Travel ~ 37. Blissful Bermuda

This past weekend, Jet Blue flew me to paradise.

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The British overseas territory named Bermuda became home for a few days. Divided into nine parishes, I couldn’t wait to explore.

My best friend, Lauren and I arrived at L.F. Wade International Airport to celebrate her birthday. Our friendly taxi driver welcomed us to the island. Driving along the narrow winding roads, the subtropical climate and vibrant houses were gorgeous. The crystal clear blue water, fruit trees and numerous yachts added to the scenic view. I can still feel the sunshine and warm air on my arm from that day or perhaps it’s the tan.

We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton, a lovely luxury resort in Warwick Camp. Our room, the Signature Suite was heavenly. The hotel staff expressed warm hospitality during every interaction. The hotel provided 9 restaurants, taxis on call, a wide range of activities such as water sports, horseback riding, fishing, diving, cycling, 6 tennis courts, an 18 hole golf course, 12 treatment rooms, a sauna, pool lounge areas and excursions for Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda Forts, the Bermuda Aquarium, Royal Navy Dockyard and Crystal and Fantasy Caves all for additional charges. They are all well fun!

Soon enough, it was time for lunch. Taking a taxi, we headed to Mickey’s Beach Bistro. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the most the amazing man on the island and in my opinion he is the culture Ambassador for Bermuda, Cole Simmons. Also, he’s one of my best friends. Then we all enjoyed the colourful cocktails, savoury seafood and fun conversation with the servers including Gianni, Steven and Samy. Following that, it was inevitable to not walk along Elbow Beach. Let’s just say, the water was calling.

Then the heat and humidity must have taken a toll because we decided to rest for a while. A few hours later, Cole, Lauren and I made our way to Front Street to see what Hamilton had to offer. We saw loads of shops, stores, restaurants, bars and pubs as well as a water promenade. Eventually, it was time for drinks and dinner. Harry’s Restaurant & Bar was the answer for a taste of Bermuda. The marvelous manager, Manny made our dining experience a pleasure. The restaurant decor was beautiful too. First, I tried the fish chowder. Second, the mussels were yummy with a glass of Sancerre. Then our waitress surprised us with a treat. I recommend Harry’s as the dining destination in Bermuda.

After that, Cole, Lauren and I visited the Hamilton Princess Hotel to view the art on display. For evening entertainment, we drank at Hog Penny Pub and then we danced to Caribbean tunes at a Bajan bar called Spring Garden to end our Bermudian night.

The next morning, Lauren and I chilled by the pool while drinking rum swizzles. Surrounded by coconut palm trees, it was just what the doctor ordered for a holiday. In good time, we spent the afternoon at Horseshoe Bay Beach.

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Later for dinner, we checked out the Jasmine Lounge where a live band played local music. Our entrées were very delicious.

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The atmosphere was lively. Guests were jovial. Our waiter, Jaswyn was great. It was the perfect way to end our Bermuda adventure. I highly recommend to visit Bermuda to experience an #ahhbermuda moment 🙂

All photos taken by Niya Sinckler, Lauren Slinger and Cole Simmons.

Travel ~ 35. Hungry for History in Hungary.

Since I was little girl, I have loved history. Learning about the Austro-Hungarian empire at school, I was inspired to visit Hungary one day. This summer, I managed to fulfill that dream and explore a new area of the world. For a long time, I admired the photographer, Brassaï who embraced European culture and captured the beauty of city streets.  These days, I am doing the same. Enjoy below my shots of beautiful Budapest!

 

Culture ~ Beautiful Barbados

One of my favourite places to visit is Barbados. Definitely in my top five countries. The independent nation is very warm and welcoming leaving one intrigued by Bajan customs. Saying good morning and helping you out is customary.

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Upon arriving, Grantley Adams International Airport is open-air and breezy hub. As you exit immigration, it’s best to hire a car from Drive-A-Matic because they have the best rates and customer service. Continuing onto the island, the motorway takes you on an adventure. Through straight roads surrounded by sugar cane fields and roundabouts, you can experience everything.

Barbados is comprised of eleven parishes. Starting with Christ Church, the best place to stay is in Saint Lawrence Gap either at Infinity On The Beach or Bougainvillea Hotel for recreation with a mix of locals and tourists. I highly recommend The Cove for dancing and nightlife. Also, Graeme Hall Sanctuary is nearby off of Highway 7 for exploring a bit of swamp nature during the day. Then the town, Oistins is always bustling with fresh fish coming in from boats and ‘Fish Fry’ parties on a Friday night. Heading north, Saint Philip will take you to Culpepper Island, an uninhabited rocky area with stunning views of the coastline. Above, there is Saint John which holds a beautiful and historical Parish Church. Towards the left is one of the two landlocked parishes, Saint George where the prominent landmark, Gun Hill Signal Station has been located since 1818.

Following that, Saint Michael is home to the nation’s capital, Bridgetown where you can view a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Close by is Carlisle Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. For more excitement, examine the architecture of the Parliament Buildings, explore artisan shops, catch a cricket game at Kensington Oval, take a snapchat of Lord Nelson statue, see moments honoured at the National Stadium and just in case there’s an emergency, Queen Elizabeth Hospital known as QEH is in this parish.

Additionally, this past weekend I attended the Festival of Speed, class entertainment at Bushy Park where three time British Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton entertained a massive crowd with his inspiration and daring attitude to be the greatest. Passing by Saint Thomas, one must visit Harrison’s Cave for natural subterranean geology education on the crystallized limestone that helped to build a lot of the island. This tour reminded me of a fifth grade class learning about stalactites and stalagmites. On the eastern side of the island, Saint Joseph is there with gorgeous landscapes at Andromeda Gardens and a fun fishing village, Bathsheba which highlights a massive picturesque rock. Up to Saint Andrew, you can stand at the highest point on the island at Mount Hillaby. It’s like being on top of the world.

Anywhere you go, a lovely lunch can be found in Saint James. Holetown, the main attraction has cute colourful chattel houses for your perfect Instagram photo and quick, boutique and romantic restaurants including Chefette (fast food), Just Grillin’ (budget), Lone Star (moderate), Daphne’s (moderate) The Tides (fine dining), The Mews (fine dining) and The Cliff (fine dining). Personally, I have been to all of these places and they each offer something special depending on your mood. Looking for something more, head down to Mullins Bay Beach Bar & Grill (moderate) right on Mullins Beach (favourite beach!!). That’s where I relax most of the time. Further down in Sherman’s, Saint Peter is my favourite restaurant on the island, The Fish Pot (fine dining).

Bajan food is flavourful including coucou (cornmeal based dish similar to mashed potatoes), roti (flat bread made from wholemeal usually filled with vegetables, poultry and/or meat), flying fish (the best fish ever!) and other types of fresh fish such as barracuda, tuna, dophin, shark, king fish, marlin and more usually accompanied by salad, rice & peas or macaroni pie. For drinks, most people sip tropical spirit infused cocktails, Mount Gay rum or the national beer, Banks. And if it’s super hot, many people cool down with a sno-cone (shaved ice and sweet flavoured syrup) or a tall ice cold glass of Mauby.

Along the Platinum Coast of Saint Peter, Port St. Charles and Port Ferdinand are great spots for viewing the oceanside. Making it to the top of the island, Saint Lucy is the only female named parish and birthplace of the first Prime Minister of Barbados, Errol Barrow.Well historic, no wonder this parish is on top. As you enjoy island life, you are bound to hear sounds of soca such as Alison Hinds, Contone, Kimberley Inniss, Peter Ram, Rupee (love him!) and then calypso from Mighty Gabby, Grynner, The Merrymen and Red Plastic Bag. The music is everything and makes my holiday better each time. The next best time to visit will be around 30 November 2016 when the nation will celebrate its 50th Independence Day. Visit beautiful Barbados!