As the corona virus pandemic continues, many Bermudians are canceling their usual holiday pilgrimages and the months without travel are piling up. When you’ve remained stationary in a certain place long enough, you can begin to feel trapped. In Bermuda, we call it “rock fever”, a term we use to encompass the anxiety and the occasional drudgery of being confined to a small island in the middle of the Atlantic.
If you are experiencing your own case of rock fever and corona virus fatigue is settling in, fear not – the solution is a simple one: challenge yourself to see the island from a different perspective. Sometimes, all we need is to put the slightest distance between ourselves and the monotony of daily life. Here are 5 ways to step outside of the usual and see Bermuda from a different perspective.
1. Travel from One End of the Island to the Other in One Day
You could travel the length of the island by car or bike but where is the fun in that? Instead, start early and depart Hamilton via ferry to Dockyard. Admittedly, the other ferry routes are more scenic than the Fast Ferry route to Dockyard, but they don’t go West of Watford Bridge. Once in Dockyard, grab a bite to eat at Bonefish, Frog & Onion or The Dockyard Pastry Shop before boarding the ferry for St. George’s. The journey from the West to the East is a beautiful one so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Once you arrive in St. George’s take the opportunity to stretch your legs by visiting one of the town’s popular historic sites like St. Peter’s Church, Fort St. Catherine, Tucker House or the Unfinished Church. Buses leave St. George’s every 15 to 30 minutes and while the journey back to Hamilton via bus is a long one, it’s well worth it particularly if you board the Route 1 bus which calls at Crystal Caves, Tucker’s Town and John Smith’s Bay.
2. Explore Bermuda Below Sea Level
You don’t have to get your PADI in order to relish in Bermuda’s underwater world, but it sure is worth the time and money doing so. Although chilly, the ocean is crystal clear this time of year compared to the murkier summer months. Exploring Bermuda’s most famous shipwrecks up-close will give you a whole new understanding of the island’s rich maritime history. If you are complaining that this island is too small, expand your horizons to the colossal reef systems and those complaints will be swiftly silenced. With travel of the cards for the time being, the albeit expensive lifestyle of scuba diving will be your best investment of 2020. If you’re interested in trying out SCUBA diving, book a PADI Discover dive lesson, HERE.
3. Reach New Heights at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
Standing 362 feet above sea level, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is not tall by lighthouse standards, but who can deny that the view from the top is unrivaled? Shining light over the ocean in a 100-mile radius, the historic Southampton lighthouse has protected Bermuda’s coral reefs from shipwrecks for more than 165 years. Although no longer a key navigational tool to guide seafarers through Bermuda’s challenging network of reefs, Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is a popular tourist attraction and a well-maintained historical site. Each year, around 25,000 pairs of feet climb their way to the top and look out at Bermuda in all her glory. It’s unclear how many of those feet are Bermudian, but we’re betting not enough. Take a Sunday afternoon, make the trek and take in Bermuda end-to-end. Trust us: the splendour of seeing such a beautiful sight from on high is enough to regenerate pride in being Bermudian.
4. Go Around the Island by Boat
Talk about literally blowing again the cobwebs! Bundle up, pack a picnic, and take to the water. Whatever the vessel of your choosing, seeing the whole of Bermuda by boat all in one day is an amazing feat that every true Bermudian must do. Never will it be as clear to you how unique and amazing our island is until seeing it from the bow of a boat. Appreciating Bermuda fully must sometimes mean looking in from afar.
5. Walk, Cycle or Ride the Railway Trail
Once upon a time Bermuda was a quiet island. There was only one form of motorized transportation besides the motorcycle, and Old Rattle and Shake was her name. Built in 1931, the Bermuda Railway was the Bermuda Government’s answer to providing mass transport for locals and visitors without cars disrupting the peace and quiet tourists had come here to find. For 17 years, Bermuda’s little train made dozens of trips per day from Somerset all the way to St. George’s, providing riders with the most exquisite views of the island. Sadly, due to low ridership, the Bermuda government shut the railway down in 1948. Fast-forward to 1984 when the government converted the old railway lines into picturesque trails for walkers, cyclists and horseback riders. Those who commit to travelling the entire trail will not be disappointed; the views take in the coastal shoreline, Bermuda’s stunning beaches and natural woodland with canopied paths.