I actually have the same picture of those famous Paris locks featured on the Daily Post site for this week’s photo challenge, but this unconventional picture of myself and The Boyfriend in Bermuda is one of my favorites. Plus look how skinny I look!
Grotto Bay is famous for one thing: Caves.
Since the caves were only a five minute walk from our hotel, we kind of HAD to see them. Plus they’re really old and we like old stuff. According to our guide, the stalagmites and stalactites grow about a centimeter every 100 years, making the caves a bazillion years old.
Next up was a quick trip to St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Bermuda’s first capital. The guide books made the town seem like the greatest thing since sliced white bread, but when our cab dropped us off in the town square, we looked around and said, huh? The town was mostly empty; even the visitor center was not in a very hospitable mood.
To be fair, the town was not without some charm. We checked out all the key sites.
I’ve been a bad blogger. This week has managed to run away from me, and I’ve been completely delinquent in my Bermuda posts. Have no fear. I AM BACK.
Bermuda isn’t famous for any one particular site like some countries are, but it does have a number of touristy items, and we managed to cross a bunch of them off our list.
First, we took a bus from Grotto Bay to the capital city Hamilton, where all the tax evaders are hard at work. It’s the only place on the island where you see real office-type buildings, including this new swanky gem.
We had two hours until our boat left for the Dockyard so we took a walk up to Fort Catherine, one of Bermuda’s many forts.
We admired this lovely view and then quickly high-tailed it back to the dock. The 20 minute boat ride from Hamilton to the far western end of the island was a pleasure — far more pleasant than the morning’s bus ride in the sense that neither of us were in danger of losing our breakfast. And the views were stunning.
The Royal Naval Dockyard was the main base of the British Royal Navy in the western Atlantic following American independence up until the Cold War. Today it hosts a national museum, a snorkel park, a dolphin park that will set you back a couple hundred dollars, restaurants, shops, a crafts market and all sorts of other touristy things. We were surprised to find this major tourist attraction fairly empty, but we enjoyed wandering about, and even forked over 10 bucks a piece to check out the museum.
More to come on our venture to the eastern end of the island. Stay tuned.
I am positively giddy to be back in the land of free internet. Not that Bermuda wasn’t great, but $30 a day for internet at our hotel? Um, no thank you.
Speaking of our hotel…We stayed at the Grotto Bay Beach Resort in Hamilton Parish (not to be confused with the capital city of Hamilton.) A five minute drive from the airport, the hotel is a 25 minute bus ride from the capital and and at least 40 minutes from Bermuda’s famous beaches, but we are not sit-on-the-beach type people so that was all right.
Grotto Bay is not the fanciest or must luxurious hotel option in Bermuda, but I had found a 50 percent off deal on Orbitz, and that clinched it for me. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay there. Situated on the water in a series of lodges, the resort has a very relaxing feel. The expansive views of the water, the pastel colored buildings, and the well-kept grounds were all lovely.
The rooms themselves were nothing special, but they came with an updated bathroom and a stunning view.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about the hotel was the costly internet options. For $30 a day, we could access the internet in the resort lobby ONLY. Instead, we went down the road to a local restaurant where wifi is free.
If you come to Bermuda in the high season and want to hang out on one of the island’s famous pink beaches or be closer to the action in Hamilton, this is probably not the hotel for you. But for our short, three-day trip, it did the trick.
This week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post is “thankful.” And I am very thankful this is just a goofy picture and not real life.
On a more serious note, I am thankful for my family, my friends and The Boyfriend who took this hysterical picture of me in Bermuda. I am thankful we see each other every week even though we live in different cities and thankful for our many adventures together. Finally, I am thankful I have a partner who indulges my bad taste in movies and puts up with my obsessive need to take a gazillion pictures.
I will post plenty of photos and rambling commentary once I return to the land of free internet, but for now I’ll regale you with my impressions of this delightful island.
More on Bermuda to come. Stay tuned!
I’ve spent the past couple of weeks planning the itinerary for our Thanksgiving trip to Bermuda. With only three full days in Bermuda, I’m not sure we’ll have time for everything, but here are some of the activities I’m most excited about.
1) Helmet Diving: This looks awesome. I mean, freakishly awesome. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance we won’t be able to get into the water. Most of the snorkeling and diving outlets close shop by the beginning of November because the water gets too cold, but occasionally, the warm weather sticks around and maybe — maybe — we’ll be able to try our hand at helmet diving. So what the hell is helmet diving? Good question. It’s pretty much exactly how it sounds. You wear a helmet with a pipe attached that pumps fresh air into your helmet. Your head stays completely dry and you can even wear prescription glasses. Like I said, it looks awesooooooome.
2) Royal Naval Dockyard: All the way in Sandy’s Parish, the Royal Naval Dockyard was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. The area now hosts museums, shops, restaurants and other activities. You can learn about Bermuda’s history, watch glass blowers hard at work, swim with dolphins (if you’re willing to fork over a ton of money), watch bakers make Bermuda rum cakes (whatever that is), rent bicycles and other stuff.
3) Somerset Bridge Bermuda: This is a little silly, but how can I turn up an opportunity to see the world’s smallest drawbridge? Duh. I can’t.
4) Bermuda Railway trail: Bermuda’s old railway has been turned into a 22-mile long trail for walking, running and biking. The trail winds its way from the east end of the island to the west, through picturesque towns along both coastlines. This website has extensive maps and photos.
5) Grotto caves: Sure, you can see caves anywhere, but these caves are a stone’s throw from our hotel so I’m putting it on the list.
6) St. George: St. George is a historic town on Bermuda’s east end. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2000, it was founded in 1612 and served as Bermuda’s capital until 1815. Today, it contains much of the island’s colonial history.
7) Glass bottom kayak tour: I found a company that offers a three and a half hour tour in glass bottom kayaks. I can work on my arm muscles while I admire coral reef, colorful fish, and turtles. Sounds like a win-win.
8) Pink sand: Bermuda is famous for its pink sand, and since I’ve never seen a pink beach, I’m putting it on our to-do list.
There probably won’t be time for all of this, but I like to know my options. What am I missing?
The hotel gods must be smiling down on me today. I did a random search on Orbitz to see what would pop up in Bermuda, even though I always use Hotels.com when there are no points-earning hotels in the area. Well, lo and behold, Orbitz was having a “48-hour” sale on the Grotto Bay Beach Resort. It’s not the fanciest hotel but it’s pretty nice, and the normal price of $223 was slashed to $111 a night.
I quickly checked Hotels.com, Expedia, etc., and they were all still showing the $223 price. From my research, it seems unlikely to find a half-decent hotel in Bermuda for less than $200. So I thanked my lucky stars and booked it. Done!
Perhaps the biggest downside of Grotto Bay is its location on the Eastern side of the island and it’s proximity to the airport. The main ferry terminal is kind of far away, but there is a bus stop right by the the hotel that takes you into the town of Hamilton where you can get pretty much anywhere. Now that the hotel is booked, I need to plan our itinerary!