Artists like Kipling, Twain, O’Neil, English royalty of the glamorous times past, American political elite, they all vacationed at the breezy coral Bermudas beaches. A century later, the natural mysterious scapes, island caves and wind battered rock formations remain to awe and puzzle. Likewise the sunrise and the evening soft palette of the sky still keep the mind calm, but with the cruise-ship travels back on board and affordable, the magic emptiness of its iconic sandy beaches can only be savoured in the early or late hours as well as off season. The rewards visually await your appraisal in my photo essay that I captured during my two month stay in the pandemic staleness of the global travel.
Coloured history of the remote islands
Discovered by the Spanish navigator Juan de Bermudez, after whom the Bermudas were named in the early 1500s, the dangerous coral reefs surrounding the islands claimed more lives than the sweeping winds in the infamous Bermuda Triangle stretching from Florida through Puerto Rican waters. Divers today love to swim through the shipwrecks near the coast and the famous pink sand is the reminder of the nearby coral reef.
The Bermudas are one of the most remote island nations in the North Atlantic Ocean. Still, the verdant islands’ history is coloured with some dark shades. After becoming a British colony, then a slave trade hotbed, finally, this tourism emblem of the cruise ship era stretched its ambitions to the global insurance business. The golf industry also exploited the virgin islands. That eery human destruction of naturalness was much less felt during my recent retreat there. Not due to my ignorance of the past (numerous discussions with the local friendly taxi drivers enlightened me as much as the visits of the local museums and forts), but my heightened awareness of its natural riches bathed my joyful mind in a graceful draft of sensual pleasure. I also adored the freely roaming chickens passing me by as I strolled around and the endemic egrets gliding around the protected ocean-side parklands. Well, everything is by the ocean on the narrow stretch of the big island.
The Bermudas beaches naturalness
While luxury leisure and real estate boom here, it is the wild natural wealth, eroding dramatic coast, heart-breaking sunsets, dark caves and vast sandy beaches that pampered my soul during the crowds and noise-reducing pandemic. I am sharing the most visually rapturing as well as calming scenes from my two months of seclusion from the global viral threat on the main Bermuda island.
The savvy timing for a nature lover meant that the global halting of the cruise tourism reduced the crowdedness on the tiny island roads and vacated the beaches just for us, island dwellers. The pocketfuls of us visiting (mainly from the US mainland) vacationed here feeling like the locals. Slow life ripe for exploration.
Beyond the Bermudas beaches
Mystery envelops much of the island. The few remnants of the jungle hide vast underground coves, sinkholes and with the ocean connected underground passages of caves adorned with dramatically hanging stalactites and spiking stalagmites. The cold underground waters spark bright blues in the artificially-lit paradise. The combination of salt water at the bottom, the brackish and the fresh sweet water create a prism of seeming much less deep than they actually are. This vast Bermuda cave was discovered accidentally by kids falling through a sinkhole while playing.
Bermudan unique architecture reminds me in some aspect that of New Zealand, also once heavily inhabited by the British, yet the practical ridged slanted roofs for collecting rainwater still remain in use. The white paint is not just for the aesthetics but it keeps from the waters easy evaporation through the sun and the absorbing clay material naturally filters impurities. Triangles or croquet ball-shaped miniatures top the pyramids and chimneys on the rooftops.
Luckily, today’s visitors won’t fall victims to a yellow fever, typhoid and other deadly diseases there as easily as they used to until well into the 20th century (with gratitude to modern vaccines). Perhaps the safety, ample tennis facilities and golf attract Bill Gates so often to Bermuda. The island nation’s medical ability has improved the living conditions, its slave trade dark past moved on with becoming golfers’ paradise bathing in the Atlantic breeze.
The international makeup today includes many British and American vacation home owners, seasonal or temporary workers, as well as permanent residents born and bred there. The food scene reflects that, see details in my The most romantic dining in the Bermudas post.
The Bermudas’ beaches are as beautiful as it gets, therefore travel over before the cruise business picks up on full steam once again!