Friday, July 3, 2009

Bermuda Trip Report: In which Trish Feels the Lo-ooooooove...

Note that much of the following post will just be me repeating the text from this set of photographs, but it'll be a little more coherent.
So I went to Bermuda for a family reunion. We had planned this trip over a year ago, and we were partially inspired by this:

5.19.09 - One of the reasons why we went
We knew that my Grandfather was stationed in Bermuda during World War Two for a while. After he passed away, we found this beautiful scrapbook he kept during that time period. It was remarkably well preserved. It turns out that, sixty-seven years ago (if I'm doing my math right; it was in 1942), he arrived in the archipelago on the same day we arrived. Very cool; we toasted him several times during the trip. We decided early on that we'd try to visit as many places as possible that he mentioned frequently.
We went to Bermuda by boat; specifically, the Norwegian Spirit. She's a big, beautiful ship and I am still digesting the cruise itself. It could easily fill another whole post. For the most part, trying to describe the fun my family and I had would be like trying to explain why that awesome time you had once in college was so much fun. There are a few specific events worth mentioning later. One of them involves Salvador Dali.

5.23.09 - Migrating swallow
Really, the biggest highlight overall was the fact that it took me only this one week to fill an entire Arches Carnet de Voyage. I usually act like it's the hardest damn thing in the world to fill a Sketchbook in one month, so this was a pretty big deal.
Landscapes usually aren't my thing; turns out SEAscapes might be my thing. The one above might be my favorite. This little (Barn?) Swallow flew along our ship for a while, then flew off to God knows where in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Think about this for a second. I can add swallows to my list of animals who have unexpectedly turned out to be pretty badass.

5.24.09 - King's Warf
We docked in King's Warf. This used to be the Royal Naval Dockyard and I'm not sure if it's still used by the military, but it was a very crucial Naval base not too long ago. All of the buildings are very old, but they are still in use. The building in the picture above is the old Commissioner's House, and it's now the main building of the Maritime Museum. The Museum contained a lovely collection of Wartime memorobilia, a herd of invisible sheep (seriously, I kept dodging their poop on the ground but saw neither hoof nor horn of them), and something called DolphinQuest.
5.25.09 - Dolphinquest!
This is how I spent my Towel Day, appropriately enough. On the one hand, you are a mere seven feet away from an alien intelligence. On the other hand, you are also seven feet away from tourists who have payed upwards of $300.00 to touch that alien.
Can't help but think that, when the human/dolphin communication gap is finally breached for good, we will not enjoy what the dolphins have to say about us.
Honestly, in hindsight, King's Warf was the nicest of all the ports we visited. We hit Bermuda's other two main cities: Hamilton and St. George. They were both very nice in their own respective ways, but King's Warf wasn't as crowded as either of them and was relatively quiet.
Also, we only had two and a half days to play on the islands. Of those days, everything was closed for a day and a half. See, we arrived on the Sunday before Bermuda's national holiday. Visiting Hamilton (or any city, really) when nothing is open and there are almost no people hanging out was eerie. Fortunately, we spent Bermuda Day snorkeling, and that made up for it:
5.25.09 - The Sea Gardens

5.26.09 - The Queen of Tobacco Bay
I did the first painting after a shore excursion (funny how Norwegian calls them shore excursions even though most of them in Bermuda took place at sea) to the Seagardens, an offshore series of coral reefs. The second painting I did on-sight at Tobacco Bay, a well-known beach near St. George. Both places were amazing for completely different reasons and they are two of my top three highlights from Bermuda. I think I'm hooked on snorkeling. I just need to figure out the logistics of snorkeling off Wollaston Beach...
My third favorite place in Bermuda was the Crystal and Fantasy Caves park. This was my one "if I don't get to see this, I will be very sad" must-see place. It defies description but I will say this: you half expect to turn a corner and see a half-eaten Doozer construction. Jim Henson's art directors absolutely did not make anything up. I caught glimpses of "Labyrinth" and "Dark Crystal" as well as "Fraggle Rock" down there. Fine time for my camera to run out of memory.
I can honestly say that I was sad to leave the islands. But the ride there and back again is a story all it's own. I'll cover that in a future post.
I just rescued all of Nessie's reviews and they can now be found on The All-New, All-Different Realm of Mad-Ness. Happy Independence Day!

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