I decided to take you on a short little walk while I was visiting Bermuda. Located in the Western Atlantic, Bermuda is a tiny little island rich in cultural and colonial influences. It was surprising for me to learn that it is actually Britain's oldest colony, since 1609. The population is a mix of shipwrecked British and later, many more found their way here, plus a mix of different ethnicities from the shameful slave trades that brought them from Western Africa plus a smattering of American Indians, and also the Caribbean. It has evolved into a delightful culture of people, beautiful beaches, and a uniqueness that I have never been able to put my finger on. And yes, I love it. I do.
Bermuda is one of my favorite places to go to get away from it all. The beaches are pristine pieces of paradise, the people are so kind and generous, their nature is pure and genuine. I have traveled around the world to many places and yet, I still come back to this place in the middle of nowhere, to live for a little while. To be honest, it is easy to get to from the Washington, DC area, a mere hop away, even for a quick weekend. That weighs heavily, being easy to get to, but, whatever the reason, there is no bad season when it comes to Bermuda. Always warm and welcoming, how can you not love it?
What? Do you hear that? I think they may be calling me!!
The pink sand is a charming shade of beautiful, unbeknown to many that it is actually a million pieces of coral shattered to tiny pieces, married into the sand. Close your eyes to those thoughts and just enjoy the beauty. I took a close-up shot of the sand so you can see what I mean. When viewing it from a greater distance, it just carries a complexion of loveliness. The weather is perfect and the Bermudian charm allows me to breathe deeply and enjoy, putting the rest of my life on hold. For a moment or three.
Bermuda is an internally self-governing British overseas territory with a parliamentary government. Under its 1968 constitution, the British monarch, represented by the governor, is the head of state. In 1981, Bermuda became a British Dependent Territory as a result of the British Nationality Act 1981. It sounds complicated, but, basically, it's administered independently as a country. It is floating 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina, in the US, all by its lonesome. Despite its location, don't be fooled by this archipelago of 120 islands as it has a true Caribbean soul, considering the Caribbean is 900 miles away. It surprised me that I could actually walk across the 22 miles long and one-mile-wide island, consisting of 120 islands, with eight of the largest connected by bridges. The stories about their past! The pirates, the ships sinking in the Bermuda Triangle. But, that is a post for another day. If you can't wait, see here
HMD Bermuda (Her/His Majesty's Dockyard, Bermuda) was the principal base of the Royal Navy in the Western Atlantic between American independence and the Cold War. Bermuda had occupied a useful position astride the homeward leg taken by many European vessels from the New World since before its settlement by England in 1609. French privateers may have used the islands as a staging place for operations against Spanish galleons in the 16th century. Bermudian privateers certainly played a role in many British wars following settlement. Despite this, it was not until the loss of bases on most of the North American Atlantic seaboard (following US independence) threatened Britain's supremacy in the Western Atlantic that the island assumed great importance as a naval base (the attendant Bermuda Garrison of the British Army existed primarily to protect the naval base). In 1818 the Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda officially replaced the Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax as the British headquarters for the North America and West Indies Station.
Taken from a vantage point, this is the Royal Naval Dockyards in Bermuda. You may want to come back to it once you have finished the post so you can see how it is put together. In recent years, it has become quite the Artisan zone, from glass blowers to art galleries to a rum cake factory. And of course the marina, in case you want to buy a boat.
This is part of the Royal Navy Dockyards, which housed one of Britain's largest fleet of Naval vessels. I am not sure if you can see these distinctive windows very well. Sometime in the 18th century, the casement window married up to the wall. I like the feel of walking the streets of history — at Royal Navy Dockyard,
A clash of cultures as this little island is where Britain meets Western Africa and the North American Indians. The mixtures make the island’s culture so different, charmingly so. Right down to the famous shorts that were fashioned after the British military uniform and worn by the locals. How can you not love them? source
Part of the renovating to accommodate their growing tourist industry, the twin clocktowers rise 100 feet overhead; one displays the current time, and the other tells you the day's high tide. Built in 1856, this impressive building was once the Royal Navy's warehouse. As you can see from the first pictures above, it is a major building taking up a block or three of real estate. It holds much of the retail space for the western end of the island.
In all honestly, the architectural pull was greater than the merchandise. I love the 3-foot walls and cobblestone floors. It is not a large mall, despite its size, and leans more towards an enclosed "strip mall" with many shops. It runs the gambit, from the high-end country club to bazaar trinkets for the tourists.
Ironically, the Dockyard Glassworks, a Glass Blowing Studio shares a building with the Bermuda Rum Cake Factory. They have all their glass blowing equipment and a small gallery so that you can watch as the items are being made. Colors were added to molten glass and then fashioned and shaped into a vase or another piece. The glassblowers make themselves available for you, demonstrating their skills, going through the entire process for you. Pieces are available in the same space. At the opposite end of the factory are the rum cakes. After sampling them all, I chose the coconut one for my sister. They were incredibly divine.
This is some of the equipment used to heat, blow and design pieces. They truly make such unique pieces of beauty as you can see in the above shot.
Cuban cigars are now legal in the United States since 2016. You can bring them into the United States from abroad, but you may not sell them within our borders. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. They are a highly coveted item here in the States.
The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity is a Restoration Gothic-style Anglican church. It is built from native Bermudian limestone and decorative caen stone imported from France. It is a taxing 155 steps to the clock tower where you get a stunning view as far as the Great Sound of Bermuda and even the Royal Naval Dockyard. Oh, yes. 155 steps. I counted them - at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Hamilton, Bermuda
Doors to the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Hamilton, Bermuda - These distinctive doors are Early English style. This lovely Anglican Cathedral dominates the skyline, eye-catching with its architecture as a stunning standing out in a sea of pastel-colored houses. A beautiful sight as you wander the streets of Hamilton. Don't forget to peek inside at the stunning stained glass.
All I have are my words, armed in my mind, written in pen, stand by stand. Oh, yes. Still by hand. It has a different feel. Altered not by keys, backspace, and delete, I write, erase, tear it to pieces and start all over again. And again.
It’s my way. I walk out to the deep end of the page and dive right in.
they set my aunts house on fire
i cried the way women on tv do
folding at the middle
like a five pound note.
i called the boy who use to love me
tried to ‘okay’ my voice
i said hello
he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?
i’ve been praying,
and these are what my prayers look like;
i come from two countries
one is thirsty
the other is on fire
both need water.
later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
"where does it hurt?"
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