Distinctive destinations

Page 7

Peter & Faith Bolton

Last summer we attended the Travel Club lunch as we normally do, and were very interested in a talk on Bermuda by Prestige Holidays. During the lunch I bombarded the speaker who was sitting next to me, with numerous questions and was much taken with the idea of visiting Bermuda. She recommended various hotels which she thought would be suitable for our interests. When we arrived home, I immediately looked up on the internet the hotels concerned and Bermuda in general, and the upshot was that within a week we had booked a 14 day holiday with Prestige through Travel Stop of course. We decided to split the trip in two, with 4 days in the capital, Hamilton, at a small hotel called the Rosedon, and 10 days at a hotel called Cambridge Beaches where we upgraded to a suite as we would be spending some time there, situated on a peninsula surrounded by beaches. Bermuda consists of a chain of some 150 coral islands and islets and 10 of the islands are linked by bridges and causeways to form the principal mainland. The coastline is characterised by a succession of small bays with beaches of fine pale sand with some looking pink next to the vivid blue-green water. It is a British Overseas Territory and English is the official language. Our direct daylight flight was excellent and we were driven straight to our first hotel, the Rosedon. This was perfect for us as it was within easy walking

distance of the harbour and town centre. Breakfasts were served on our terrace overlooking beautiful gardens and pool and all we had to do was lift the telephone and say what we wanted and it was there shortly after. As Hamilton is in the middle of Bermuda, we were able to visit by bus and ferry, various places to the north including St George’s. Both towns are very ‘old’ English with interesting architecture. The people are very friendly and happy to chat. After our days of exploration we were taken on to our second hotel, Cambridge Beaches. This was a fantastic hotel and our suite was wonderful with views over one of the beaches and surrounded by colourful bushes and flowers. Here we were able again to make use of the excellent bus service to visit the villages and areas around us including the Royal Naval Dockyard which began as a massive fortress and dockyard in 1809 and now has a cruise terminal, tourist village, marina, Bermuda Arts Centre and the Maritime Museum in the old Commissioners House. The old railway which used to run the length of the mainland has been removed and is now a superb walk with wonderful views. As it is many miles long, it can be walked in pieces with the aid of the bus service. Bus transport is relatively cheap but you have to pay in coins (exact amount) or pre-bought tokens. Buses are very frequent and bus stops are everywhere. Although many people think Bermuda is part of the Caribbean it is in fact 1000 miles north of it and only 600 miles from the nearest coast of the USA which is why the majority of visitors are American. At our last hotel we found that some Americans come several times a year and over a period of many years. There is a wall in the hotel dedicated to the names of their guests and the number of times they have visited. Our overnight journey home was again uneventful and we were grateful to Prestige Holidays (and Travel Stop) that all the arrangements and hotels

that they had organised were exactly what we had wanted.