamilton, Black Watch Pass, Fort Hamilton and Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) are in Pembroke Parish
BUEI old time diver's suit

BUEI old time diver's suit

5) Devonshire Parish

has the Arboretum. Devonshire Parish is on Main Island. North, Middle and South Roads transit this parish. It was named for Bermuda's Elizabethan patron, William Cavendish, First Earl of Devonshire (1552-1626). Early settlers referred to Devonshire Tribe as Brackish Pond. It was because of the large marsh in the center. Today, Brackish Pond is Devonshire Marsh. Parts of it are sightseeing attractions for naturalists.

6) Paget Parish

which has the Botanical Garden and Camden House, the official Premier's residence. Paget Parish is on Bermuda's South, Middle and Harbour Roads. It was named in 1617 after Elizabethan patron, English peer and colonist William Paget, fourth Lord Paget (1572-29 August 1629), 4th Baron Paget de Beaudesert
Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden

7) Warwick Parish

Best known for it's pink sand beaches. Warwick Parish was named after one of Bermuda's Elizabethan patrons, Robert Rich, second Earl of Warwick (1587-1658). A colonial administrator and admiral, he was the largest original shareholder in Warwick Tribe, later Parish. This association with the central English county and town of Warwick is overlooked by visitors unless they are from Warwickshire in England or Warwick in Rhode Island, USA. It is why the Earls of Warwick were so titled. Because the Earl of Warwick never visited, early settlers had their own pet name for the Tribe. They called it Heron Bay because it then had significance to shipping and many herons congregated there. The northern side of the Parish was more important than the south because the early settlers didn't swim
large_IMG_5548.JPG

8) Southampton Parish

This parish has Gibb's Lighthouse. Southampton Parish was named after Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton (1573-1624), an English aristocrat, one of the most colorful Elizabethans, the patron and friend of William Shakespeare. In addition to Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, a lot of the south shore beaches are in Southampton Parish
Gibbs Lighthouse from the ferry

Gibbs Lighthouse from the ferry

9) Sandy's Parish

which includes Somerset Village and the Royal Navy Dockyard (aka Kings Wharf) which is on Ireland Island. Sandy's Parish is at the other end of Bermuda from St. George's Island. It includes Somerset Island (named after the English county of Somerset). It also includes Boaz Island, Ireland Island and Watford Island. They are all connected by bridges and serviced by buses and ferries. It was named in honor of one of Bermuda's Elizabethan patrons, English aristocrat Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629). He was the second son of the Archbishop of the city of York in England
Clocktower Mall

Clocktower Mall

Most people who come to Bermuda want to go to the beach, although Bermuda is in the Atlantic and not the Caribbean. But there are other things to do in Bermuda. In my opinion there are four main attractions

Royal Naval Dockyard and Maritime Museum

This is now called The National Museum of Bermuda
1995 Entrance to Maritime Museum

1995 Entrance to Maritime Museum


The Royal Naval Dockyard was once the largest naval base in the Western Atlantic. The breakwaters, wharves, boat slips, barracks and keep were constructed just before the 1812 war. The Keep was built with walls 20 feet wide, and visitors can enter after crossing a concrete drawbridge over the surrounding moat.

MUSEUM BUILDINGS OF THE KEEP YARD

1. Queen's Exhibition Hall
2. The Shifting House
3. Bermuda Monetary Authority
4. Shell House
5. Forster Cooper Building
6. The Boatloft & Children's Room

BUILDINGS ON THE UPPER GROUNDS

8. The Dainty Exhibit
9. Artifact Conservation Laboratory
10. Jack Davis student residence
11. The Commissioner's House
Commissioner's House

Commissioner's House


12. High Cave and magazine

THE BOATLOFT

This large building at the end of the Parade Ground houses a number of attractions:

At the other end of Bermuda is:

St. George

Historic St. George Town (St. George was the second English town established in the New World (after Jamestown, Virginia)) has lots of things to see. A 2 hour walking tour (not counting going into buildings) on any day except Sunday (when some things are closed) might include
1. King's Square with a replica of a pillory and stocks
Stocks 2004

Stocks 2004


2. Ordnance Island with a statue of Sir George Somers and a replica of the Deliverance which was the vessel that carried the shipwrecked Sea Venture passengers on to Virginia. (We have never paid the fee to go aboard the Deliverance)
2. Ordnance Island

2. Ordnance Island


3. White Horse Tavern
White Horse Tavern

White Horse Tavern


4. Town Hall which has antique cedar furnishings and a collection of photographs of previous lord mayors (free)
Town Hall

Town Hall


5. Bridge House which was once the home of several governors of Bermuda.
5. Bridge House

5. Bridge House


6. Old State House - the oldest stone building in Bermuda, dating from 1620, and was once the home of the Bermuda Parliament. It's the site of the ancient Peppercorn Ceremony, in which the Old State House pays the government a "rent" of one peppercorn annually.
6. Old State House from 1995

6. Old State House from 1995


7. Somers Garden -The heart of Sir George Somers, the admiral of the Sea Venture, is buried here. (free)
7. Somers Garden from the steps

7. Somers Garden from the steps


8. St. George's Historical Society Museum
9. Featherbed Alley Printery
large_7193460-_Saint_George.jpg
10. St. Peter's Church The present church was built in 1713, with a tower added in 1814. You can wander around the church and graveyard for free.
12. St. Peter's Church in 2004

12. St. Peter's Church in 2004


11. Bermuda National Trust Museum
12. The former Carriage Museum
13. Unfinished Cathedral
13. Unfinished Cathedral

13. Unfinished Cathedral

Hamilton

The City of Hamilton, a port city, has been the capital and administrative, commercial, entertainment and shopping center of Bermuda since 1815. Unfortunately, there is also a Parish in Bermuda called Hamilton Parish, and Hamilton the city is not in Hamilton Parish. Places to visit in the city include
1. The Ferry Terminal and Front Street
2. The Royal Yacht Club and Albuoy's Point. This is a small park.
2. Albouy's Point and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club

2. Albouy's Point and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club


3. The Bank of Bermuda (taken over by HSBC group since 2004 and now known as HSBC Bank Bermuda Ltd.) is one of the few high-rise buildings in Hamilton, as most of the town structures are less than three stories in height. Inside, the bank keeps a collection of rare and valuable coins dating back through Bermuda's history. Sadly the bank no longer allows public entry into its head office and the coins are no longer in display.
3. Bank of Bermuda

3. Bank of Bermuda


4. The Bird Cage -A traffic box was named after its designer, Michael "Dickey" Bird. A policeman stands here directing traffic at Heyl's Corner, which was named for an American southerner, J. B. Heyl, who operated a nearby apothecary in the 1800s. It is the most photographed sight in Bermuda
Birdcage in 2007

Birdcage in 2007


5. Par-la-Ville Park - now Queen Elizabeth Park- This was once a private garden attached to the town house of William B. Perot, Bermuda's first postmaster. Perot, who designed the gardens in the 19th century, collected rare and exotic plants from all over the globe, including an Indian rubber tree, which was seeded in 1847. Mark Twain wrote that he found the tree "disappointing" in that it didn't bear rubber overshoes and hot-water bottles."
6. Library and Bermuda Historical Society Museum. This museum, is also the Bermuda Library. It's filled with curiosities, including cedar furniture, collections of antique silver and china, hog money, Confederate money, a 1775 letter from George Washington, and other artifacts. The library has many rare books, including a 1624 edition of John Smith's General Historie of Virginia, New England and the Somers Isles, which you can ask to view.
7. Perot Post Office

7. Perot Post Office


7. Perot Post Office- William Perot of Par-la-Ville ran this post office from 1818 to 1862. He was officially appointed Bermuda's first Post Master in 1821. It's said that he'd collect the mail from the clipper ships, then put it under his top hat in order to maintain his dignity. As he proceeded through town, he'd greet his friends and acquaintances by tipping his hat, thereby delivering their mail at the same time. In 1848, he shared the post office with apothecary James Heyl. Perot enjoyed gardening more than dealing with letters and collecting postage (see the Queen Elizabeth Park behind the post office), so Heyl was often left minding the store. For convenience, Heyl made up a sheet of 12 postmarks that he had Perot sign, and then sold them for a shilling. Folks cut them apart and fixed them to their letters. Only 11 of these original stamps remain (and Queen Elizabeth owns several), but in November, 1985, a 'Perot stamp' fetched $92,000 at a New York stamp auction. The original post office is still in operation and it's also a perfect place from which to send postcards. It is a real working post office with a few little exhibits in one corner.
8. Hamilton City Hall- Located at 17 Church St., the city hall dates from 1960 and is crowned by a white tower.
Weather vane on Hamilton City Hall

Weather vane on Hamilton City Hall


The bronze weather vane on top is a replica of the Sea Venture. Portraits of the queen and paintings of former island leaders adorn the main lobby. The Bermuda Society of Arts holds frequent exhibitions in this hall. The Benbow family's collection of rare stamps is also on display. It now houses the Bermuda National Gallery, built around the Watlington collection of 17th & 18th century European paintings by such artists as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Also here is The Bermuda Society of Arts, a venue for local artists, to display their work and be host to visiting exhibition.
9. Victoria Park - Hamilton

9. Victoria Park - Hamilton


9. Victoria Park -Office workers frequent this cool, refreshing oasis on their lunch breaks. It features a sunken garden, ornamental shrubbery, and a Victorian bandstand. The 1.6 hectare (4-acre) park was laid out in honor of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. Outdoor concerts are held here in summer.
10. St. Theresa's - Hamilton

10. St. Theresa's - Hamilton


10. St. Theresa's -This Roman Catholic cathedral is open daily from 8am to 7pm and for Sunday services. Its architecture was inspired by the Spanish Mission style. Dating from 1927, it's one of a half-dozen Roman Catholic churches in Bermuda; its treasure is a gold-and-silver chalice -- a gift from Pope Paul VI when he visited the island in 1968. It was named after St. Theresa of Lisieux who was known as the Little Flower of Jesus. The tower was not completed until 1947 and it wasn't until about 20 years after that, that the church was officially designated as a cathedral. At Easter it plays host to the Santo Cristo parade.
Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity from a ferry

Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity from a ferry


11. Bermuda Cathedral - The Cathedral in Hamilton is also known as the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, is the seat (main church) of the Anglican Church of Bermuda. The Cathedral is known not only for its religious, historical, and social importance, but also for its beautiful Neo-Gothic architecture. This architectural style is characterized by stained-glass windows and soaring arches. "The reredos features a striking central figure of the Lord flanked by 14 saints, and the pulpit is a replica of the one in St. Giles, Edinburgh, Scotland." The steeple towers over the city of Hamilton
Sessions Building

Sessions Building


12. The Sessions House (Parliament Building) - Sessions House is quite near here located on Parliament Street, between Reid and Church streets. The Sessions House is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9am to 12:30pm and 2 to 5pm. The speaker wears a full wig and a flowing black robe. The Parliament of Bermuda is the third oldest in the world, after Iceland's and England's.
13. Cabinet Building--The official opening of Parliament takes place here in late October or early November. Wearing a plumed hat and full regalia, the governor makes his "Throne Speech." If you visit on a Wednesday, you can see the Bermuda Senate in action. The building is located between Court and Parliament streets, and is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.
14. Cenotaph and War Memorial,
15. Fort Hamilton
Arch in the fort

Arch in the fort


And of course there is shopping.

In Flatt's Village is
Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo (BAMZ)
Bob talking to the birds

Bob talking to the birds


The Zoo and Aquarium is one good way to see native animals and sea life. The museum has displays on how the coral rock was quarried and how roof tiles are made from it, the blight that killed the Bermuda cedar and the introduction of invasive species are crowding out the native and endemic plants and animals. The BAMZ is right on multiple bus routes (either the 10 or 11 from Hamilton) and after you visit, you can continue on to St. George.

Open daily, except Christmas Day, 9 am to 5 pm. Last admission is 4 pm because you’ll need an hour to see the exhibits.

High on a Hill is
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Top of Gibbs Hill lighthouse - Southampton Parish

Top of Gibbs Hill lighthouse - Southampton Parish


Since the lighthouse is located on the highest point of the island in Southampton Parish, southwest of Hamilton, we could see the cruise ship docks across the sound. This is the second oldest cast iron lighthouse in the world built in 1846. (Jamaica's Morant Point Light was built in 1841) The 1-story keeper's house is occupied by a resident caretaker. Operator: Bermuda Department of Marine and Ports Service

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Gift Shop is open 7 days a week

------------------------

VISITS

My husband and I have been to Bermuda six times and I have been seven times. I came twice by plane, and five times by cruise ship.. We have another visit planned for 2019

Posted by greatgrandmaR 13:29 Archived in Bermuda Comments (2)

1963 - Navy Instigated Visit

Our first time


View 1964 Ship Follower & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

When I came to Bermuda for the first time it was 1963, and I was pregnant with my 2nd child. (I left the oldest with my mom.) I was meeting my husband who was then on the U.S.S. Intrepid, an aircraft carrier that was doing operations in the area. I flew in on a propeller plane.
coming in over St. Georges - 13 June 1963

coming in over St. Georges - 13 June 1963

Bermuda from air

Bermuda from air

Airport from the plane in 1963

Airport from the plane in 1963


1963 from St. Georges hotel toward airport

1963 from St. Georges hotel toward airport


I have a 1961 travel book which says: "St. George Hotel...On Rose Hill overlooking town. Has special Family Plan and children's playground. Indoor salt water swimming pool, golf course, beach facilities, dancing. Accommodates 200 - rates $11 to $16 a night -MAP (Modified American Plan which is room, breakfast and one other meal, usually dinner). This hotel was one of the least expensive I could find. I picked it because it was near the airport (to reduce taxi fares), and because it was fairly near to where Bob's ship was anchored. I could see the carrier from my window. There were great views over the town, and it was quite close to Ft. St. Catherine and so very convenient to get there. It was however, a couple of miles from town.
From Kindley AFB - St. Georges hotel on hill

From Kindley AFB - St. Georges hotel on hill


Our room in the hotel

Our room in the hotel


We had twin beds that had an iron bedstead and a sink in the room. The picture of Bob in the hotel room is underexposed (no automatic exposure cameras then, and my camera didn't have a flash plus the film was only about ASA 25) so it is very grainy when digitized That hotel that no longer exists. In the 70s (according to locals) there were 5 different fires that started at the same time one night, and the hotel burned down leading to suspicions that the fires were not accidental. The current St. George's Club condo set-up is now at this location.
View from our hotel

View from our hotel


to King's Square and Smith Island from hotel 1963

to King's Square and Smith Island from hotel 1963

Cruise ship tied up - movie theatre etc. from hotel in St. George

Cruise ship tied up - movie theatre etc. from hotel in St. George

Gunpowder Tavern

Gunpowder Tavern


As a pregnant person I found riding the bus very uncomfortable. They were sprung quite stiff and it was a jouncy ride. I preferred the ferries. A moped was out of the question in my condition. We spent a lot of time in St. George which was near our hotel
Sign in the shop.  Do not come inside this shop if you are afraid of GERMS -- These rare old coins are covered with GERMS.  That is why I sell them so cheaply.

Sign in the shop. Do not come inside this shop if you are afraid of GERMS -- These rare old coins are covered with GERMS. That is why I sell them so cheaply.

Bob by the Silk Alley/Petticoat Lane sign

Bob by the Silk Alley/Petticoat Lane sign


Mossy welcoming arms steps or St. Geo. Hist. Soc. museum - house built in 1725

Mossy welcoming arms steps or St. Geo. Hist. Soc. museum - house built in 1725

1963 photo of the Stocks and Whipping posts

1963 photo of the Stocks and Whipping posts

Town Hall, King's Square

Town Hall, King's Square


St Peter's Church built 1713 in St. George

St Peter's Church built 1713 in St. George

Graveyard from inside the church

Graveyard from inside the church


Somer's Garden monument

Somer's Garden monument

Somer's Garden Royal palms - best on island and pregnant me in 1963

Somer's Garden Royal palms - best on island and pregnant me in 1963


When I visited Bermuda in 1963 I was pregnant with my 2nd child. I visited in June and she was born in September. This is the only pictures I have of me from this trip - I do most of the photography, and the photographer doesn't get into the picture very often.

I think the story of Admiral Somers is typical of Bermuda.

More than five hundred colonists headed for Virginia from Plymouth, England, in June, 1609. The Sea-Venture, the leader of the nine-ship fleet, was cut off from the rest by a "dreadful storm…which like an hell of darkness turned black." (Probably an early hurricane) On board were Admiral Sir George Somers and Sir Thomas Gates, new governor of the colony. The party was assumed lost at sea by the remaining colonists who eventually reached Jamestown. But really , the Sea Venture was wrecked on St. George. The survivors built another ship - the Deliverance - and continued on to Jamestown. When the "lost" party arrived in Jamestown the following May, it was thought to be a true deliverance, directed by Providence. Shakespeare's play The Tempest was based on this shipwreck.

We went out to Ft. St. Catherine which was near St. George
Ft. St Catherine

Ft. St Catherine


aac39630-2fde-11e8-bf55-e7787fe00482.jpgFort St Catherine

Fort St Catherine


Fort entrance from walk - Bob disappearing

Fort entrance from walk - Bob disappearing


Bob crossing drawbridge

Bob crossing drawbridge


Fort St. Catherine

Fort St. Catherine

Bob walking across Ft St Catherine

Bob walking across Ft St Catherine

Sea Venture Flat sign

Sea Venture Flat sign

Bob at gun port

Bob at gun port

Stone arch and gun backs

Stone arch and gun backs


We took the ferry to Somerset to see the smallest drawbridge
From St. Davids to bridge

From St. Davids to bridge

From ferry window - aircraft carrier in distance

From ferry window - aircraft carrier in distance

The ferry dock in Sandy's Parish

The ferry dock in Sandy's Parish


1963 smallest bridge from the bank of the bridge

1963 smallest bridge from the bank of the bridge


1963 - Bob and sailors from squadron on Bridge

1963 - Bob and sailors from squadron on Bridge

1963 Sandy's Rectory (Bridge house)

1963 Sandy's Rectory (Bridge house)

on Somerset Bridge (smallest drawbridge)

on Somerset Bridge (smallest drawbridge)


and we took a bus to the Flatts where we went to the Aquarium
Flatt's Bridge from the bus

Flatt's Bridge from the bus


Coral Island Club in Flatts

Coral Island Club in Flatts

Penguin in BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo

Penguin in BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo


Time exposure - moray eel in aquarium

Time exposure - moray eel in aquarium

Tortoise yard from women's bathroom during rain

Tortoise yard from women's bathroom during rain


1963 Penguins

1963 Penguins

Aquarium

Aquarium


and we took the bus into Hamilton
Hamilton from north shore road

Hamilton from north shore road


garden 1963

garden 1963


Bird cage - Front and Queen Street intersection

Bird cage - Front and Queen Street intersection

ornamental fountains in front of CIty Hall - cathedral in back

ornamental fountains in front of CIty Hall - cathedral in back

War memorial from bus in front of colonial secretariat building

War memorial from bus in front of colonial secretariat building

Central bus station in Hamilton at dusk

Central bus station in Hamilton at dusk


Hamilton from the water - City Hall and Cathedral

Hamilton from the water - City Hall and Cathedral


And then I flew back home
Bermuda from air

Bermuda from air


NY - approach to Idlewild

NY - approach to Idlewild


Long Island

Long Island

Coming in to BWI - Baltimore Washington Parkway interchange

Coming in to BWI - Baltimore Washington Parkway interchange

Our next visit to Bermuda was Thanksgiving 1995

But my next big trip was 1964 when I went to Europe and followed my husband's ship from port to port.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:58 Archived in Bermuda Comments (0)

Thanksgiving 1995

Two By Land


View Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Our second visit was triggered by our daughter-in-law who had come down from Pittsburgh in October for the baptism of one of our grandchildren. She said, "For Thanksgiving, you can come to us". But at that time both Bob and I were working, and we did not get Friday after Thanksgiving off. So it would have been a four hour trip each way. Not my ideal way of spending Thanksgiving. And Bob replied, "We are going to Bermuda for Thanksgiving and to the Virgin Islands for Christmas". This was the first I had heard of this idea. I thought he was joking. But a couple of days later, he asked me if I had bought the tickets. So I said that I was OK with Bermuda for Thanksgiving, but I wanted to go to Costa Rica in January instead of the Virgin Islands for Christmas. This trip was taken before there were digital cameras available, and also it was before I was writing up the trip in emails. So the narrative is based on the photos

We flew in on the Tuesday November 21, 1995 (before Thanksgiving). Because I had waited so late to get tickets, we had to fly in on Tuesday and return on Saturday as there were no tickets for Sunday or Monday.
Arriving by plane 1995

Arriving by plane 1995

Taxi to the hotel

Taxi to the hotel

We stayed in the Hamilton Princess.
44926044944140-Looking_up_at..nt_Bermuda.jpgWater side of the hotel looking up at our room

Water side of the hotel looking up at our room

The Hamilton Princess from the ferry

The Hamilton Princess from the ferry


View from the window

View from the window

Yacht coming in at dusk from our window

Yacht coming in at dusk from our window


Bermuda is off the shore of North Carolina. It is not in the tropics. It is in the Gulf Stream, which keeps it warmer than the coastal US. They do have palms and coral, although only about half of the coral types grow around Bermuda as grow in the Caribbean. I took a picture of the weather report on the TV in our hotel room to give you an idea. It says:
945402-Local_weather_on_the_hotel_TV_Bermuda.jpgLocal Weather -Sea Temperature 77 deg F

Local Weather -Sea Temperature 77 deg F


"Climatological Data for Friday 24 November 1995
24-HR PCPN: 0.20 INS
Monthly PCPN: 4.53 INS
AVG. MOV PCPN: 4.1 INS
YTD PCPN: 51.49 INS
Normal YTD: 49.52 INS
HI/LO TEMP: 72.0 65.6
Normal HI/LO: 72.8/65.6
Record HI/LO: 78 - 1975/58 - 1972"
72 deg F is plenty warm for me if I'm going to be walking. But don't expect to come in February to someplace with warm water and hot sun. They do not ever have frost snow or ice, but the record low temperature is 43 deg. F. If you don't absolutely have to swim, Bermuda is quite pleasant in the shoulder season (spring and fall) and the prices are a bit less.

We had a waterside room in the center section on the fourth floor and a MAP meal plan that included breakfast and dinner.
Bob and me at breakfast-Photo snapped by waiter with my camera

Bob and me at breakfast-Photo snapped by waiter with my camera


930917-Boats_in_harbor_1995_Hamilton.jpgShip docked in front of the Princess

Ship docked in front of the Princess

Sailboat from the Princess Hotel 1995

Sailboat from the Princess Hotel 1995

Hotel cat?

Hotel cat?

946269-Koi_pond_near_restaurant_Hamilton.jpgHotel Koi Pond

Hotel Koi Pond

946271-Hotel_dock_with_no_boats_Hamilton.jpgBob looking at Hotel ferry which would take us over to the beach at the Southampton Princess

Bob looking at Hotel ferry which would take us over to the beach at the Southampton Princess


We did a little shopping Tuesday afternoon.
Moon Gate 1995 which is thought be bring good luck for couples who go through it

Moon Gate 1995 which is thought be bring good luck for couples who go through it


Moon gates are round limestone gates through which honeymooners walk and make a wish to ensure a lifetime of good luck. If you are not a honeymooner - make a wish anyway - can't hurt!! According to Fromers "..the moon gate was introduced to Bermuda around 1920 by the Duke of Westminster's landscape architect, who got his inspiration from such gates in China and Japan"
Waterfront in 1995 with med-moored destroyer

Waterfront in 1995 with med-moored destroyer


946321-Street_scene_Hamilton.jpgTypical Bermuda architecture

Typical Bermuda architecture


Wednesday was a little overcast, so we took the bus
Construction near the bus station

Construction near the bus station

xImage104.jpgSea Venture windvane from the front and back

Sea Venture windvane from the front and back


out to the Old Royal Navy Dockyard in Sandy's Parish (and to the Bermuda Maritime Museum). I figured that a museum would be a good place to go if it was rainy. I didn't realize that all the buildings weren't connected in one big Museum building. We still had fun, dashing from building to building in the rain or emulating the ducks.
95923772946630-1995_Looking_..dys_Parish.jpgMuseum entrance 1995

Museum entrance 1995


35634026888428-Royal_Navy_Do..dys_Parish.jpgDucks near the capson 1995

Ducks near the capson 1995

Ducks

Ducks

A REAL Watergate

A REAL Watergate

Bob 1995 walking between buildings in the rain

Bob 1995 walking between buildings in the rain

Sign says  Stevens(?) and Pitt Engineers

Sign says Stevens(?) and Pitt Engineers


The sign talks about Working Loads of the Main Hoist and Axillary Hoist. The dockyard was built by convict labor. White as well as black.
Clock building

Clock building


This shows one of the buildings constructed of limestone at the dockyard. Aside from the Commissioner’s House and the buildings of the Dockyard and its fortifications, no other buildings in Bermuda were ever constructed with this beautiful limestone, as it was too hard to be used for local domestic structures. It also existed only at Ireland Island in amounts that could be economically quarried: such was the luck of the Royal Navy (and our legacy) in the wonderful buildings and fortifications they produced with it. This is probably the Boat Shed because that has the Great Store House Clock on it.
Outside of the Gunpowder storage building 1995

Outside of the Gunpowder storage building 1995

Explanation of the gunpowder storage building

Explanation of the gunpowder storage building


We visited the Gunpowder storage building in 1995. It was closed for renovation but it was scheduled to re-open in 2009

This was built in 1837 (one of the oldest buildings in the yard) as a magazine and once stored 4,860 kegs of gunpowder. The Keep magazine was under the control of the Army until 1930. This hall is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II, who opened it in 1975

About This Building - According to the informational sign
"Wooden racks in the building held 4860 barrels of gunpowder - used to replenish stores aboard the Royal Navy ships which operated out of Bermuda in the winter months."
" The marks of the racks and some of the barrels still remain imprinted in the soft bitumen floor. Bitumen from the pitch lake in Trinidad was used because it did not spark easily and the less likelyhood of sparks in a gun powder store the better."
"The building was designed to be both bomb and explosion proof. The Bermuda limestone walls are 4 feet thick and 8 layers of brick in the ceiling are topped by further layers of rubble and concrete."
"The ceiling is an extraordinary example of the brick layer's art. Not only is it intricately vaulted but the pointing between the bricks is extruded. Brick was a far safer material to use in a gun powder store than wood which burns easily or cast iron which sparks easily."
"The date show on the end of the building (1850) includes the royal cypher of Queen Victoria - VK for Victoria Regina. Below the date is an air vent."

" Other buildings in this complex served as shifting houses used to temporarily store munitions taken from ships under repair in the Dockyard. There was also a small cooperage for repairing and making gun powder barrels and a live shell store."
Neptune statue

Neptune statue

Cactus growing in the Maritime Museum

Cactus growing in the Maritime Museum

The Commissioner's House in 1995 (not open)

The Commissioner's House in 1995 (not open)

Bermuda dinghy

Bermuda dinghy


A cannon on exhibit in the Boat Shed. A shot has never been fired at an enemy from the bastions of HM Dockyard. But its impressive defences have seen a changing complement of evolving naval guns over the years.
Cannon from above

Cannon from above

1782689-Flags_inside_the_museum_Sandys_Parish.jpgFlags and exhibits in the Boat Loft

Flags and exhibits in the Boat Loft


Flags on the upper floor of the Boat Shed building. Bermuda has always been known for boat building. The desirability of the boats was partly due to the superiority of the local red cedar for hulls, but also to their hull design and rig. Being fast sailers, Bermuda-built vessels were preferred by traders, privateers and pirates. Due to the overcutting of the red cedar and eventually to the advent of the internal combustion engine, sailing ships were no longer being build in Bermuda.

I went to the Craft market where I got a nice Bermuda bag with iris on it for my mom, and some clothes for my grandchildren. I thought of buying a model of a bus for my grandsons, but thought it was too expensive
48880800946761-1995_Building..dys_Parish.jpgVictualing Yard toward the clocktower 1995

Victualing Yard toward the clocktower 1995

Victualing yard

Victualing yard

Victualing yard

Victualing yard


North Rock Marker in 1995

North Rock Marker in 1995


We saw the North Rock Marker there. Located on an isolated limestone reef at the northernmost point of the Bermuda archipelago, about 16 km (10 mi) northwest of St. David's Light and accessible only by boat, the real marker is almost inaccessible to the casual visitor. North Rock is an outcrop on the outer edge of the reefs. Beginning in 1593 with the wreck of the "Bonaventure, this reef was the graveyard of many ships. In 1912, a beacon was put on North Rock, and the beacon was rebuilt in 1960 and 1990. In the Dockyard you can see the round 2-stage fiberglass tower mounted on a concrete base which was the foundation of the 1960 beacon. On the reef, the lower half of tower painted yellow, upper half black. The base originally supported a concrete light tower; later it supported a skeletal tower. I've saw this marker on land in Kings Wharf, so I presume that it is an old one and that they have a newer one out there.
Clocktower mall

Clocktower mall


We ate lunch quite reasonably at a kind of buffet/cafeteria in the Clocktower building on the corner. This place has now become Cafe Amici. Cafe Amici is open 7 days a week. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Troll - Please do not touch - I bite

Troll - Please do not touch - I bite


Bus stop at the Dockyard in 1995

Bus stop at the Dockyard in 1995

Ferry dock at the Dockyards

Ferry dock at the Dockyards


Then we took the ferry back to Hamilton.
House from the ferry

House from the ferry

Waterfront from ferry 1995

Waterfront from ferry 1995


Bridge near the ferry dock

Bridge near the ferry dock

Ferry Wake 1995

Ferry Wake 1995


Gardens at dusk in 1995

Gardens at dusk in 1995


Library from the street at dusk

Library from the street at dusk


Quilt exhibit in 1995

Quilt exhibit in 1995


Cistern in back of library

Cistern in back of library


I walked through the historical society exhibit in the library and
Perot Post Office

Perot Post Office


Bob went to the Perot post office. Then we did some more shopping. We went to Trimingham's. "Established in 1842 by James Harvey Trimingham as a dry goods store, Trimingham's has expanded to become a showcase for fine merchandise from around the world. The store is still family owned and operated to this day." I wanted to buy gifts for family members so I came here. The salespersons were quite helpful, and I was able to ship all the items home (so I didn't have to carry them back with me on the plane). I took the photo (of a dinghy) in the men's department because my mom was an iris judge. I don't know why there was a boat in the men's department, let alone why it had an iris on it.
Display of a boat in the store

Display of a boat in the store


The best buys are items from the British Isles. I got mostly Irish sweaters for the men, and kilts for the women. But they also have china, crystal and perfume. I did get a cape for my pregnant DIL. They give you the items you have bought in a pink carry-on bag, which I still have. The items for my granddaughter were too small, so they took them back and gave me a credit.

This moon gate is near the Historical Society/library and the Par-La-Ville Gardens in Hamilton.
Bob, through a moon gate

Bob, through a moon gate

1995 at dusk on way back to hotel

1995 at dusk on way back to hotel

Bacardi International Building

Bacardi International Building


After dinner we went to a slide presentation at the hotel on Bermudan architecture where they explained such things as the
"Eyebrow" over window

"Eyebrow" over window

Photo was taken either from the slide show. The person on the roof is cleaning it.

Photo was taken either from the slide show. The person on the roof is cleaning it.


Bermuda is surrounded by water. But it is salt. One of the problems for the early settlers was not being able to find any fresh water springs. Since then, some have been found, but it's not enough for everybody. So Bermuda has strict rules. Each house must have a clean white roof and must catch the rainwater in a cistern for the use of the household. This is one of the important architectural characteristics of Bermuda architecture. Now there are desalinization plants. But Bermudians still collect water for their cisterns. When I was in Bermuda in 1963, I could look from my St. George hotel over to the catchment basins on the hill opposite. They were for the military base.

On Thursday, we stopped at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo in Flatt's Village, Smith Parish (BAMZ)
Near Flatts Village from the bus

Near Flatts Village from the bus


1995 From the front of the BAMZ

1995 From the front of the BAMZ


944508-Parrot_in_the_zoo_Smiths_Parish.jpg1995 Macaw

1995 Macaw

Grumpy?

Grumpy?

Lovebirds

Lovebirds

Flamingos and tortoise 1995

Flamingos and tortoise 1995

895613-1995_More_flamingos_Smiths_Parish.jpgMore flamingos

More flamingos


I took this photo outside the Aquarium. It's not a trash can. It's not a phone box.
Mailbox outside the BAMZ

Mailbox outside the BAMZ


It's a mail or post box (for letters). Of course remember that if you post (mail) something here it will need a Bermuda stamp - even though Bermuda will take US dollars for payment, they won't mail your letters or post cards with a US stamps.
944496-1995_from_near_aquarium_Flatts_Village.jpg1995 from near aquarium

1995 from near aquarium


933627-1995_from_bus_Flatts_Village.jpgFlatts Village 1995

Flatts Village 1995


We got another bus out to St. George. After lunch at the White Horse in St. George (We ate on the deck, and I found out that I hated the Ploughman's lunch so I fed a lot of my lunch to the ducks in the canal),
White Horse Tavern 1995

White Horse Tavern 1995

Bermuda shutters which open from the top on the White Horse

Bermuda shutters which open from the top on the White Horse


We visited St. Peters,
Church in 1995

Church in 1995


Church pews

Church pews


Bermuda Cedar woodwork

Bermuda Cedar woodwork


Cedar Dole Cupboard

Cedar Dole Cupboard


Church clock tower 1995

Church clock tower 1995


burial ground for slaves and free blacks - plaque erected by St George Cricket Club

burial ground for slaves and free blacks - plaque erected by St George Cricket Club

St Peter's church graveyard

St Peter's church graveyard

St Peter's Church graveyard

St Peter's Church graveyard


Looking down from St. Peters

Looking down from St. Peters

Old Rectory behind St Peter's

Old Rectory behind St Peter's


the Carriage Museum in Tucker House
A carriage reflected in the floor

A carriage reflected in the floor

Model carriage

Model carriage

Carriage museum

Carriage museum


Out the window of the carriage museum

Out the window of the carriage museum


and the Historical Society.
Welcoming arms stairway

Welcoming arms stairway

Workmen working on the windows

Workmen working on the windows


Window detail - top larger than bottom

Window detail - top larger than bottom

Coffered ceiling with  wooden straps inside corner

Coffered ceiling with wooden straps inside corner

Historic Society kitchen

Historic Society kitchen

Roof detail

Roof detail


Historic Society House from back yard

Historic Society House from back yard


Walking on the back lanes we saw a house called Whitehall
Whitehall showing local architectural detail

Whitehall showing local architectural detail


We saw a picture of this house in the architecture slide show and the next day we took our own picture of it. This big old wooden Bermuda house in St. George shows many of the characteristics of Bermuda architecture. Big porches that overhang the windows to keep them cool, central stairway to the first floor, and the typical windows and shutters. High ceilings especially on the first floor allow the heat to rise and escape so the house is kept cooler. The house is flanked by cedars and there is a single car in the driveway.
Ordinary modern Bermuda house

Ordinary modern Bermuda house


A more modern house which still has the white roof, balconies shading the ground floor, and pastel color on the walls, no cars parked in the driveway. (Bermuda households are only allowed one car per family unless someone in the family is a taxi driver.) Probably stucco over cement or limestone. Modern sliding glass windows and no shutters.

(For hot climates, a white roof which reflects the sun's heat is the most sensible choice. If you don't have A/C the house will be cooler. If you do, it will not have to work as hard.)The roof is required to be white and kept clean. They are usually of whitewashed limestone tile. All the water is collected via downspots and goes into a cistern for household use.

We didn't board the Deliverance - we just looked at it from the outside,
Picture from the dock

Picture from the dock


Bob's photo of me looking at sign

Bob's photo of me looking at sign

Deliverance and sign

Deliverance and sign


Ducking stool and Deliverance

Ducking stool and Deliverance


Deliverance in background

Deliverance in background


but we did go to see the free slide show at the Town Hall
Town Hall and Designer Bazaar

Town Hall and Designer Bazaar

Town hall with me in the doorway

Town hall with me in the doorway


Town Hall Cedar ceiling with smoke detector

Town Hall Cedar ceiling with smoke detector

Stocks in front of the bank

Stocks in front of the bank


Plaque on the 375th anniversary of the first Bermuda parliament

Plaque on the 375th anniversary of the first Bermuda parliament


Masonic lodge plaque

Masonic lodge plaque

7194388-1995_photo_Saint_George.jpgConfederate Museum

Confederate Museum


We also walked up to Somer's Garden and walked around Somer's Garden.
Monument in Somer's Garden from the street

Monument in Somer's Garden from the street

Plaque in wall explaining about Sir George's heart

Plaque in wall explaining about Sir George's heart


When Sir George and the crew on the Sea Venture were shipwrecked on Bermuda, they built two ships from Bermuda cedar and after 10 months reached the colony at Jamestown, just in time to enable the colony to survive. Sir George went back to Bermuda to collect more food, but he became ill on the journey. He died in Bermuda on 9 November 1610 at age 56. Local legend says that he loved Bermuda so much that he requested that his heart be buried there. A marker in Somers' Gardens in St. George's marks the approximate location where his heart was supposed to have been buried. The remainder of his body was taken back to his widow in England and buried in his home
Ocean going sailboat

Ocean going sailboat


On the way back from St. George, we got off at the bus stop near the Railway Museum (route 10 or 11). This is a very small building about the size of a garage which is a former Aquarium Railroad station. The lady that ran it Ms. Rosa Hollis had a nice collection of maps, photographs and old Bermuda Railroad memorabilia from "Old Rattle and Shake," better known as the Bermuda Railway. They give us a glimpse into life on the island in the 1930's and 1940's when the Bermuda Railroad operated.
Museum sign 1995

Museum sign 1995


She has cats and Bob had a good time petting the ones that jumped up on the display cases. It has photos, seats There is a gift shop has interesting antiques and artifacts for sale which we bought a few of.
Old photo of the train in town

Old photo of the train in town


Back in the day there were no cars in Bermuda and the train ran the whole length of the country. This museum has closed because Ms. Hollis died several years ago.

The big sports in Bermuda are:
a) Golf which I have no experience or expertise to report.
b) Boating and fishing. Bob always wanted to come to Bermuda on our own boat and explore the little islands and coves on our own. I am sure that you can rent or charter boats to do that - I just haven't done it. I'm sure there are fishing charters as well.
c) Diving and snorkeling. Even though I desperately wanted to take one of the glass bottom boat tours to snorkel, the water was a bit too cold for that and the storm on Wednesday stirred things up so the visibility wouldn't have been good.

The weather on the TV showed that the sea temperature is 72.2F or 22.3C. Anything less than 80 is too cold for my husband, and less than about 77 is too cold even for me to stay in for very long without some thermal protection At the time I wasn't certified to do scuba and a resort course would have been about $100 IIRC. So I limited myself to an evening swim in the heated hotel pool (outdoors).
Pool deck 1995

Pool deck 1995

Bob near the pool deck

Bob near the pool deck


The hotel had a lavish Thanksgiving buffet. Afterwards there was another slide presentation on the flora and fauna of Bermuda.

Botanical Gardens was our first stop on Friday, November 24th There is a free tour on Tuesday and Friday mornings
Tour group in Botanical Garden and Bermuda cedar

Tour group in Botanical Garden and Bermuda cedar

Bermuda cedar

Bermuda cedar


Bermuda cedar is a wonderful aromatic rich looking wood that is endemic to Bermuda. That means it doesn't grow anywhere else. (It's also not really a cedar.) The first shipwrecked mariners used it to rebuild the Deliverance which took them on to Virginia. It is also extensively used for woodwork in places like St. Peters in St. George. There was even a cedar prison in St. George's.

Juniperus Bermudiana is harder and darker than normal cedar, and it repels moths and fleas and to prevent mildew and rot. Settlers not only used it in ship building but also used it to cure toothaches and coughs (in the form of cedarberry syrup), and they boiled cedar brush in water to break fevers.

Four centuries ago, Bermuda cedars grew throughout the islands, about 500 trees to an acre, according to some reports. But in 1944 Bermuda cedars suffered a tragedy that no one foresaw, when oyster shell scale, a form of fungus, attacked the trees. A year later, another fungus, juniper scale, struck. Ten years later, 90 percent of Bermuda cedars were dead. As many as 75,000 dead cedars were cut down as authorities launched reforestation programs.
Grasses and flowers at the Botanical Garden

Grasses and flowers at the Botanical Garden

Crotons

Crotons

Planting in Botanical Garden

Planting in Botanical Garden

More formal section of the gardens

More formal section of the gardens

Bird of Paradise plant by walkway

Bird of Paradise plant by walkway

Large old  tree in the Botanical Garden

Large old tree in the Botanical Garden

Big Banyan Tree (not native)

Big Banyan Tree (not native)

Looking into garden for the blind

Looking into garden for the blind

Oranges ?

Oranges ?

Chenille plant and Bird of Paradise (Botanic Garden)

Chenille plant and Bird of Paradise (Botanic Garden)

Conservatory

Conservatory

Limestone Building at Botanical Gardens with a false front

Limestone Building at Botanical Gardens with a false front

944380-Building_at_Botanical_Gardens_Bermuda.jpg
and then after lunch at the cafeteria we walked out past Camden (Goverment house
Government House through the trees

Government House through the trees

Verandas of the Government House

Verandas of the Government House

Details of the Governor's house

Details of the Governor's house


And we hopped the bus to take the 1 pm Friday tour of Spittal Pond (Bermuda's Largest Nature Reserve). We saw plants such as Palmetto: formerly used as thatch for roofs, baskets, hats, and the Bay Grape: a native which produces grapelike edible fruits (used for jelly). The leaves have a waxy/ leathery/plastic feel, an adaptation they've developed to repel salt spray. Also the Cedar (endemic), Olivewood Bark (endemic), Spanish Bayonet (native), Prickly Pear (native), Buttonwood, Sea oxeye, Spiked Rush, Widgeon Grass, and Floppier / Life Plant (1813 brought in as a native of Asia).

We also saw birds such as the Kiskadee: introduced 1951 to control Anolis lizard, the Yellow Crowned Night Heron: reintroduced in 1976 to control crabs and the Longtail: native seabird, breeds in summer, mates for life, produces one chick per year, is on the wing all day only returning to roost at night, feeds on a diet of squid and even some non-native such as the flamingo which they said had been blown in from the zoo by a hurricane.

You can do the mile long walk on your own but it is much more interesting with the rangers.

From the website: Spittal Pond is the National Bermuda Trust's most important area of open space, containing Bermuda?s largest bird sanctuary and the oldest evidence of humans on the Island. Spittal Pond is part of the necklace of wetlands along the South Shore just inside the former sand dunes. The pond is administered jointly by the Trust and the Department of Agriculture.
Spittal pond sign

Spittal pond sign


39217761891088-Spittal_Pond_..ittal_Pond.jpgGuide and part of group at Spittal Pond

Guide and part of group at Spittal Pond

Spittal Pond

Spittal Pond

6058701-Night_Heron_Smiths_Parish.jpgNight heron

Night heron

Wide view of the pond

Wide view of the pond

6058691-The_lone_flamingo_Smiths_Parish.jpgLonely flamingo blown from the zoo in the last hurricane

Lonely flamingo blown from the zoo in the last hurricane

300402397193513-Bermudas_Lar..ittal_Pond.jpgRocks with natural checkerboard formation

Rocks with natural checkerboard formation

Sign about Spanish (now Portugese) Rock

Sign about Spanish (now Portugese) Rock


On top of a high cliff on the southern shore of the Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is "Spanish Rock". Carved into the rock is the date 1543 and some indecipherable letters, no doubt the work of a lone mariner
Another tourist and the ranger at Jeffrey's Hole

Another tourist and the ranger at Jeffrey's Hole


Jeffrey's Hole is a sea cave formed by the action of the ocean when the sea level was much higher. In the 1700s a runaway slave called Jeffrey apparently hid in this cave for over two weeks. He was recaptured after his owner followed his girlfriend and found that she had been delivering him food.
Jeffrey's Hole

Jeffrey's Hole


The tour took a couple of hours and we just missed the bus afterwards. This bus route only runs about every 45 minutes.
Picture from the St. David's bus

Picture from the St. David's bus


We left Saturday afternoon November 25th after stopping off at the horse show (jumping) at the Botanical Garden.
Stables on the grounds Botanic Garden

Stables on the grounds Botanic Garden


Empty stables

Empty stables

Jumps near the stables

Jumps near the stables

Waiting their turn

Waiting their turn


'backstage' at the show

'backstage' at the show

Entrance to the ring

Entrance to the ring

During the round

During the round

Show jumping ring

Show jumping ring


International Show Jumping Competition

International Show Jumping Competition


Then we went on out to the airport on St. David's
Kindley Playing Fields

Kindley Playing Fields


Although Bermuda is expensive, at current prices (not what we paid in 1995) this 4 days would cost us $1450.00 *each* (a total of $2900) including transportation (airfare, taxi to and from the airport and 3 day bus tickets), hotel with breakfast and dinner, and admissions to the Aquarium, the Dockyard, and various places in St. George. That's because most of the things we did were low cost or free.

This visit started a tradition for us - we traveled someplace at Thanksgiving, and again in the middle of the winter from 1995 until we bought a boat in 1998. We did go to Costa Rica in January 1996 so I could visit the rain forests, and at Thanksgiving we went to Barbados for a week. In January 1997 we chartered a sailboat in the Virgin Islands, and we chartered a different boat with the same crew for Thanksgiving. In February 1998, we went to to Belize so I could scuba dive on the great reef there. and then in December we went to Cozumel so Bob could get certified in Scuba. After I retired in 2000, we traveled south for the winter on our sailboat until the spring of 2004

Our next Bermuda visit was Cruising by Ship in 2004

Posted by greatgrandmaR 15:06 Archived in Bermuda Comments (0)

2004 Cruising In on a Ship

The NCL Crown


View Bermuda & 2004 Peripetic Summer on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Mosaic in Hamilton

Mosaic in Hamilton


Bob's brother Dave persuaded him that he should take a cruise to Bermuda. Bob had never been on a cruise ship before, and my experience was limited to crossing and re-crossing the Atlantic from NY to Europe on the Nieuw Amsterdam in 1950 when I was 12 years old. We are accustomed to cruising on our own sailboat which is about 48 feet (depending on whether you count the dinghy davits). Much smaller than even the smallest cruise ship. I found that it was cheaper to take a cruise ship than it was to fly and stay on land. We didn't stay as long as I would have liked, but we still had a good time. By this time I was using a digital camera

Embarkation: Our documents told us that embarkation could begin at 1 pm. Our daughter dropped us off at the McComas Street terminal about 1:20. After we gave our luggage (3 small suitcases) to large persons in reflective vests, we joined the longest check-in line for US citizens that were not Latitude members. I had retained a large fanny pack (aka bum bag) with 3 cameras (I ended up taking over 750 digital photos of Bermuda and the ship) and a bag with a computer and Bob had a small bag with his razor and medications.

The line moved fast enough that I did not become uncomfortable (I have osteoarthritis in my back and cannot stand for very long without a lot of pain). Since it *was* November, the temperature in the building was reasonable. The lady that checked us in said people were waiting for her at noon already. Even though we pre-registered and had passports, she still had to have Bob's driver's license to get our home address which was not in the system.

Note: in the summer this metal building will heat up and it may become unbearably hot. According to the lady that checked us in, she has sometimes just had to leave because she could not stand it.

She told us that we would need our photo ID to board, and that turned out not to be true and resulted in a lot of unnecessary shifting around. This was a theme - the ship people were always saying that we needed a photo ID to get off or on along with our NCL card, but no one ever looked at the photo ID, and why should they? since when they swiped the NCL card, our photos came up on the computer screen. It was explained to me later that the photo ID was in case the computer swiped card did not work. If I had known that it would have made things easier.

We did have to go through X-ray and Bob had to be wanded as he was wearing a large bronze belt buckle which set it off. We went through security every time we returned to the ship. But the personal X-ray doorway was turned off, and no one ever looked at the items that were passed through on the belt, so eventually we stopped putting things on the belt altogether.

We entered on deck 5 and were directed to the aft elevators to get to our cabin on deck 9. There was only one elevator in operation. When I asked about it, I was told that they were using the other elevator for luggage, but this was obviously not true as the elevator showed that it was on deck 9, and it was not on deck 9 when we got there. Indeed this elevator did not work (was continuously on deck 9 for two days) and when it did start to work, the other elevator went out. I found this to be unsatisfactory because not only did all the passengers with mobility problems have to use this elevator, but also the crew had to bring various carts with equipment all on this one elevator because Monday, the forward elevators were out of service due to rough seas.

We booked the lowest rate cabin, and were upgraded to a Superior Inside Stateroom which has two lower beds that can be converted into a queen-size bed, bathroom with shower, spacious closet with mirror, television for in-house movies and CNN, hair dryer, individual air-conditioning, direct-dial phone, music console, and personal safe (which we didn't use). Average size 154 sq. ft. On Riviera Deck (deck 9). We were upgraded from a Deluxe Inside Stateroom on deck 4 which was about the same amount of square feet. The cabin was right around the corner from the elevator. I found this to be a perfect location - close enough to the stern decks for quick access and also close to the elevator and stairs.

However, when we entered, we found an ashtray full of cigarette butts in the cabin, and it smelled of stale cigarette smoke. Very unappetizing. Bob suggested that I clean the ashtray myself, but this would have merely transferred the smelly stuff to the waste basket. He refused to let me call housekeeping, so I took the ashtray and contents outside and set it on the housekeeping cart which was outside in the corridor. There was no 'plan of the day' information, so we did not know that we could have gotten lunch.

I found the cabin quite acceptably large, with two good sized closets (a bit bigger than on our boat) but with very little drawer space (much less than on our boat - only 6 drawers altogether). There was more room to move around than on our boat which basically has room for only one of us to stand at a time. But I found the decor of the cabin ugly. The carpet was grey and was stained and spotted, and the bedspreads were tan (one of my least favorite colors) with green and brown and teal stripes.
large_x100_0780.JPG
The beds were reasonably comfortable. The foam mattresses tended to shift around on top of the springs. We did not try to make a queen out of them. I didn't see a room steward to ask about it, and we were afraid that one of us would have to climb out over the other one to go to the bathroom. The shower was quite nice, with a shower head that could be adjusted in height and removed to be hand held.
Shower head

Shower head


This meant that when it was rough and I couldn't stand up reliably, I could sit on the toilet and stick my head into the shower and wash my hair. There was quite a bit of cupboard space in the bathroom.
Bob sitting by the TV

Bob sitting by the TV


There was a safe (which we didn't use), direct dial phones (ridiculously expensive either to call out ($5.95/minute) or for people to call us - $7.95 a minute), piped-in music and satellite TV which had only CBS, ESPN, TNT, and some tapes (without commercials - hooray) of History Channel presentations like for instance one on the America's Cup.
Bob at the emergency drill

Bob at the emergency drill


We read the information that was provided, but it did not tell us how to get the loudspeaker announcements in the cabin and it was a couple of days before we figured out how to do that. Although maybe they were turned off from above, because we didn't get any at debarkation either). Our luggage arrived about 3 and we unpacked.
Dock from the ship

Dock from the ship


We went out on deck to observe when the ship left the pier. We would have liked to go to the Top of the Crown or the Pasta Cafe to see the harbor passing by and be out of the quite strong wind, but there was a group playing live music in there and it was WAY too loud for us (although the music was quite nice if it had been about 10 dB less). The decks were wet and there was no place to sit that we could see what was going on on that deck (deck 11). I had mistakenly worn only a thermal vest instead of my winter coat and even the vest was too hot in the Top of the Crown, but it wasn't enough out on the deck. This deck also had the running track. After the first day, we never went up there again.
People in hot tubs

People in hot tubs


We went down to deck 10 and tried to get something to eat at the Cafe Italia, but although the buffet seemed to be ready, they said we couldn't eat until 4:30, so it would be 10 more minutes. After 10 minutes, we got a little bit to eat.
large_1512.jpg
We ate here one more time during the cruise, but Bob doesn't like to eat outdoors. The hot tubs, beauty shop and fitness center were also on this deck, but we didn't use any of those things.
Dock area in 2004

Dock area in 2004


Factories near the dock

Factories near the dock


Baltimore skyline in 2004

Baltimore skyline in 2004

Industrial area Baltimore harbor

Industrial area Baltimore harbor

Maryland Transportation Authority Police

Maryland Transportation Authority Police

Coast Guard

Coast Guard

Parking lot from the ship

Parking lot from the ship

Leaving the dock

Leaving the dock

Baltimore in our wake

Baltimore in our wake

Fort McHenry

Fort McHenry


A cold sunset

A cold sunset

Skyline at sunset

Skyline at sunset


I finally gave up because of the cold, and went down to our room. I had wanted to see us go under the Key Bridge and I really wanted to see us go under the Bay Bridge, but I couldn't stand out on the deck any longer. I think we saw the Bay Bridge on the bow camera (which was broadcast on the network to the TV in our room), and Bob said he saw us go through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel at about 2 am - also on the bow camera.
Flowers on the dinner table

Flowers on the dinner table

Dining table reflected

Dining table reflected


We went to dinner and I took a photo of the flowers on the table and our reflection in the mirrors on the ceiling. When it came time for dessert, one of the ladies said she didn't want any dessert, so they gave her Nothing - a dessert plate

Nothing - a dessert plate


I found that there was much more vibration from the engines than I expected (all over the ship-not just in the cabin). But, I was impressed to see them maneuver the ship with the thrusters which appeared to be both on the bow and stern. No tugs were used, going into or out of port although they stood by in case they were needed.
Tug that wasn't needed in Hamilton

Tug that wasn't needed in Hamilton


Dave tells me that this ship has no stabilizers. The water got a bit rougher when we went out into the Atlantic - not surprising to me since I know up close and personal (so to speak) what the waves are like when there's as much wind as we were having. It just looked like there were some rollers, and maybe cross waves of 5-8 feet with tiny white caps every so often which I would not have said was rough. When I would take the GPS out on deck, it would show that we were doing 19+ knots so the rough weather did not slow us down.

I did not consider that it was rough as I define rough. Rough to me is green water over the bow. Bob has taken movies of the seas breaking over the carrier deck of the USS Essex (60 feet up) in the North Atlantic which broke the keel of the ship in 3 places and resulted in it going to the scrap yard. That's rough!!

I found the motion of the ship quite unpleasant. It also made me walk like a drunk - I was tacking from side to side if I didn't have something to hold onto. They shut down the forward elevators due to the weather, and in some cases we were not to open the doors to the deck because of wind. Someone broke off one of the grab rails in one of the elevators, but that was fixed eventually. Neither of us are prone to seasickness, although if I tried to read or write for any length of time, I would get a headache, so I spend a lot of time sleeping. But we did NOT miss any meals.

We ate all our breakfasts on the ship in the Yacht Club. I really liked the decor here - there were brilliant blue paintings of sailboats - very saturated color.
Yacht Club

Yacht Club


The buffet was decorated with melons and other food carved into shapes and there were up-to-date labels which explained what the food was if you couldn't quite identify it. There were also sort of comic statues - a chef, a unicorn, a man at the wheel of a ship etc.

In addition to the rolls, pastries, toast, bagels, English muffins, pancakes, hot cereal, cold cereal, bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, fries, salmon, herring, two kinds of scrambled eggs, cold cuts, baked beans and yogurt, there were omelets and waffles done to order, various kinds of fruit including figs, cheese blintzes, and cream cheese rosettes on cucumber slices. And probably some other stuff that I've forgotten. We could chose from about 6 different juices, hot tea, ice water, coffee and decafe to drink.

I had originally signed up for two ships tours - one was a night glass bottomed boat trip which was supposed to be at 9 pm. I figured we could eat dinner and then go on the glass bottomed boat trip. But when I got my tickets, they'd changed the time to 5:45 pm, way too early to have finished dinner. The other tour was for a King's Wharf tour Friday morning when we were leaving at 11 am. I assumed there would be little else we could accomplish in that time. However, I got an email back from NCL saying that there was no room on this tour. Then when I got my tour tickets, I found I'd gotten it after all.

So I just canceled both trips. And as it turned out, we didn't follow the published port schedule anyhow- it was too rough to go in to St. George on Tuesday, so we went to Hamilton instead. And then instead of going to King's Wharf on Thursday, we went to St. George, We never got to Kings Wharf at all and we just left at noon from St. George.

NCL has Freestyle Cruising. This means that there are no dinner reservations for a set table at a set time. In 2004, you could also get a dining coupon to have a meal ashore. I was very unhappy to discover that I was limited to one dining coupon to dine ashore. I had assumed that I could have as many as I wanted. Not so. Originally I had intended to eat dinner Tuesday at the Carriage House in St. George, lunch Weds in Hamilton, dinner Weds at the Hog Penny, and lunch Thursday at the Frog and Onion at King's Wharf. The changed schedule made mincemeat of that idea.

This is what we did in Bermuda.

November 16, 2004
Ft St. Catherine from the ship

Ft St. Catherine from the ship

1552-2941059-St_Davids with surf_from_the_ship

1552-2941059-St_Davids with surf_from_the_ship

Rough water

Rough water

Commandant's house from harbor

Commandant's house from harbor


The entrance to St. George harbour is very narrow and in a rough sea state is impassible for even small cruise ships. The ship (NCL Crown) that we visited St. George on in 2004 was unable to get in to the dock when we first arrived because of rough seas, so the ship docked in Hamilton.
Fast ferry from the ship

Fast ferry from the ship



Front_street

Front_street

Scooter and moped parking in Hamilton

Scooter and moped parking in Hamilton

Front Street

Front Street


Crown in Hamilton - Dingy off the side

Crown in Hamilton - Dingy off the side


From the Visitor's Center we purchased two 3-day bus passes ($28 @) which are also good on the ferries. At the same time, we got a Bermuda Heritage Pass. I've seen some websites that say these passes are $35, but we were only charged $25 @. The Visitor's Center only takes cash (although they will take US $$). No plastic.
Ferry Terminal and Visitor's Center/ C of C - Hamilton

Ferry Terminal and Visitor's Center/ C of C - Hamilton


We walked around to the ferry terminal and took a ferry to Somerset Bridge
Ferry wake

Ferry wake


House from the ferry 2004

House from the ferry 2004


Ferry logo

Ferry logo


I talked to the ferry assistant, and he said he worked a 14 hour shift. He was lying on the bench at the front of the ferry eating a candy bar in spite of the fact that there is no eating on the ferry.
Bridge from the Ferry

Bridge from the Ferry

Ferry dropping us of in Somerset

Ferry dropping us of in Somerset


Somerset Bridge ferry landing building

Somerset Bridge ferry landing building


Somerset Bridge is a tiny drawbridge only 22" wide and is one of Bermuda's sights.
Bob in 2004 looking at the bridge from the bank

Bob in 2004 looking at the bridge from the bank


Crossing the Railroad walking trail on the way from the ferry landing to Somerset Bridge

Crossing the Railroad walking trail on the way from the ferry landing to Somerset Bridge


large_7194047-2004_Somerset.jpg1785951-Chains_across_drawbridge_part_Bermuda.jpgChains across the Drawbridge and Locks on the gate

Chains across the Drawbridge and Locks on the gate

Looking off the bridge toward the ferry landing

Looking off the bridge toward the ferry landing

Bridge house aka Sandy's Rectoryin 2004

Bridge house aka Sandy's Rectoryin 2004


Next to the Somerset Bridge is Sandy's Rectory which was built about 1740 by Chief Justice John Tucker. The historical record says:
"Tradition has it that artisans were brought from England. A fanlight above the folding doors between the two parlours is said to have been copied from the embroidered design of Miss Kitty Tucker's petticoat, the daughter of Chief Justice Tucker. The house was passed down to the eldest of the six sons, Henry (als "Somerset Henry"). He married Frances, sister of St George Tucker of Williamsburg, Virginia. Henry started The Somerset Bridge Club, an intellectual society and was a member of the Assembly. He was implicated in planning the gunpowder plot, where powder was removed from the Government magazine on 14 August 1775, for use by the American revolutionaries. Henry's father-in-law was Colonel Henry Tucker." ( Bermuda Historical Quarterly Vol XXV, No 1, 1968).
From the bridge to Ely's Harbor

From the bridge to Ely's Harbor


and then we walked up the hill to the bus stop
Somerset Bridge Post Office

Somerset Bridge Post Office


and caught a bus out to King's Wharf.
North shore from the bus

North shore from the bus


The Dockyard area was originally a Royal Naval Base. One of the outstanding buildings which every cruiser who docks at Kings Wharf sees is the Clocktower which was originally The Great Eastern Storehouse. The two 100 foot tall towers make a great landmark.
Clocktower mall 2004

Clocktower mall 2004


The Great Eastern Storehouse, with 3 foot thick walls was built in 1856. The clock on the south tower was cast in England in 1857 by John Moore and Sons. What seems to be a single hand clock on the eastern side of the north tower is a rare "tide clock." In Royal Navy days, the hand was set daily to indicate the time of high tide. The towers are still easily identified from a distance, making them an excellent reference point for mariners although they can no longer identify the state of the tide. Opened in 1990, the Clocktower Mall is one of the Bermuda’s most innovative examples of preserving a historical structure while putting it to modern use.
Resolute on the Marine Railway in the Dockyard

Resolute on the Marine Railway in the Dockyard


I have shopped at the Clocktower Mall, but I didn't go there on this trip. We stopped at the Craft Market in the old Dockyard Cooperage which is the first place I would take someone to shop in Bermuda.
Cooperage in 2004

Cooperage in 2004


Most of the other shopping is of UK imports - kilts from Scotland, Irish sweaters and linens, Wedgewood china, and also watches, jewelry and perfume from Europe. I like to buy things that are not only good bargains, but also actually come from the place that I am visiting. Here you can watch while wood turner gives weekly demonstrations of his art, making bowls, candlesticks and trinket boxes on his lathe. A jeweler creates elegant adornments from wire and semiprecious stones. In another corner, a doll maker deftly fashions dolls and ornaments out of banana leaves. Elsewhere, someone paints floral patterns on china or sea glass, while someone else knits wool hats and shawls. I got an iris pin and an iris cross stitch for my mom, and a hair ornament for my daughter.
Iris pin

Iris pin


In addition I think it is cool to be in a place where in the 19th century, skilled barrel makers in the cooperage (a cooper is a barrel maker) were amongst the busiest of workers at Royal Naval Dockyard. In those days, most perishable goods were preserved in salt and packed in wooden barrels. Liquids were kept in kegs. Thus barrels and other containers were in high demand.

During the cruise-ship season, the Craft Market offers a two-hour session of free tastings. On Monday and Thursday from April to October, Bermuda-made rum, beer and other products are served in the cooperage atrium, and during the market's winter program (November to March) visitors may participate in some of the craft activities and keep what they make.

Then we used our Heritage passes (instead of paying $10 admission or $8 for seniors), for the Maritime Museum
2004 Entrance to Maritime Museum

2004 Entrance to Maritime Museum

Bob at the entrance of the Maritime Museum

Bob at the entrance of the Maritime Museum

2004 - Neptune in the Maritime Museum

2004 - Neptune in the Maritime Museum


and we climbed the hill and toured the Commissioner's House (which was not open in 1995)
Bob through the archway

Bob through the archway


Stone building

Stone building


Sheep or goats on the Maritime Museum property

Sheep or goats on the Maritime Museum property

Anchors at the dockyard

Anchors at the dockyard

From Commissioner's house over top of Keep

From Commissioner's house over top of Keep


and toured the Commissioner's House.
Cannon and flagpole in front of the Commissioner's house

Cannon and flagpole in front of the Commissioner's house

From the front door of the Commissioner's House - Bermuda

From the front door of the Commissioner's House - Bermuda

2004 Looking down on the Entrance steps

2004 Looking down on the Entrance steps

Inside the Door of the commisioners house

Inside the Door of the commisioners house

Real cedar corner cupboard

Real cedar corner cupboard

Board room in the Commissioner's house with Bermuda Cedar furniture

Board room in the Commissioner's house with Bermuda Cedar furniture


Cutaway depiction of a cruise ship

Cutaway depiction of a cruise ship

Exhibit on the Yacht Racing

Exhibit on the Yacht Racing


There was a wonderful doll house full of carefully crafted tiny cedar furniture.
Dollhouse with cedar furnishings

Dollhouse with cedar furnishings

Closeup of the dollhouse library

Closeup of the dollhouse library

Closeup of doll house furniture

Closeup of doll house furniture


We walked back down to the entrance. Bermuda has a REAL Water Gate The watergate is an actual gate over the water.
Watergate from inside

Watergate from inside


There is a canal or slip and the gate (above) cranks down across it. This enclosed waterway once served to transport ordnance stores from ships anchored in Grassy Bay to storage houses within the Keep, safely allowing for ship repairs or refitting in the outer Dockyard. The sea gate enabled gunpowder and shot to be lightered out to the waiting warships with minimal risk of explosion occurring.The canal goes from the watergate to the keep pond on the inside of the Naval Base. The hanging portcullis gate operated by pulleys and a winch maintained security.

The Keep Pond is now the residence of the dolphins of Dolphin Quest. (UGH). I thought what the Dolphin Quest has done to the Watergate area was horrible.
Dolphin pens

Dolphin pens

Dolphin pens

Dolphin pens


Then got the high speed catamaran ferry back to Hamilton.
Restaurant from ferry landing

Restaurant from ferry landing


Clocktowers

Clocktowers


For dinner, we walked up to the Hog Penny and had the Upper Crust Supper ($46.00 including service charge for a 3 course dinner).
Front of menu

Front of menu

Drinks menu

Drinks menu


Interior with insets - too dark for a good picture

Interior with insets - too dark for a good picture


Hogge Money explanation on the menu

Hogge Money explanation on the menu


and had the Upper Crust Supper ($46.00 including service charge for a 3 course dinner). I had French onion soup and Bob had salad, I had Beef Wellington Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington


and Bob had salmon phyllo, and we both had the Granny Smith apple pie with ice cream and drank iced tea.
Granny Smith Apple Pie

Granny Smith Apple Pie


Norwegian Crown in Hamilton at dusk

Norwegian Crown in Hamilton at dusk


Hamilton store at night

Hamilton store at night


Motorscooter parked at night

Motorscooter parked at night

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:35 Archived in Bermuda Comments (0)

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