Bermuda Feature


Bermuda Today

…is tiny. Bermuda in all its glory is indeed little more than an easy-to-miss small dot on most world maps. Off the east coast of North Carolina in the northwest Atlantic, it’s the fifth smallest country in the world—just 53 square kilometers, compared to the U.S.’s nearly 10 million square kilometers. That means you can travel the island’s length in a little over an hour, and from north to south in 15 minutes. Don’t let its size fool you, though; Bermuda is a main player in the business world, housing many big-name multinational companies.

…is not just one island. Most visitors wrongly assume Bermuda is just one island, when in fact there are islands everywhere you look. It has six principal islands, which are linked by bridges to create the main land, and a staggering 120 other islands scattered around the shore. Island hopping isn’t really an option in Bermuda though, as there is no scheduled boat service, and many of the islets are surrounded by hazardous reefs. Some of the islands are also private residences, while others are mere rocks.

…is still very British. Bermuda’s British traditions are obvious, from driving on the left side of the road to afternoon tea, to wig-wearing lawyers strolling to court. The national sports are cricket and football, there are "bobbies on the beat" (policemen on foot), and red letterboxes on street corners. Bermuda is one of the oldest British Overseas Territories, but that said, it’s completely self-governing, with its own laws. Everyone, including Britons, is treated as a foreigner, as only Bermudians can own property, land, or vote.

…is not cheap. The World Bank rates Bermuda as one of the most affluent countries in the world, and it won’t take long to understand why. Start saving your dollars for Bermuda’s high cost of living. Hotel accommodations are expensive, a bag of groceries costs more than $50, and gasoline is three times more than in the U.S. That being said, budget travelers should note that free walking tours are offered in Hamilton and St. George’s, the Botanical Gardens have free entry, and the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse is a bargain at just $2.50.

…is crammed full of people. Bermuda is the third most densely populated place on earth. There’s an average of more than 3,000 people per mile, which means there are more than enough happy faces to welcome you. For a bit of breathing space, head to Tucker’s Town in St. George’s Parish, the least populated spot on the island.

…is strict about cars. Bermuda has several laws governing the size and quantity of vehicles on the road. Only Bermudians or full-time residents are allowed driving licenses, and even then they can only have one car per household. Licensing fees are determined by the length of the vehicle.

…relies on the weather. Bermudians rely on rain to fill up their water tanks, as there is no public water system. As soon as it starts to rain, Bermudians talk at length about whether it’s a passing shower or "tank rain." And when they aren’t talking about the weather, they are hooked to the island’s very own weather TV channel.

…is crazy about golf. Bermuda has golf courses everywhere you look, so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular pastime for many locals. There’s a wide selection of government and privately owned golf courses across the island, making it a golfer’s paradise. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf is held here in October, but there are also several annual tournaments, such as team knockouts, couples’ classics, and par 3 championships.

…is proud of its traditions. Bermuda’s history is rich and varied because of its Portuguese immigrants, English settlers, and African slaves. The traditions Bermudians are most proud of include Gombey dancers in colorful costumes, tucking into a codfish and potatoes breakfast, and greeting everyone with a "Good Morning" or "Good Afternoon." But it’s the Cup Match holiday that really brings islanders together, with the east taking on the west for a traditional two-day cricket match.

Updated: 2014-03-11

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