DREAMSCAPES Fall/Winter 2017
Dremscapes Print Subscription Form
Canada Guides Ad
Myrtle Beach
Dukoral
Holiday Inn Club Vacations
 
 
 
Articles
Search Past Articles
 
SO CLOSE TO PARADISE
 
(2016 - Winter Issue)

Writer: LOLA AUGUSTINE BROWN



On my last night in Bermuda, I sat out on the terrace of my beyond-decadent suite at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point wishing I could stay a few more days, or maybe a month.

I watched the pink sky fade out over the turquoise ocean, sipping on a coffee I had made to complement the spicy coconut cake I’d picked up at a local bakery earlier that day, and felt utterly, blissfully happy. Bermuda is heavenly, and I was so pleased to discover that, given it is so close to home.

Just over two and half hours from Toronto, Bermuda is a wonderful mix of glorious weather and old-school British charm, where children sport school uniforms and red post office boxes and telephone booths still exist. Framed by famous pink-sand beaches every bit as perfect as you see on the postcards, the islands are beautiful, with superb waters ideal for diving, snorkelling, sailing and other water sports. On land, there are great golf courses, luxurious spas and excellent shopping. This destination has a lot going on. 

INTO THE BLUE

A natural fit for any prestigious sailing event, Bermuda is currently deep in preparation to host the 35th America’s Cup, presented by Louis Vuitton, for the first time from May 26 through June 27, 2017. Sailing conditions in June are near perfect here and Bermuda has a rich sailing history and culture. Races will be held in the Great Sound, a natural harbour formed in the crater of an ancient volcano surrounded on all sides except for the far northeast, which not only gives sheltered conditions for sailors but also great viewing possibilities for spectators. And, if you time your visit right, you may see many of the America’s Cup teams practising in the harbour with their hydrofoil technology vessels.

Bermuda is a magnet for other sailing events as well. In June 2018, the island will host the bi-annual Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race and the Newport Bermuda Race. 

Of course, getting out on that perfect turquoise water in Bermuda is essential, whether you’re a sailor, a diver or prefer just to be taken out on a boat, any boat. While diving is a year-round sport here, I opted to head out on a glass-bottom boat tour to view a 120-year-old shipwreck, the Vixen. Along the way we saw all manner of brightly coloured fish, including a huge blue grouper, angelfish, sergeant fish and massive schools of chum that leapt and fought over the hunks of bread we threw to them. The trip to the wreck was glorious and Captain Mark Powell pointed out stunning mansions owned by millionaires as well as the house where John Lennon stayed for two months and wrote his final album Double Fantasy (named after a freesia native to the islands).

EXCEPTIONAL EATS

I travelled to Bermuda with no expectations regarding cuisine, beyond what I’d heard about absolutely having to try a fish sandwich served on raisin bread. Yet I was so pleasantly surprised to have so many memorable meals, from the white-linen tablecloth breakfast every morning at my resort and the wonderful light meals served at the Rosewood Tucker’s Point Beach Club to the superb Italian meal I relished at Sul Verde overlooking the golf course and the Italian food at Rustico, a favourite of locals in Hamilton Parish.

While in Bermuda, pick up a Blue Flag Taxi and the driver will be your government-certified tour guide. I found this a brilliant way to see everything I wanted to experience in Bermuda while getting an islander’s perspective on things. My driver, the devastatingly charming Larry Rogers, seemed to know everyone and took me for a divine lunch at a restaurant attached to someone’s house, called The Flame, which I would never have found without him. The fish sandwich and spicy fries were excellent and the house-made ginger pineapple soda was simply wonderful.

There’s great seafood to be found all over Bermuda and plenty of great patios where you can order up a waterfront feast. Wahoo’s Bistro & Patio in historic St. George’s is a must and I had a fantastic grouper sandwich at the Pickled Onion in the City of Hamilton.

RICH CULTURE AND HISTORY

Arriving in late April, I found plenty to keep me busy and it was most definitely warm enough to enjoy the glorious beaches and dip my toes into the surf. I hiked through lush vegetation to hidden lagoons, visited caves  and even walked to some that were roped off to protect curious but ill-prepared tourists such as myself. The island’s two major centres in Hamilton and St. George’s were enjoyable to explore and offered various attractions.

Hamilton is a city with plenty of restaurants and boutiques, many offering duty-free prices on luxury U.S. and British brands. There are cultural and historical attractions here, too, including the Bermuda National Gallery and the Bermuda Cathedral, which had 157 narrow stone spiral stairs that left me breathless, only to be rewarded with stunning views of the city and islands beyond.

Roaming the cobbled streets of quaint St. George’s is a very serene experience. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to 1612 and its historic St. Peter’s Church was built the same year the town was settled. There are little boutiques and galleries, and that’s where I found the family-run Sweet Saak Bakery and picked up my delicious spicy coconut cake mentioned earlier.

I left Bermuda with a bucket list of activities I didn’t have time to accomplish and places I wish I had seen, which, of course, means I have to return. Bermuda is a fantastic destination for Canadians, especially for those who live in Eastern Canada.

TRAVEL PLANNER

Air Canada (aircanada.com) and WestJet (westjet.com) offer year-round non-stop service from Toronto to Bermuda, with convenient connections from other Canadian gateways. For more information on this paradise getaway, visit gotobermuda.ca.

 
 
 
 
Best Western
Tokyo Tourism
SeaWorld
India
Cartier Place
Website Hosted and Designed by The Biz Services Inc.