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Bermuda Not a Caribbean Island

Bermuda is not a Caribbean island and that is probably the most common misconception about the island. Located in the North Atlantic, the nearest land mass is North Carolina, some 570 miles distant. Actually comprised of 150 tiny islands of volcanic origin, collectively Bermuda encompasses only 21 square miles of land. The locals tend to regard the connected islands as one and refer to the largest, Bermuda Island, simply as "the island". Discovered by the Spanish captain Juan de Bermudez in the 1500s, Bermuda flourished as a colony of Great Britain after the arrival of English settlers in the early 1600s and those ties continue to the present.

An internally self-governing British dependency with a parliamentary government, the official head of state is the British monarch. It is one of the smallest territories in the world (Monaco and Gibraltar are the only notable ones smaller in size).This tiny tranquil island country is a study in contrasts. The inevitable first question everyone asks is about the beaches, "Is the sand really pink?" Yes, it is-and the water is crystal clear. Bermuda's palette is pastel. pink, coral, green and every shade of blue.

The beaches, architecture and water surrounding Bermuda display a rainbow of soft color accented by white roofs and colorful flora. Those white roofs gleam and are spectacularly clean for good reason. Fresh water is scarce on Bermuda and rainwater is channeled into cisterns for later use.Like no other island destination, Bermuda lulls her visitors with so much charm and reserve.

British formality is the rule, with subtle African influences simmering just below the surface-most evident in the popularity of Gombey music and dance. Stubbornly conservative, afternoon tea is the order of the day and traditional British values predominate. Politeness and neatness in dress are highly appreciated by native Bermudans.

King Edward's armed forces were the first residents to modify their uniform trousers to acclimatize them for Bermuda's balmy weather-thus, the birth of "Bermuda" shorts. Hamilton businessmen can be seen scooting about on mopeds in full business attire of jacket and tie with Bermuda shorts and knee-high socks. They are de rigueur ashore but frowned upon in cruise ship dining rooms.Bermudans make it look so easy to zip about on a scooter and, because cars are not available for rent, many tourists get their first taste of freewheeling in Bermuda. Avoiding "Road Rash" is paramount to seeing the sights on a moped.

Pick up a copy of the local rules of the road from the Bermuda Road Safety Council when you rent one, fasten your helmet and drive on the LEFT. Always on the left.While Bermuda has dozens of resorts, small hotels and cottages, a land vacation can be pricey when you consider that the average hotel charges about $10 per person for breakfast. The best way to enjoy a Bermuda holiday is by ship. Cruises depart weekly from Boston and New York City and less frequently from other ports such as Philadelphia and Baltimore. After spending a day and a half at sea, your ship will berth either in Hamilton, St.

George, or King's Wharf (the Royal Naval Dockyard).The most desirable itineraries are those that include the former two city ports because the Dockyard's location is isolated, although new facilities offer a few shopping diversions and pubs. After spending a couple nights in either Hamilton or St.

George, your ship will move to the other port for the remainder of your Bermuda stay. Ships at the Dockyard generally don't reposition.The Gulf Stream's warming effect insures a frost free, mild climate.

Cruising "season" coincides with Bermuda's "high season"-April through October. A word of caution, this is also Atlantic "Hurricane Season" and your itinerary could be severely impacted if one blows your way. Sailing time to and from the US can range from mirror calm to rough and rocky, although the latter is uncommon.Visitors are permitted to stay for up to 21 days (giving you 1 day to explore each square mile of the island). Extensions are only granted by the Bermuda Department of Immigration and are the exception rather than the rule.

Most expat workers tend to be from the UK, Canada, Ireland, the Caribbean and the US. There's a strong Italian contingent in the hospitality industry and growing numbers of Filipinos and Indians. Don't even think about coming to Bermuda as a tourist and trying to find work. Not only is it illegal, but is likely to be futile and will definitely be expensive.

The last thing employers want to get is a bad name with the Department of Immigration. Any sensible employer won't even look at you.If you want to get a job in Bermuda you must be off the island when you apply. All positions must be open to Bermudians first; only if there are no suitable applicants can a non-Bermudian be hired.

Good places to look for potential employment are specialist recruitment agencies and the websites of local businesses. The Royal Gazette, Bermuda's daily newspaper carries a wide range of advertisements on their website. Presuming you are successful in your quest for a job, there are a number of issues to be considered when relocating. While the salaries paid are very good, the cost of living is quite high. Most contracts are for a maximum of five years, renewable at the employer's option. And becoming a permanent resident in next to impossible.

Even if you marry a Bermudian, you won't be eligible for citizenship for ten years at the earliest.

.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Travel.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_Russell.


By: Michael Russell

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