"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

July 11, 2019

July 10 - Day Four: Hamilton, Bermuda

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” ― Agnes Repplier

We arrived in Bermuda around 8:30. After docking at the Royal Naval Dockyard we walked over to Oleander Cycle center to rent a scooter for the next two day. It'll give us the freedom to explore on our own and at our own pace. We spent the day in and around Hamilton. We did a little shopping and a little sightseeing. 

Hamilton is a port city located in the middle of the island. It has been the capital, administrative, commercial, entertainment and shopping center of Bermuda since 1815. It has great harbor views, and an energetic, cosmopolitan vibe. Front Street runs along the water edge and is the life and soul of Hamilton. It's lined with jewel-toned shops, restaurants and museums and bustles with energy, especially at night. 
The Cabinet Building and the Bermuda War Memorial
Queen Elizabeth Park
Map of Hamilton
After lunch we went in search of Admiralty House Park. It's located near Spanish Point just a few miles north of Hamilton, it has walking trails, ruins, underground tunnels and a secluded beach ringed with limestone cliffs. The cliffs are popular with locals for cliff jumping. The park was once the site of a grand home for admirals in the British Royal Navy. Little remains of the structure, but the underground tunnels are still there. These tunnels were built in the 1850s to get from the house to the Clarence Cove, joining several underground caves and lead towards the seaside limestone cliffs.  
Looking toward the Dockyard from Spanish Point Park...a little north of Hamilton. 
This evening we took the ferry back over to Hamilton to check out a festive street party they host on Front Street every Wednesday night during the summer. It's called Harbuor Nights, they shut down the street and it is filled with vendors selling street food, homemade desserts, artwork & crafts and many other things. There's lots of entertainment including Gombey dancers who take to the street with bands playing loud music.

I'm glad we went and checked it out, but if we would have known how long the wait for the ferry coming and going would be...we would have stayed closer to the boat this evening.
History Lesson: The Gombey is an iconic symbol of Bermuda, a unique performance art full of colorful and intricate masquerade, dance and drumming. This folklife tradition reflects the island’s blend of African, Caribbean and British cultures. Gombey’s costumes cover their bodies from head to toe and are decorated with tassels, mirrors, bells, and other small items and symbols. The peacock feather headdresses, the painted masks, and the capes are distinguishing features of Gombey costumes. 

Historically, the Gombeys were not viewed as a respectable art form by the island's ruling class and were banned by the slave masters. Slaves were allowed to dance only once a year and did so in masks in order to protest, without fear of retribution, the injustices done to them by their slave masters.  

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