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Exploring Bermuda

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Island Capers
Exploring Bermuda


    My husband Paul and I, along with Michael, age 5, Melanie, age 3, took off from Newburgh's Stewart Airport for the picturesque island of Bermuda.  
    We stayed at the Grotto Bay Beach Hotel, just a 5 minute, five dollar ride from the airport.  The view of Bailey’s Bay is great and lucky for us, we’re right across from the playground!  We found a swimming pool, small beach area and a dock for feeding the fish.  Grotto Bay is very family oriented; during the summer children’s programs are offered for ages 3 and up.  Qualified babysitters can be arranged for evenings.  
    A meal plan is offered by the hotel; we chose instead to sample the different island restaurants.  Swizzle Inn, for example, serves pub fare of burgers, bangers and ale at reasonable prices. They have a kid’s menu.
    Every morning after breakfast Paul took the kids down to feed the fish--I think the fish ate more Cheerios than the kids!    
    Car use by non-residents is prohibited on the island and taxis are expensive; we purchased a bus pass. This is by far the best way to get around Bermuda, unless you rent a moped.  The buses are reliable and on time.  A three day bus pass costs $21; 7 day--$34.  Children between 5 and 16 ride for $1 per trip; under 5 ride free.  A bus pass is good for ferries, too.
    We explored the city of Hamilton, capital of Bermuda.  Quaint pastel houses with white roofs line the narrow streets that overlook the harbor.  And everywhere... flowers of every imaginable color!
     The many shops have woolens, cashmere, and linens, Italian leather, German cameras, Swiss watches, and more fine European merchandise.  Great buys, too!
    The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo is located in the Hamilton parish, one of ten parishes on the island.   You can see a variety of marine life that thrive in the coral and waters off Bermuda.  Also look for exhibits of tropical birds, turtles and seals.  There is a discovery room with hands-on displays for the kids and a story hour is available on Fridays.
    We took the kids to a big kite flying festival at Horseshoe Bay, one of the prettier beaches on Bermuda.  It was so windy that few of the homemade kites could be flown.   The windsurfers loved the wind, however!
          From here we hopped on the bus and visited the Royal Naval Dockyard in Sandy’s Parish.  Much of the huge fortification was built by British convicts in the 1820's; it was Britain’s western Atlantic naval base from the War of 1812 through WWII.  It now features shops and restaurants.  We lunched at the historical Frog and Onion Pub, an authentic English pub serving burgers, steak, kidney pie, and the like.  A children’s menu is available.
     Nearby is the Bermuda Maritime Museum, a powder magazine built in 1850.  From whaling to the Royal Navy, there’s much to learn about Bermuda’s nautical history.  The blue display cards are great for the kids; Michael loved the easy-to-read-kid language!
    That night we took the bus from our hotel inland to the North Rock Brewing Co.  Great food--the kids loved the selection.  We later discovered that buses run along the coastline until midnight, but don't run inland after 6 p.m.  Thankfully, an island woman offered us a ride to the nearest coastline bus stop!
    In the northeastern part of the island is St. George’s island, connected to the mainland by a cause-way.  St. George’s is a fun storybook town with delightful street names and a quaint town square.  From King’s Square we walked uphill, about 20 minutes to Fort St. Catherine.  This restored fort took from 1612 to 1814 to be built.  We learned how the ammunition was moved from down below up to the cannons.  We also got to see a replica of the Crown Jewels!
        On King’s Square is the White Horse Tavern, where you can choose from American, English and Bermuda cuisine.
    We enjoyed a day of sun, swimming in the hotel’s pool and playing on the beach.  Nearby are the Crystal and Leamington caves, underground lakes, pools and caves--120 feet deep!  Tours are provided.  
    Bermuda’s pink sand beaches, lush gardens, clear aquamarine waters, and the mildest of weather offer a wide variety of activities.  Shipwrecks, lighthouses, forts, cathedrals, and museums add to  the color of this already colorful island.  
    We found the locals a joy--very friendly and eager to aid visitors.

Bermuda Department of Tourism  (441) 292-0023  in New York (800) 223-6106
http://bermuda.com

Grotto Bay Beach Hotel
(800) 582-3190


--Debbie Gioquindo, who contributed to this article is a Certified Travel Counselor.  Debbie lives on the east coast with her husband and their two small children.

 

Where are Tricia and Marla?


Tricia and Marla climbed these steps to this magnificent temple. Where are Tricia and Marla?
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