• Much of the following was in the July 2005 Issue of the Poetical Journal.
  • Opening Comments

  • Two Poems: Bermuda and Father of the Bride

  • Vignette: Bus Stop at Somerset by Bob

  • Recommendations

Opening Comments from Bob - The Land of the Hibiscus

Much of this issue will focus on a recent visit to Bermuda, an island nation where flowers, especially the hibiscus, rule. One of the joys of traveling is meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. This trip was no different. I have visited Bermuda twice before, the last time in ’76. While there were some familiar sights, there were far more changes. The climate is still hot and muggy and blessed with sunshine and spectacular cloud displays. The beaches are still sandy white but far more crowded due to the increased number of cruise ships that dock there. A total of five, including one mega ship, were in port at three different locations. Due to the fact of the winding, narrow roads and everyone driving on the left, visitors are prohibited from renting cars. A wise decision by the government. However, tourists can rent mopeds, which multiply by the thousands when the ships arrive. Likewise, the emergency squad runs increase proportionally. The standard of living is extremely high, a fact of which Bermudans are quite proud. The large increase in tourism and vacation homes purchased by outsiders has changed the appearance of the countryside. It is now covered with pastel white roofed homes. Very little undeveloped land remains. But one thing has not changed, the people remain friendly and welcoming. If you enjoy the Caribbean type climate and a clean, safe environment, you may want to add Bermuda to your tour destinations. Incidentally, if you enjoy gourmet eating experiences, some of the best I have ever experienced were during the five days there. (My recommendation section mentions several locations.)


White roofs and pastel painted homes
rise along the deep green hillsides
of this island nation.
Turquoise, translucent water
and white sandy beaches
are its signature.
The humid heat envelops
and the cooling ocean breezes
bring relief.
With twilight fall, tree frogs begin
their unbroken all night chorus.
Mopeds by the thousands
zip in and out along the winding roads,
all driving on the Commonwealth left.
Honks and beeps,
especially among bus drivers,
signal amicable greetings.
A smile soon follows.
The Queen’s English rules,
with proper dress decorum of course.
Where else do national shorts
and long socks serve as business attire?
Conversations flow easily
on this friendly isle,
a cosmopolitan blend
always willing to share the Bermuda Spirit.

Comments: I hope you enjoyed this word portrait of this beautiful land.

Pastel painted homes
Locals talking before buying ice cream
A small section of Horseshoe Beach
Arriving St. George's Harbor
A typical Bermuda view in Somerset

Vignette – Bus Stop at Somerset by Bob

Sometimes the potentially mundane becomes the pivotal point to an adventure or simply generates a feeling of “I am glad that happened.” Such an event occurred during a recent visit to Bermuda. In July, it is hot and muggy, humidity at 84% or more. Thus, a bit of shade providing a momentary respite from the sun is a blessing, especially if you catch a cooling offshore breeze. Even the bus stops serve as momentary oases. On such a day, following a brief lunch and a short walkabout in the small village of Somerset, we headed to the nearest stop to catch a ride to Horseshoe Beach, ranked as one of the most beautiful in the world. As we waited, we eavesdropped on a conversation occurring between two Bermudans. From my observations, a Bermudan has never met a stranger. The friendliness of the people is easily recognizable by the frequent friendly honks to the constant laughter. Apparently, most know each other or a friend that does. Gradually, we worked ourselves into the conversation. Within a few minutes, you would think we were old friends sharing life experiences. One gentleman was the former head of the prison system within the country and is now semi retired. He had a story or two to tell! The young woman was a nurse. When she discovered that I was a writer, she quickly offered to talk with her husband about taking us around the island via boat, something we had hoped to do but had not figured out how to accomplish. With the arrival of the bus, we parted, I feeling much better about humanity and more knowledgeable about the politics and island life. The following day, I received a call from her husband, letting us know he was trying to line up a boat. But alas, an electrical outage and the loss of phone service came between us and the tour. However, the fact that this total stranger went to the effort to try to make our stay in her beautiful country more meaningful was deeply appreciated. Since I gave her my card, I hope she is reading this and understands the appreciation I feel for her kindness. Perhaps someday, I may be able to take her husband up on that offer of a water tour along Bermuda's beautiful coastline. Though the scenery is incredibly picturesque, the people who inhabit this friendly isle are the true beauty of this country.

Coral Beach (much less crowded)


1) My first is if you have an opportunity to visit this friendly isle, by all means please do so. Upon arriving, to save expense, I highly recommend that you buy a multiple day pass that allows unlimited use of the public bus and ferry system. The public transportation is frequent and dependable.

2) Horizons and Cottages: This upscale, exclusive resort located a few minutes outside of Hamilton has a panoramic view of the ocean and countryside below. Beautiful Coral Beach is a few minutes away. The hotel provides a golf cart shuttle on a regular basis. If you are traveling to Bermuda for the first time, I would encourage you to take advantage of their meal plan, excellent value for this food expensive island. The dining options and meals are some of the best I have experienced in my lifetime. One of the meal options is to dine at the sister resort Waterloo House. The experience is a true culinary treat. Horizon's daily afternoon tea is quite scrumptious. Men, expect to wear a coat and tie in the evening. This former 18th C. plantation and now the prestigious Relais & Chateaux rated resort prides itself on friendly service. I found that the staff met my highest expectations. If you purchase one of their packages, you also have free access to the golf course and tennis courts. While not inexpensive, H & C is good value for this upscale island. We met a number of people who have been returning to this resort yearly. One couple was spending their thirteenth season there. http://www.horizonscottages.com
Enjoying the view

3) Bermuda Rum Cake Company: For some fun, enjoyable taste treat, and unique gifts for the family, visit this specialized bakery located at the Royal Naval Dockyard (an old fort-dock site that has been turned into a shopping area - an easy ferry or bus ride from Hamilton – suggest taking the ferry there and the bus back). The owner told me he is selling anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 cakes a week. While there, in the same building, be sure to watch the young glass blowers do their magic. For more information, go to http://www.bermudarumcakes.com.

4) Talk to the people: Even if you are a bit shy, try to be bold and speak to the people. You won't regret it. We had some amazing and enriching conversations with locals.

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