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The Beauty of Bermuda

Some 500 years ago, Bermuda was an isolated archipelago (group or chain of islands clustered together in a sea or ocean) discovered by Spanish explorer Juan de Bermudez, thus the name “Bermuda.” Initially the island served as a navigational stop for trade from one side of the Atlantic to the other, with its first permanent settlement taking shape in the early 1600’s.

Contrary to popular belief, Bermuda is not in the Bahamas or a part of the Caribbean. Rather it lies some 940 miles north of Nassau, The Bahamas and only 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The links between Bermuda and the U.S. date back to 1835 when an American built Brig named the Enterprise left Alexandria, Virginia bound for Charleston, South Carolina with 78 slaves on board. Driven off course in bad weather and in need of provisions, it arrived in Hamilton Harbor where the ship and its passengers were detained.

After a series of legal maneuvers by the governing body of the island, the slaves are given the option of returning to the states or remaining there. Most chose the latter, thus becoming some of the first people of African descent to live in Bermuda.

Since that time, the sea has always been a very important element in Bermuda’s cultural heritage. In fact, for nearly the first 100 years of its existence, Bermudians relied solely upon the shipping industry as their mainstay.  And although the primary industry here is now tourism, maritime history continues to play an important role.

Bermuda Today

Bermuda actually consists of 181 named islands and islets, with the main island—which resembles a fish hook from the air—encompassing 21 square miles and only two miles across at its widest point. Bermuda is also the oldest British colony, and possesses the second oldest Parliamentary Democracy (after England) in the world.

Physically breathtaking and possessing a year-round mild semi-tropical climate with an annual average rainfall of 57 inches, the island is a popular destination 365 days a year for its profusion of verdant and vibrantly colored foliage and trees, and of course its famous, inviting pink sandy beaches.

Bermudians take great care in and of their property and surroundings.  Businesses and houses are beautifully painted in fresh hues of peach, blue, pink, yellow and other pastel monochromes, gardens and lawns are meticulously kept, there is no graffiti or litter scattered about and there is virtually no pollution, the latter attributed to the fact that transportation is limited to mopeds, taxis, buses and there is a one car per household resident restriction.

Approximately 61% of the population here is of the African Diaspora, melding together harmoniously with numerous other nationalities and ethnic groups that make Bermuda a vivacious, diversified, sophisticated and thriving cosmopolitan mosaic.

So Much to do in Paradise

In addition to taking part in the wealth of outdoor sports the island is known for like scuba diving, boating, golf and tennis, lying on the beach, enjoying the awe-inspiring panoramic views, shopping or culinary adventures, there are numerous cultural sites and historic attractions worth visiting.

The Bermuda Maritime Museum is devoted to Bermuda’s maritime and naval history, while the Bermuda National Trust Museum—erected in 1700—housed the offices of a Confederate agent during the American Civil War.

The Lighthouse at Gibbs Hill is one of the first cast iron lighthouses in the world, and Fort St. Catherine—one of several delightful forts–possesses dioramas depicting the wreck of the Sea Venture, the settlement of Bermuda and numerous prisoner-of-war artifacts.

Be sure not to miss the Crystal Caves, a Gothic palace of columns, hanging stalactites, draperies and magical formations with still, 55-foot deep lakes where you can see the bottom.

Bermuda reportedly has more churches per capita than anywhere on earth, including nearly every denomination from Jehovah Witness to Muslim, Christian Science, the LDS church, Ethiopian Orthodox, Seventh Day Adventist, Methodist, the Anglican Church of England and others.

Among these religious domiciles is St. Peter’s Church, the oldest Anglican church site in continuous use in the western hemisphere (it also has a somber yet beautiful slave graveyard); St. Paul’s AME Church, one of 11 African Methodist Episcopal churches in Bermuda; and Cobb’s Hill Methodist Church, “the church built by slaves in the moonlight” for their own place of worship.

For an incredible amalgamation of experiences, consider a visit to the beautiful island of Bermuda.

Learn more about Bermuda



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