We had a big day on Wednesday. Mr. Chili wanted to head to St. George’s for the day (it occurs to me that I’ve not posted a map… here)
but we wanted to go back to the city first. As Mr. Chili’s been craving British candy, so I’ve been craving crumpets. You see, the last time we were here, we had tea several times at the Gibb’s Light tea room, and they served crumpets that I ate with jam and a little too much butter. I loved them, and I’ve been searching for them since we landed, so we decided to try to find a bakery for breakfast.
We scooted in to town and parked in the shadow of a giant cruise ship
and looked around for a bakery. We ended up in a little cafe that is the island’s equivalent of a Starbucks – they’re all over the place – but the didn’t have crumpets, so I got an English muffin and called it even.
As we sat enjoying our breakfast, a lovely little old lady came up to our table and asked us if we’d like her newspaper (if we didn’t mind that she’d held back the crossword) and we struck up a bit of a conversation. She asked us where we were from and told us that she was born in St. Georges and had lived in Bermuda all her life. She gets around by bus (public transport is very easy on this pretty little rock) because she couldn’t work out the difference between a gas pedal and the brakes, so she thought it just as well not to get a car. Before we left, she offered us a Bermuda dollar coin to commemorate our anniversary and wished us a happy day and a pleasant visit. It was a lovely gesture, and I still have the coin in my purse.
From there, we found the department store that Mr. Chili had been directed to in place of Trimmingham’s. Funny story; when he told the lady at the tourism bureau that he missed Trimmingham’s, her response was “don’t we all.” He asked our old lady breakfast companion about the place, and commented that he missed it. “Don’t we all” was her response. If it was such a popular place, why’d it go out of business, I wonder? Anyway…
The store had precisely the same collection of candy that all the other shops have, so we bustled out of there, found our scooter, and headed back to the apartment to gear up for the “long trip” out to St. Georges. I packed a couple of containers of iced tea, the camera, our swimsuits, a pair of towels, all our sunscreen, and a couple of plastic bags for collecting sand and other treasures, and we were off.
It’s kind of funny what people here think of as a “long” trip. Given that the island is only something like 22 miles from end to end, nothing is really that far away. I suppose, though, the 30 kph speed limit island-wide does make it seem longer. In any case, I very much enjoyed the trip, buzzing along on the back of the scooter as we passed beautiful views, pastel painted houses, and colorful people.
We arrived in the town of St. Georges and parked in the shadow of the replica of the Deliverance
There was a historic reenactment going on – something silly about a disobedient wife – that we pretty much avoided. We took the opportunity, while the crowd was occupied in hearing an account of the woman’s crimes, to duck into the town hall and snap a few photographs.
There were several images of Queen Elizabeth hung about, and I gathered that she’d visited a couple of times (once in 1954, if I remember the date on the picture correctly), and letters to the Queen from the town fathers – and her replies – were framed nest to the portraits.
After perusing the town hall, we moseyed through a number of shops and then made our way down the street to the St. Peter’s church, said to be the oldest Anglican church in continuous use on this side of the planet. Mr. Chili was profoundly frustrated in his efforts to get some good pictures – he was just about at his limit with inconsiderate tourists – so I bought a postcard. Not the same, I know, but better than nothing.
We were still strolling when I realized that we were probably approaching the time our wedding was held, 15 years prior, so we decided to have a bit of lunch to commemorate the occasion. We ducked into a place called Polaris at the Carriage House and were shown to a table by the wall of windows. We shared a salad and a very yummy chicken sandwich. After lunch, we hopped back on the scooter and made for St. Catherine’s.
Mr. Chili had wanted to head all the way out to the end of the island because he believed that’s where the pinkest sand could be found. I couldn’t have cared less what his motives were; I was just happy to be along for the ride. We rounded the corner and encountered this:
The sand was, indeed, pink. Also, there was sea glass! We were lucky to find a bit of shade on the beach, too, in the form of a disused boardwalk or old wharf of some kind, which was most welcomed, as we were both feeling like we were fast approaching our sun limit. We spent a lovely stretch of time wading in the waves, collecting bits of glass from among the stones, and scooping up a double handful of the pastel sand that this island is famous for.
When we were here last, we weren’t able to go past what was an American Air/Naval base to reach some really pretty beaches. That wasn’t the case this time, so we scooted out to the end of that point and had a look around
That’s me, creating my own shade. Really – too much sun is a baaaad thing
We doodled back home and got prettied up to go out for our anniversary dinner at a little Italian place called La Trattoria in Hamilton. It was an interesting experience. I think Mr. Chili was expecting something quiet and out of the way, but I bet the presence of the cruise ship in Hamilton made “quiet” pretty much out of the question. We shared the restaurant with a number of families with small children (hence the lack of quiet), but we had a lovely time nonetheless. Our waiters were, in fact, Italian, and insisted on speaking Italian whenever possible (mille grazie and all that). One of the waiters corrected Mr. Chili’s request for bruschetta (which he pronounced with a “ch” sound – the waiter corrected it to a hard “k” sound, and, understandably, kind of ticked my husband off). We ordered some wine and some bruschetta and a pair of plates of chicken manicotti.
The bruschetta wasn’t what we were expecting – it was essentially pizza sauce on crispy bread and not the marinated tomato, onion, and garlic on toast that we thought we’d get. It was yummy, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t bruschetta. The manicotti was yummy, and I’m already working out how to replicate the dish at home. After sharing a dessert of Italian cheesecake, we wandered back to Front Street where a street fair of sorts was going on for the benefit of the cruise passengers. We didn’t stay long, though – back on the scooter and off for home where we relaxed and made an early night of it.