Bermuda 2016: Day 7


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Bermuda 2016: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7] [Day 8]

Friday, July 29, 2016: We awoke early because we had a lot of travel ahead of us. A brief rainstorm passed through right after we woke, but was gone in 10 minutes.
Just like that, it was sunny again. We can't stress enough that not one rain drop fell on our head after the first 30 minutes of our arrival on Sunday. Seriously, our weather luck is just that good.
We walked down to the Warwick Academy bus stop ...
... and rode it to the main bus terminal.
Changing buses is as easy as walking to a different clearly-marked parking spot on the street.
While we waited, we admired the tower of the Hamilton City Hall next door ...
... that features this detailed metal ship at the top.
We took the bus out along the scenic North Shore Road, ...
... to Flatts Village. There's a bus stop right across the street from ...
... the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum, and Zoo.
We arrived exactly when they opened at 9:00 AM, ...
... so we had the place to ourselves for a little while. Hold onto your hats, because there's a lot to see here.
We finally got a decent photo of a pretty Bermudian blue angelfish.
Here's a tank filled with barred hamlet, yellowhead wrasse, bluehead wrasse, and foureye butterflyfish.
Here's a porcupinefish, also known as a balloonfish. We took roughly 100 photos of him and this blurry one is the best, so imagine how lousy the rest of them were.
Yeah. Mangroves.
Here's a school of ocean surgeonfish, ...
... and this strange, prehistoric creature is called a chiton.
This clear cylinder tank housed horse-eye jacks.
This display was fascinating. It shows that queen angelfish and blue angelfish sometimes mate and produce a unique fish called the Townsend angel, with attributes of both its parents.
Here's a whitespotted filefish. Aren't these fish cool? Debbie thinks so.
OK, now this is going to get spooky. This tank contains several reef squid, and ALL OF THEM ARE LOOKING AT YOU RIGHT NOW.
ESPECIALLY THIS ONE.
Lionfish, a popular subject of photos on Bundlings.com over the years.
This is a cushion seastar and this is a great picture of it.
But not as good as this photo of a common octopus.
The last display before moving onto the zoo is this huge tank.
The viewing area wraps around to the side of the tank, ...
... where Tom got a photo of ...
... a couple of resting nurse sharks.
We were lucky enough to get to the harbour seal exhibit in time to see the seals being fed. Here's mama Charlotte, ...
... and two of her children, Calico and Pebbles.
Peacocks roam the zoo at will. This one was exceptionally pale.
We stopped here for the view and to have some melty ice water. Tom was the one who noticed the spider webs, ...
... and Debbie was the one who got the close-up shot of this spiny orb-weaver which will haunt our dreams for weeks.
Here's a nice little overlook on Harrington Sound.
This cute little guy is a Tammar wallaby.
How lucky to live in a climate where both plumeria and jasmine thrives and blooms! Of course, we had to stop and sniff these blossoms just to torture ourselves because we can't grow them in our zone 5 garden.
These guys are Galapagos Island tortoises. We look forward to seeing them in their native land in 2017.
These colorful birds are scarlet ibises (is that the correct plural form?) ...
... and continuing in the color naming vein, here is a golden lion tamarin. He just sat there and looked us right in the eye. A friend joined him a few minutes later but had better things to do than look at us.
These teeny little things are a golden mantella and a green mantella. They were so small that we didn't notice them in the exhibit to begin with even though they were right next to the glass.
We heard a family stop by at the peacock food dispenser but they didn't have any quarters, so we left a stack of our own quarters on top for future quarter emergencies.
Flamingoes are always loud. It's a fact.
Clever bench!
Next, we headed into the Natural History Museum.
We were greeted with a huge aerial photograph of Bermuda, ...
... so of course, we had to identify where our hotel was on the map. It's the series of buildings on the top of the X-shaped intersection in the lower right quarter of this photo. Look closely at the larger version of this photo to see the pool.
No display about the history of Bermuda would be complete without a mention of Cup Match ...
... or Gombey dancers.
One room was devoted to samples of native species in boxes and drawers and ...
... jars. Yeah, that's an octopus in there.
Speaking of octopuses (octopii? Pluralizing is hard!), we passed the octopus aquarium again and our hero had been given a toy - a large acrylic box with shells and coral inside for him to pull out. He had already pulled out a shell and was going back for more when we showed up.
By now, we had seen all that we could see and we were hungry, so we headed to the cafe. Debbie knew immediately that she wanted this curry chicken sandwich, and Tom ordered a pulled pork sandwich, ...
... then we got some ice cold Diet Cokes and headed out onto the balcony to wait for our food.
We had a view straight down to the clear water below.
We didn't wait for our food alone. We were joined by kiskadees, which are small birds with yellow breasts, ...
... and this rainbow-colored creature called a Graham's anole, found only in Jamaica and Bermuda.
Here's Tom's lunch, which we didn't remember to photograph until we were nearly ready to leave.
So, we headed to the bus stop and waited about 30 seconds before one came to pick us up.
Signs like this were nice to see. All of the major museums were open but precious few commercial businesses were open during Cup Match.
More pretty Bermuda scenery.
Our next stop was the Crystal and Fantasy Cave complex.
It's a bit of a walk from the bus stop to the entrance, but you get to pass this gigantic banyan tree along the way.
As we approached the ticket office, a bus driver for a private tour warned us against buying tickets to both caves, saying that Crystal Cave was the only one we needed to see.
We followed his advice, bought our tickets, and waited for our tour to start 20 minutes later.
The entrance to Crystal Cave is directly underneath the gift shop and waiting area. We were not expecting that.
Here we go. From here, we descended a long staircase straight down to the cave. Water dripped from the ceiling.
Here was our first glimpse of cool cave stuff.
At the bottom of the staircase is a platform large enough to hold the entire tour, but it took a while for all of us to get there because of the overwhelming human need to get your picture taken in front of things. We know, we used to do that too, but we got over it.
Anyway, here's the cave. It's basically a long, clear lake with lights in the water and on the ceiling.
Look.
Admire.
Marvel.
Bacon. No, seriously, these rock sheets on the left are nicknamed "cave bacon" but their official name is layered flowerstone.
When the tour was over, we left by a different way so we could pick up a different bus route back into town.
The different routes are a great way to see different parts of the island. This is Church Bay on Harrington Sound.
We passed beaches and parks that had tents and picnics set up for vacationing Bermudians.
We have no idea what this is, but it looks pretty.
Here's just one example of how the extremely wealthy live on Bermuda.
Here is the Cabinet Building on Front Street in Hamilton, which is the last photo we took before arriving at the bus station.
We had passed an open restaurant on Front Street when we passed by on the bus, so we walked down there to find it again. Front Street was deserted and vehicles rarely drove by.
We passed another underwater-themed tile planter, this time featuring an eel, ...
... and we happened upon a cute little alleyway and colorful staircase.
We arrived at Bermuda Bistro and were happy to find shade and air-conditioning again.
With over an hour to kill before our ferry home, we bought ourselves some time by ordering a pitcher of rum swizzles. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the first mouthful of rum was a little rough. Fortunately, ice melts quickly in Bermuda, so we had watered down drinks in no time.
Debbie was still in search of a Bermuda fish sandwich on raisin bread that was as delicious as the one she ate on Monday. This one was good but not as good as that one magical sandwich. Everyone should really consider using raisin bread on meat sandwiches more often though - that's a fantastic combination.
Tom ordered a Philly cheesesteak since he hadn't been ordering them from Four Star all week like Debbie had.
No idea what these are but they sure are pretty.
This marker in the sidewalk notes the 400th anniversary of Bermuda: Celebrating 400 years (1609 - 2009).
We made our way back to Gosling Brothers liquor store and took a photo of the gorgeous mosaic on the ground in front of it, ...
... but then got a shot of what we really came here for -- the Somerset equivalent of the St. George's photo we had taken of Tom two days earlier.
We boarded the ferry and got all nostalgic as we realized that it would be our last ride of our vacation.
Buh-bye, ferry terminal and Dockyard ferry!
Buh-bye, Hamilton!
We took one last photo of each ferry stop, starting with Lower Ferry.
Debbie's dream home was looking especially lovely today, ...
... and Debbie couldn't take her eyes off of it.
We passed Hodsdon's Ferry one last time, ...
... and looked at the people in the round infinity pool at Newstead Belmont Hills Golf Resort and Spa for the last time.
This photo is for Debbie's relatives in honor of our own Uncle Buck.
Can you imagine having a front yard that is only accessible at low tide?
Here's Salt Kettle again.
We joked that we'd name our boat the Jill Kristine, but the Jill Kristine would need to have her own boats named the Kelly Irene and John Dalton.
Finally, we returned to Darrell's Wharf (say it with me everyone) for the last time.
Back up Cobb's Hill, past the large resort on the left that we hadn't shown you until now, ...
... and past Chelsea Cottage again, this time getting a nice closeup of its address plate.
We were in a nostalgic, photographic mood, so here are some flowers, ...
... and here are some more just as we got close to the pink walls of the Fourways.
Here's the entryway to the hotel, ...
... and more scenery on the way to our room, where we immediately changed out of our sweaty clothes into bathing suits ...
... so we could cool off in the pool. Obviously, this was taken when we got out. Duh.

Last sunset. Sad.

Day 8 >


Bermuda 2016: [Day 1] [Day 2] [Day 3] [Day 4] [Day 5] [Day 6] [Day 7] [Day 8]

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