Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bermuda Postcards #1 - The colors of the island

We landed in Baltimore, late, and got up early the next day to board our ship and set sail for Bermuda.

Bermuda?  I thought Bermuda was in the Caribbean - clearly, I should've spent more time studying Geography.  More's the pity.

The island's by itself, lonely in the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea, making Bermuda a propitious location for rum-runners during our country's inglorious pursuit of Prohibition.

As much thoughtful consideration went into that pursuit as went into my studies of Geography.

And yes, we all thought it was peculiar that we were traveling into the Bermuda Triangle - willingly.  On a boat.  You scoff.  You say the Triangle is a myth.  To you I say, read about the USS Cyclops.  The single largest non-combat loss of life in the history of the US Navy?  When the Cyclops was lost in March of 1918.  Just lost - poof - the ship and its 306 crew members and passengers.  No wreckage ever found.

Yet you scoff?

I didn't scoff.  But I did drink.  Many Rob Roys.   I decided on Rob Roys when I saw that the ones mixed on board used Chivas.  My dad was an old Chivas man, so in his honor - lots of Rob Roys to make any thoughts of the Cyclops disappear, like a ship at sea.

The first thing you notice about Bermuda is the water - so turquoise, so blue.  And the further from shore, the deeper the hue.  The lines of demarcation, from blue to darker blue, are so straight as to appear fake, as if the sea has been photoshopped.

The blue of Bermuda isn't only found in its waters, the blue doesn't only surround the island with its shades--

--the blue seeps from those waters and runs down the undersides of bandstands.

Onto the island's walls.

From those walls back to the sky.  Of course, right?  Of course you'd want as much of that ocean blue to be with you on land.

The beaches are unbelievable, indeed - that's what you'll remember when you visit.  And you should.  Visit.  But the colors of the island?  The colors you'll pass as you travel to Horseshoe Bay?  Don't forget the colors.

And it's all just ridiculously beautiful.  But blue is only the beginning.  Yellow, more turquoise, green.  Pastels everywhere.

One of the islanders I met, Anthony Pettit, a seller of good things old - books, bottles, maps - laughed as we drove from the Dockyard to his house in Hamilton.  Yes, he said, we do like our buildings to be bright.  Some people think they can be too bright.

But they're - joyful, I said.  Joyful being the only word I could think of that encapsulated the glee and delight behind the paint choices.  It all reminded me of Greece - where they don't hide miscellaneous architectural details.  Is there a water pipe that incongruously runs up the outside of a wall?  Here in the states we'd paint the pipe the color of the wall to mask it.  In Greece?  On the islands?  That wall is going to be white, but the pipe they'll paint blue.  Bright blue.  Letting everyone know - here's a pipe!

The difference between Bermuda and Greece is, of course, the choice of color.  Or choices.  In Greece, most of the accents remain blue, whereas here in Bermuda, the houses look like different colored gems strewn amid its twenty square miles.

Did I mention how ridiculously beautiful it all is?  All the color?  Like that purple shirt, against the salmon wall?  How great is that?

If you lived in Bermuda, surrounded by turquoise water, where hibiscus grows wild, wouldn't you want your house or cottage to add to the surroundings?

It's lucky there isn't a Bermudan homeowners association dictating which shade of beige can be used to cover domiciles.

So let's end where we started.  With Bermuda blue.  If you're lucky, when you visit, you'll be accompanied by an eight-year-old who just so happens to bring her own blue with her wherever she goes.  And to see Bermuda blue reflected in her own?


I'd go back for that.  Wouldn't you?

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