Burt Wolf's Table: Hamilton, Bermuda - #226

BURT WOLF:   Hamilton is the capital city of Bermuda and the cultural center of a group of islands just off the Atlantic coast of North America;  islands with a special climate made possible by the warm waters of the Gulfstream.  It's the place to scoot around and visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and to taste some top-class cooking.  So join me in Hamilton, Bermuda at Burt Wolf's Table. 

Hamilton has the island's major shopping streets, the world-famous Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, and about 2,000 residents, among whom is an old friend of mine, Charles Webb.  Charles being a typically hospitable Bermudian, has agreed to take us on a tour of Hamilton and some of his favorite spots on the island.  (SOUND OF MOTOR)

WOLF:    Historically, Bermuda has been opposed to the automobile and only allowed them onto the island after the Second World War.  As a result, the vehicle of choice for most locals and tourists is the motor scooter.  The maximum speed limit for everything on Bermuda is 20 miles per hour.  Bermuda's drivers are extremely polite, and everyone gets an introductory lesson and a helmet that must be worn.

CHARLES WEBB:    This is the Sessions House, which houses the Parliament and the Supreme Court.  It was built in around 1814.  The Gothic towers and the terra cotta colonnades were added later on.  But in this building you'll see robed judges with wigs, and lawyers with wigs.  So all the miscreants of the country end up in the lower floor of this house.

Upstairs, you have 40 members of Parliament, a leader of the government and the loyal opposition, all sort of umpired by the -- the Speaker Of The House, who wears what we call a full-bottomed wig.  Magisterial at its best.

This is the government tennis stadium, one of about 400 tennis courts throughout the island.  You may be interested to note that Bermuda actually introduced tennis to the United States.  What happened, we had a judge here who led a very dignified lifestyle.  And he had a tennis court on his property, which is just across the harbor.  And he decided that tennis was just a little too undignified for his lady, so we decided then, or at least he did, that he would just transport this very reckless game off to the United States.  And we sent it off to the Staten Island Tennis Club, where it still exists today.  Bermuda is well-known for tennis.  We have tennis courts that are lit at night, and we play tennis during the day.  You can play tennis at private clubs or public tennis courts.  It's all over the island.  Everywhere you go, you'll see a tennis court.

WEBB:    Burt, within these acres of landscaped gardens, the Botanical Gardens, it's officially called, houses an aviary, a fern collection, an arrowroot factory.  It even has a garden for the blind so the blind can actually walk through and smell the various species of flowers.

Now behind us is that beautiful Victorian residence, which the premier uses only for official entertaining.  He doesn't live there.  There are no bedrooms at all.  It's strictly for, only when he has local and out-of-town guests.  So, since it's close to tea time, I think we should stop in and have a cup of tea with him.

BURT WOLF:     That's fine with me.

WEBB:  Okay.

BURT WOLF:     When I was a kid, I saw a Marlon Brando movie called "The Wild One."  And it sent me into my biker period.  When I almost did myself in by skidding off an icy road in the Swiss Alps, I ended my biker period and entered my mall-walking period.  Ahh, but it feels good to be back, especially in a safe environment.

WEBB:   Burt, this Fort Hamilton is  probably the finest example of mid-Victorian polygonal fort.  And its job was to protect the Royal Navy Dockyard over that side, and still be able to cover the southern perimeters of the island.   It affords panoramic views of the island and, indeed, the City of Hamilton and every Thursday during what we call our November to March season, the skirling ceremony takes place here.  And these are the guys with the Scottish bagpipes and the kilts.  And they stand back, because if they stay too far over there, the wind comes and lifts up the skirts and you know what happens then. 

WOLF:    You find out what a Scotsman really -- (OVERLAPPING CONVERSATION)

WEBB:    -- really wears under his kilt, right.

WOLF:    Bermuda's South Shore has over 20 of the world's most beautiful beaches.  Now, you'd think that Mother Nature would have spread them around a bit more evenly.  But it appears that the unspoiled charm of the area just held her attention.

As you come to the eastern edge of the area, you are confronted with Elbow Beach, which is the longest stretch of beach on the island, and clearly one of the most dramatic.  Elbow Beach is also the setting for one of Bermuda's most famous hotels.  It's called Wyndham's Elbow Beach Resort, which is a great help to me because it gives me two pieces of information at the same time:  the name and the location.   Now with all the detail that I'm trying to store in my aging brain, a small efficiency  like that is actually  appreciated.  The Elbow Beach Resort first opened in 1908 and has maintained an outstanding reputation ever since.  Its owners recently spent a considerable amount of money restoring the property. 

The entrance has the kind of stately elegance that reminds me of Tara, Scarlett O'Hara's magnificent estate in  "Gone With the Wind."  I half-expected Vivian Leigh to come popping out and welcome me home.  Well, she didn't, but so many other hospitable people did, that it still feels pretty good. 

And as I recall, Tara never looked like this.  It was clearly unable to offer a Olympic-size, climate-controlled swimming pool, or five tennis courts by the ocean, two of which are lit for night play;  a couple of excellent restaurants, a considerable assortment of water sports, or the Fritholme Mansion.

The Fritholme Mansion is one of Bermuda's historical estates.  And a while back, it was reconditioned to become a guest house for special guests.  It has a living room, four bedrooms,  a formal dining room, a breakfast room, a steam room and exercise room, a sun room, a room in which they keep a list of the other rooms, and a room that is particularly dear to my heart, the television room, which down-links my reports every day.  It's quite a place.  And it's right smack in the middle of the 50 acres that make up Wyndham's Elbow Beach Resort.

On the other hand, Tara did have Clark Gable.  But Elbow Beach has chef Norbert Stange.  And I think he could compete with Clark Gable for Scarlett's affection.  I base that opinion on the old adage, “kissing doesn't last, but cooking does.”  Today, Chef Norbert is preparing a classic Bermuda onion soup. 

First thing, two tablespoons of oil go into a hot saute pan, along with two tablespoons of butter.  As soon as the butter is melted, in go three cups of sliced Bermuda onion.  They cook for about a minute.  Then in goes a teaspoon of chopped garlic.  Three minutes of cooking and the onions and the garlic are transferred to a big saucepan.  Some thyme and a bay leaf go in.  Six cups of beef stock and an ounce of Outerbridge's sherry pepper sauce. 

Years ago, local sailors would make an all-purpose seasoning sauce by taking some chopped hot peppers and mixing them together with sherry, and letting them sit in a cask for a couple of days.  Then they'd pour that on all of their foods.  The Outerbridge's Original Sherry Pepper Sauce is the local favorite here in  Bermuda, and made from the Outerbridge family's secret recipe.  If you can't get it in your supermarket, a reasonable substitute would be some chopped hot peppers sitting together with either vinegar or sherry in a jar for about 48 hours.  You can use that.

All that comes to a boil and simmers for 30 minutes.  The finished soup is ladled into a heat-proof bowl, a slice of toast that has been rubbed with garlic goes on top.  Plus two thin slices of mozzarella cheese.  The cheese is melted under a broiler and the soup is ready to serve. 

There's an ancient legend about the first two steps that Satan took when he was cast out of heaven.  It says that the spot where he first placed his left foot produced garlic, and the spot where he first placed his right foot produced onions.  Gee, I wouldn't give credit to Satan for onions.  They have a wonderful way of adding flavor to a dish, and they have a long history of being healthy, especially for your heart.

Now I think anything that is heart-healthy is heavenly, and that's much more in keeping with what the ancient Egyptians felt about onions.  They thought the onion was an ideal offering to the gods, and very often you will see drawings and paintings of onions on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs, which is a good reminder on storing onions.  Always keep them in a dark and dry place.

The first onion seeds to arrive in  Bermuda came from England in 1616.  They may have been the forefathers and mothers of the famous Bermuda onion, or that honor may belong to an onion variety that came to Bermuda with the Portuguese, who started to arrive here during the 1840s.  No one knows for sure, but what we do know is that somewhere along the way, a particular variety of onion seed began to grow extremely well in Bermuda soil.  The seeds, the soil, and the climate combined to produce a very special onion, with a wonderfully sweet taste. 

Shortly thereafter, Bermuda began to devote more and more of its farmland to the cultivation of onions.  It grew to a rather large size for an onion, and their mildness made them very popular throughout Europe, South America, and the United States.  The exporting of onions became such a big business, that Bermuda sailors became known as “onions” and Bermuda itself as “the onion patch.”

Bermuda onions became extremely popular along the east coast of the United States.  Old advertisements that announced what was for sale from various cargo ships showed that thousands of tons of Bermuda onions came into  American markets each year. 

This story may not be true, but I have heard it so many times that I thought I would pass it on, but only the heading of “unsubstantiated folklore.”  People around here say that at one point in time, the Bermuda onion became so popular, that a bunch of Texas farmers came here to make a deal so they could grow the Bermuda onion in Texas and sell it under the Bermuda Onion name.  Well, these were the days before Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and Mickey Mouse, and the people of Bermuda didn't understand the concept of a licensing deal.  They actually thought that if an onion was called a Bermuda onion, it should be grown in Bermuda  by Bermudians.  Can you imagine that?  So they turned down the Texas farmers.  Ahh, but that didn't stop Texans.  They went back home, changed the name of their town to Bermuda, Texas, got a copyright on the Bermuda onion name from Washington, and helped pass a law that made it hard to import Bermuda onions to the United States.  Well, if that story is true, then on behalf of U.S. onion lovers, I'd like to apologize.

About 70 million years ago, a three-mile high volcanic cone of rock came shooting up out of the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.  The water was warm and attracted millions of tiny sea animals, whose skeletons eventually compressed together to form what is now the Island of Bermuda.  Being an island, well out in the Atlantic Ocean, it's a great place to cook up some fish, which is precisely what Chef Norbert is going to prepare for his next recipe.

A little vegetable oil and a little butter are heated together in a saute pan.  The butter is used because of its rich flavor, but butter can easily burn at low temperatures.  The oil has a much higher burning point, so by mixing the two together, you get a rich flavor plus the ability to cook at a higher temperature.  As soon as the butter melts, in goes a sliced onion, some sliced ginger, a touch of white wine.  All that cooks together for a minute.  A filet of red snapper gets a light dusting of paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.  A little oil is heated in a pan and the fish is cooked for two minutes on each side.  At that point it goes onto the onions.  Slices of green, yellow, and red bell peppers are sauteed and placed on top of the fish.  The pan goes into a 350 degree oven for two minutes.  The finished fish goes onto a serving plate, and it's ready to go.

The early colonists to arrive in Bermuda were English, and they left their mark culturally, militarily, and of course linguistically.  As Great Britain moved through its various fashions and fancies, so did Bermuda. 

WOLF:    One of the strongest social influences to pass through the British Empire during the last few centuries was Victorianism.  Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 to 1901, setting the standards for behavior in all things, including gastronomy.  Victorian ladies made a public display of being very delicate.  And that was particularly true in things that had to do with cooking.  They even developed these little covers to put on the legs of roasted meat and poultry, because they thought it was offensive for a lady to see legs in any situation.   Well, excuuuuse me.

They even began to use arrowroot instead of flour, as a thickening agent in sauces.  Arrowroot will give you a sauce that's clearer, cleaner, more delicate and therefore thought to be more lady-like. During the 1800s, Bermuda became the source for the world's best arrowroot. Arrowroot is a fine white powder that is made from a South American plant.  The plant is ground into a dust and refined through a process that mixes the dust with water and then strains and dries it.  Arrowroot is 80 per cent starch.

Because the individual grains of starch are so small, it's easily digested and often used for puddings that are going to be given to adults or children on a restricted diet.    It does its job at low temperatures, lower than flour or cornstarch, and therefore, it's ideal for egg dishes or custards or any recipe where you don't want to bring the food to a boil.   It has no taste and it does its job with twice the effectiveness of standard wheat flour. 

The general rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of arrowroot where you would usually use two tablespoons of flour.  One tablespoon of arrowroot will thicken slightly more than a cup of liquid.  To use arrowroot to make a sauce, just add it to a little water.  Make sure it's fully dissolved and stir it into the pan drippings.  Then add broth to develop the sauce.  The result will be a sauce with a very delicate texture. 

One of the most impressive and enjoyable aspects of Bermuda is that everyone is dedicated to preserving their history.  Through a number of organizations, including the Bermuda National  Trust, citizens of Bermuda have been able to hold onto an enormous number of objects and properties that bring their history to life.   One of the most fascinating is Verdmont, a private home that was built in 1710, and has remained virtually unchanged for almost 300 years.  The south side was the original front.  The placement was made in order to give the building this splendid outlook over the south shore of the island.  The sash windows, 12 over 12, follow a style that was extremely fashionable in England during the early 1700s.  The two large reception rooms downstairs were used as a formal drawing room and a parlor. 

The double doors between the two rooms were left open for large parties.  Hey, even in the 1700s, they were party animals.  The white planking on the walls is made of Georgia pine and was thought to have been installed as a backing for wallpaper.  This portrait is of the Honorable Thomas Smith, who was a ship owner and the collector of customs.  The other paintings are of his four daughters and their families:  Elizabeth, Honore, Catherine, and Mary. 

These portraits were painted by Mary's husband, John Green.  He had been a judge and a portrait painter in Philadelphia, but his political loyalties lay with the King of England.  When the War of Independence got started, he moved to Bermuda and married Mary Smith. 

The house also has some great furniture.  Many of the pieces are made of Bermuda cedar and show the skills of the local craftsmen.  The sides of this desk are made of a single plank of wood.  This tallboy has all its legs put on facing into the room.  Bermuda cabinet makers originated the form and called them “marching legs.”  The design allows the tallboy to fit flushly against the wall. 

The nursery has a collection of children's objects that give you a look at what it was like to be a kid in the old days.  The dining room has a collection of Chinese export porcelain that ranges from 1680 to 1820.  The bathrooms were just that, bath rooms.  The toilet facilities were outside.  But with Bermuda's wonderful climate, that was less of a burden than it was in, say, Boston. 

The kitchen was also in a second building, and there were two reasons for that.  First of all, there was an enormous fear of fire.  True, there were fireplaces in the main building, but the idea of a working fireplace, the kind you'd find in a kitchen, was just too scary.  Second of all, they wanted to keep the heat of the kitchen out of the main building.

Because the island of Bermuda is warmed by an ocean current, it has a mild climate, and that's great for growing fruits and vegetables which are usually associated with the tropics.  A perfect example of that are the many fields filled with banana plants.  The banana, by the way, is neither a fruit or a vegetable.  The banana is, in fact, an herb; actually it's the world's largest herb.

Chef Norbert is using bananas to make a banana bread.  He starts by taking a large electric mixer, which is a good idea because he's making a large amount of batter.  Four cups of sugar are creamed together with 16 ounces of butter.  Twelve ripe bananas are added in.  Eight eggs are beaten in one at a time.  Two teaspoons of baking powder, plus a teaspoon of sugar and a little cinnamon are mixed together and added.  Add eight cups of flour, and two cups of chopped walnuts.   The batter gets divided into rectangular baking pans and popped into a 300 degree oven for two hours, at which time you have Bermuda banana breads.

Cecille Snaithe-Simmons was born in Bermuda and by profession is a registered nurse.   Her husband, Lionel Simmons, was  for many years a member of Parliament.  She's the author of "The Bermuda Cook Book," which contains recipes passed down from both her family and that of her husband.  She's been kind enough to stop by the kitchen of the Bermuda Hotel School and demonstrate her recipe for Spanish rice.

A Spanish recipe makes perfectly good sense in Bermuda.  The Spanish knew about Bermuda before the English.  As a matter of fact, the name Bermuda comes from the Spanish explorer, Juan des Bermudez, who stopped in here in 1511, a hundred years before the English.

Cecille's recipe starts with two strips of bacon that are cooked until they are crisp.  Then they are removed from the pan and crumbled.  Chopped onion goes in.  A chopped green pepper.  A minute of cooking, then two cups of chopped tomato are added, a quarter cup of tomato paste.  The bacon returns, plus a cup of water, two cups of medium-grain rice.  Everything comes to a boil and then into a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.  That's it.  A rice dish like this is easy and convenient, and tastes so good because rice has a natural ability to carry the flavors of the the other ingredients. 

Long-grain rice is best for this dish, because it's extra fluffy and each individual grain tends to stay separate and hold its shape.

Princess Louise was the daughter of England's Queen Victoria.  But because she was married to the Governor General of Canada, she lived in North America. 

“North” is the operative word here.  Canadian winters can be quite cold and quickly turn your mind to thoughts of warm winter vacation.  The problem was that those were the days before air travel, and the amount of time you could spend on a vacation was severely limited by the amount of time that you were willing to spend on a boat. 

Florida and the Caribbean were warm, but they were pretty far away.   Bermuda was warm and only 600 miles off the Carolina coast.    Bermuda is a three-hour flight from Toronto, less than two hours from New York, and only two and a half hours from Atlanta. 

Princess Louise must have had a similar view of the geography, because she was the original discoverer of Bermuda as a vacation destination.  Her first trip here had an enormous amount of coverage in the press, and lots of public attention.  It transformed Bermuda into the ideal spot for a holiday.

Part of most vacations is the vacation postcard, which has really become an art form. While I was doing my research for this report, I discovered a wonderful collection of old Bermuda postcards at the Bermuda archives.  Karla Heywood is the curator of the photographic collection, and she's brought out some of the best examples.

KARLA HEYWOOD:     Nicholas Lusher was really the first photographer in Bermuda to develop or have his stock shots turned into postcard format.  When postcards were first developed, Lusher really got on the bandwagon quite quickly.

This is a postcard that's dated, I believe, 1905.  But you can see that this is exactly the same view that was taken of the lily field at Bellevue in the 1880s or '90s.  So obviously Lusher is sending his prints over to Germany or Austria and having them published and tinted, because you can see the color in this.  

Here's another example of a very early postcard. This is, again, October 29th, 1905.  The early postcards are actually -- you can't -- you can't write on the address side, so there's only one little area that you can write on, and that's at the bottom here, and they've sent a little message home. 

WOLF:     Interesting. So the whole back side is your address.

HEYWOOD:    That's right. 

WOLF:    It says, this side for address only, and you get this tiny little area for your message.

HEYWOOD:    Yup.  And here's the same view, a postcard from after World War I, although I can't--

WOLF:    Then they start dividing it.

HEYWOOD:    Absolutely.  So there's-- there's a view of Gibbs Hole Lighthouse.  What's missing are the shots of the-- of the beaches and the water at the south shore, which is, of course, why our visitors come here today.  But 19th Century and early 20th Century visitors came in the winter and they weren't interested in-- in bathing and sunbathing so much as we are today.  They were more interested in seeing sort of phenomena like rock formations, aquarium, public gardens.

WOLF:    And just being out of the cold. 

HEYWOOD:    That's right. 

WOLF:    Interesting.  We certainly do change.

That's it from Hamilton, Bermuda.  Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for good things to eat and the reasons why people eat them.  I'm Burt Wolf. 

Burt Wolf's Table: Island of Bermuda - #223

BURT WOLF:  Bermuda, only 600 miles off the coast of Carolina; it's an ideal spot for an easy vacation.  The British have been here since the early 1600's and have packed the place with interesting architecture and traditional English culture.  Bermudians are also interesting cooks with a 400 year old history of local specialties.  So join me on the Island of Bermuda at Burt Wolf's Table.

The islands of Bermuda were well-known to the Spanish explorers who followed Columbus to the New World.  Their ships, filled with valuable cargo, started home by sailing north along the coast of Florida.  The islands of Bermuda were a navigational marker.  They told them it was time to make a right and head home.

The first written description of Bermuda appears to be the work of a Spanish sea captain who's ship ran aground here in the early 1500's.  Hey, hey, cut that out, come on, back up here.  In Bermuda, Bermuda shorts are the preferred form of dress for men.  As a matter of fact, they are actually considered conservative.  And I could go to the most serious business meeting in my Bermuda shorts and be told that I was properly dressed.

As I was saying, the first written account of Bermuda was made by a Spanish sea captain in the 1500's.  And the document really interests me because it’s the country's first shopping list with recipes.  I quote: "The birds came to us and perched on our heads, we brought more than five hundred to the ship.  We cooked them with hot water and they were so fat and good, that every night the men went hunting for them.  We dried and salted more than one thousand for the voyage home.  We also caught great numbers of fish.  Groupers, parrot fish and especially red snappers which were so plentiful, we were able to catch them with our hands.” So from the very beginning Bermuda was a great spot for a good meal.

The story of England's involvement with Bermuda begins with Sir George Summers.  He was the Admiral of a small fleet that had set sail from England with colonists who intended to settle in Virginia.  On July 28, 1609, a huge storm drove the Admiral's ship onto the rocks that surrounded Bermuda.  On board the ship was Sir Thomas Gates, who was going to Virginia to become the Governor of the colony.  Summers, the professional seaman and Gates, the professional politician, had different views on building a ship to continue the voyage to Virginia.  And so each built to their own design.  A full sized replica of Gates' ship, named Deliverance, now stands on a small island in front of the town of St. George. 

Summers' ship was named Patience, and both Patience and Deliverance showed up in the Virginia colony of Jamestown in 1610.  Jamestown was in terrible shape and Summers had no real interest in hanging around, but he had to have an excuse to leave, so he told everybody he was going back to Bermuda to get them more food.  Whether he really intended to do that, or just push on to England, we'll never know because when Summers got to Bermuda he died.  His heart was removed and buried here and the rest of him shipped back to England.  Which I guess makes Summers the first tourist to leave his heart in Bermuda. 

The description of Bermuda given by Sir George's nephew, Matthew, was so positive that it convinced the king to grant a new charter for the development of Bermuda.  In 1612, the first intentional settlers arrived on these islands. 

The islands that make up Bermuda are some six hundred miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, in an area long famous for exceptional fishing.  The result is a four hundred year old history of outstanding fish cookery.

A private home that is over a century old has been restored and transformed into one of Bermuda's finest restaurants.  It's called Once Upon A Table and its run by Lou Harvey.  The interior has been decorated in the Victorian style of the 1800's and the food is basically French with a Bermudian influence.  If you're in Bermuda and you give Lou thirty-six hours notice, he will  produce a traditional Bermudian meal. 

LOU HARVEY:  Today, Burt, we're going to start with traditional Bermuda fish cakes.  A fish cake of course you can present it with ... as I present it here today with a honey mustard sauce and topped with banana.  Also, you can make fish pies out of the codfish, you can do a whole host of different things.

BURT WOLF:  Codfish is really an old standby here isn't it?

LOU HARVEY:  Codfish is a basic yes, a very traditional Sunday morning breakfast that we have here in Bermuda.  And after that we're going to follow along with a ... with a Bermuda fish chowder which is very traditional.  And it's made from fish stock and other herbs and spices.  And that ... has been laced with black rum and sherry peppers.

BURT WOLF:  Everybody puts in a little bit Gosling's rum and Outerbridges’ Sherry Pepper Sauce.

LOU HARVEY:  Most certainly, the fish chowder without Outerbridges’ Sherry Pepper and black rum, isn’t really fish chowder.  And after that we can go into a pan-fried yellowtail and the yellowtail is really from our local waters.  And what we're presenting it on today is crushed pink peppercorns and also a black rum butter sauce.  After the snapper we're going to have a little pork noisette.  And again with the pork which was ...  eaten quite a bit in Bermuda, due to the fact that we had a lot of hogs running wild here.

BURT WOLF:  I saw the original map of Bermuda drawn by Admiral Summers, and in the lower right hand corner, there were a group of hogs that they feel were left here by a Spanish galleon.  They were, I guess, the original inhabitants of the island.

LOU HARVEY:  Yeah, exactly, well ... Bermuda as you know is named after Juan DesBermudez, and ... this is where we had the rock named Spanish rock where he came in, down there by Smith’s Parish, and of course that hearing these wild hogs, he probably thought that it was devils.  That's why Bermuda is also named Devil's Island.  Yeah.  Mhmm.

BURT WOLF:  The fish cakes and the fish chowder are traditional Bermudian dishes, but because the ingredients are generally available and the technique is so simple, it's just the kind of recipes I like to learn.

Let's start with the fish cakes.  They're being prepared by the chef at Once Upon A Table, Gerhard Lipp. 

This recipe starts with a pound of dried codfish, which looks like this.  You soak it in water for about eight hours, changing the water twice during that time period.  If you don't like codfish or you can't get it, you can use any white firm-fleshed fish; you don't have to soak it, but you do have to cook it.  And then you'll need three or four potatoes that you've boiled and cut into pieces so you can mash that together. 

The fish and the potatoes go into a mixing bowl, followed by two tablespoons of chopped onion, two tablespoons of chopped parsley, a tablespoon of basil, a hit of Outerbridges’ Sherry Pepper sauce and some ground black pepper.  All that is mashed together.  The final ingredient is a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.  The mixture is formed into little cakes about three inches in diameter and given a light coating of flour.  Two tablespoons of vegetable oil and two tablespoons of butter are heated together in a frying pan and the fish cakes are sauteed until they develop a golden brown color.

CHEF:  You fry them very crispy on the outside so when you bite in it they're nice and crunchy.

BURT WOLF:  When they come out of the pan, they go onto some paper toweling to drain, and then onto a serving plate with a sauce made from mayonnaise, mustard and honey.

Wherever the sea meets the shore, cooks use seafood to make a soup. 

As soup gets thicker, it becomes a stew.  But when does a fish soup become a chowder?  Not an easy distinction to make.  The word chowder appears to point to a thick soup made along the east coast of Canada.  First time you see the word in print is in the mid 1700's and Herman Melville uses it in his novel, Moby Dick.  He talks about towns along the east coast where you've got seafood chowder for breakfast, seafood chowder for lunch and seafood chowder for dinner, until you got to a point when you start looking at your clothing to see if fishbones are sticking out.

In Boston itself, and going north, chowders almost always have a milk base.  Starting in Rhode Island and going south, chowders are usually based on tomatoes and their juices.

It was a highly charged emotional issue.  There were actually governments in New England that passed laws saying that it was illegal to make a chowder without using milk.  Here in Bermuda they make a chowder without milk.  Is that simply because cows were never really important in Bermuda?  Or is it a political statement, a reference to the fact that not everybody in Bermuda was loyal to the King of England during the  War of Independence.  I'll have to get back to you on that.

Two quarts of fish stock or chicken stock go into a large saucepan, followed by a cup of chopped onion, cup of chopped celery.  A cup of chopped carrots.  Then in goes a chopped tomato and its juices.  A half cup of parsley, three bay leaves.  Two tablespoons of basil, two tablespoons of oregano, a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and finally a tablespoon of rosemary.   All that is brought to a boil and simmered for thirty minutes, at which point in go two pounds of boneless, skinless fish filets that have been cut up into bite- size pieces.  The best fish for a Bermuda fish chowder is porgy, rockfish or grouper, but any mild-flavored, firm-fleshed fish will do the trick.  Ten minutes more of cooking and the chowder is ready to go into serving bowls.  Just before it goes to the table, the chef adds a touch of Bermuda Black Seal Rum and a little of Outerbridges’ Sherry pepper sauce.

The success of the revolutionary forces during the American War of Independence against England, deprived the British Navy of its ports on the east coast of North America and placed the British fleet in a somewhat insecure position.  The young American Navy was quite aggressive, and England feared that their position as ruler of the seas might soon be challenged.  So in the late 1700's England devised a plan to construct a naval fortress on Bermuda.  And by 1807, the work was well underway.  The most interesting structure is the Clocktower building.  It was meant to be a very dull simple Navy warehouse.  Ah, but the wrong plans were sent from London.  Bermuda totally by mistake got the architectural renderings that were supposed to be the British Embassy in Khartoum.  And they used those in error to produce this magnificent building.  It does really make you wonder what the British Embassy looks like in Khartoum.

The Clocktower has four faces and everybody around here calls it the “four faced liar,” simply because no one face can keep time with the others.  It has some value though; if you're late for work you can select which face you want to refer to, and the same is true if you want to leave early.  The towers are a hundred and one feet high and they have become one of Bermuda's most recognizable landmarks. 

The U.S. Navy never really gave any trouble to the Royal Naval Dockyards, but the yards were an incredible source of aggravation to the U.S.  It was from these docks that a British invasion force crossed over and attacked Washington during the War of 1812.  They actually burned down part of the White House.  It was the only time that the United States was invaded, assuming of course you exclude British rock bands and Japanese investment bankers.

When the First World War started in 1914, the Bermuda dockyards became a key element in Great Britain's defense.  And that role was repeated for both the English and the U.S. forces during the Second World War.  This yard was a major port for ship repairs and anti-submarine patrols. 

But in 1950, the British Navy closed the dockyard and it fell into a state of neglect.  Fortunately, a group of local citizens realized that the dockyard was a valuable historic property and began bringing it back to life.

The keep-yard has become the setting for the Maritime Museum, where Bermuda's maritime history is on display.  The old Cooperage where storage barrels were once made, is now the Frog And Onion Pub.  The name was a somewhat rude reference to the fact that the establishment is owned by a Frenchman, the Frog, and a Bermudian, the onion.  That seems rather unfair: onions are on the menu, but no frogs. 

Next door is the Bermuda Art Center, with regular exhibitions by local artists.  When the Clocktower was first constructed, it was regularly visited by the captain in charge and his cashier,  and housed the Naval Store Offices.  Today it is a residence for all sorts of local stores, each with its own cashier and ready to accept your charge cards.  Proving once again that the more things change, the more they are the same.

The dockyard hosts the Island Pottery, where potters pot jugs, bowls, teapots and vases to your order.  The husband’s waiting chair is a somewhat sexist element, but clearly quite functional.  There's also a craft market which sells works made by Bermudian craftsmen and women.  As well as a complete selection of locally-produced foods and beverages for tourists to take home. 

The Fourways Inn is one of Bermuda's best restaurants, and enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellent food and service.  The building was originally constructed as a private home in 1727.  In 1975, the property was purchased by Walter Sommer.  Walter was trained at the famous hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland and spent many years developing some of the most important hotels and restaurants in the Carribean and on Bermuda.

After he got the restaurant in top shape, he began to develop a series of Bermudian food products, including an instant souffle.

WALTER SOMMER:  We discovered we'd be the first company to develop such a product.  Now the product is in a powder form.  You can have four different souffles.  That will mean that a lady or gentleman that can do the souffle without having a dirty kitchen, and a guaranteed product in twelve minutes.

WOLF:  The Bermuda Hotel and Catering College opened in 1965; today it’s part of the Bermuda College.  The school actually built its own hotel so the students could have a real working environment.  It's called the Stonington Beach Hotel, and the food and the restaurant's services are top-notch. 

Fred Ming is one of the leading instructors at the school and today he's giving me a private class.  The subject of which is his recipe for roast loin of pork with papaya stuffing.  The stuffing is made from chopped onion, garlic, sausage, bread crumbs and papaya.  A rack of pork is sliced almost in half, stuffed with a stuffing and roasted in a 375 degree oven until a meat thermometer indicates an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

FRED MING:  So that when you do sink your teeth into it, it's not going to sort of pull out any of your teeth to any extent.  It's going to be still be nice and ... nice and soft, nice and soft.

BURT WOLF:  The sauce is made from vinegar, sugar and crushed pineapple.  A little cinnamon and some brown sugar go onto two rounds of pineapple, which are then seared in a grill pan.  The pork comes out, some red cabbage goes onto a serving plate and the sauce, a slice of the stuffed pork, the pineapple rings, some carrots, a little broccoli and its ready to serve.

In 1964, Argosy Magazine ran an article that described the unexplained disappearance of an extraordinary number of ships and planes in a triangular area between Bermuda, the coast of Florida and the island of Puerto Rico.  The article told the story of a British ship named the Ellen Austin.  In 1881, the Austin came upon an abandoned vessel in the triangle; the craft was in perfect working order.  There was no crew on board.  The captain of the Austin put some of his own men onto the empty ship and instructed them to head for Nova Scotia on the coast of Canada.  A few days later, the two ships met up, and once again, the crew on the mystery ship had vanished.

The legend of the Bermuda Triangle also includes the story of the flight of five U.S. Air Force fighter planes that took off on a routine patrol from Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1945.  At one point the flight leader of the group radioed ground control that he was lost.  The rescue plane was sent out to help.  All six planes disappeared without a trace.

Since the original publication of the story about the Bermuda Triangle, there have been dozens of additional newspaper and magazine articles, a couple of television specials and even a movie.  Eventually somebody decided to take a real close look at this material.  It happened to be a man who was the head of the library at the University of Arizona.  And he used his research skills to scientifically evaluate all of the material.  He got hold of this stuff from the 1800's.  He was able to put his hands on a copy of the military transcript of the conversation between the five fighter pilots and the ground controllers.  And he tracked down all of the stories about the triangle.  When this material is subjected to scientific analysis, the conclusion is obvious:  none of it is true.  There is nothing going on in the Bermuda Triangle that doesn't go on every place else. 

There is however, one mysterious element that remains.

Bermuda Chef Norbert Stange at the Wyndham’s Elbow Beach Resort, baked something called The Bermuda Triangle Cookie.  And there are continuing reports of their disappearance in extremely large numbers.  I felt I should investigate the situation in some detail. 

The recipe starts with four cups of heavy cream being heated in a sauce pan.  And in go four ounces of butter, four cups of sugar, and a cup of honey.  All that cooks for about five minutes.  And add in four cups of sliced almonds.  Another five minutes of cooking and the mixture is ready to be poured onto a sheet of pre-baked pastry dough that has been used to line a jelly roll pan.  Twenty minutes in a 350 degree oven, and the sheet is cut into triangles. 

And it is at this very point that the disappearances occur.

The people who came to vacation in Bermuda during the past two centuries represented hundreds of different occupations.  Businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers, factory workers, even television reporters have come here for their holidays.  And they have all shared at least one objective, and that was to leave their work at home.

Nobody paid any real attention to the occupations of the tourists, except for a small group of people who were inspired by the vision of Tom Butterfield.  Mr. Butterfield realized that not all of the tourists left their work at home.  Some of them continued their craft when they were here and actually did some of their best work on Bermuda.  Those people were artists...  as a matter of fact, some of the world's most famous artists.  Only problem was when they finished their vacation, they brought those paintings and drawings back home.  To solve that problem, the Masterworks Foundation Gallery was formed, with the objective of bringing those works back to Bermuda.

It's organized as a charitable trust and run completely by unpaid volunteers.  Some of the works in the collection have been purchased, others are here on loan.  Each of them gives you a unique look at Bermuda through the eyes of an outstanding artist. 

TOM BUTTERFIELD:  This is a work by E. Ambrose Webster; it's a large oil of a family, painted in 1922, and this is the first portrait that we've ever been able to find of any Bermudian, black or white, painted on a non-commissioned purpose.  And we were very excited to find it.  This is a work by Jack Bush.  What's exciting about it is that Jack Bush to many Canadians is known as an abstract painter, and it is, it's a work that is just so charged with energy and light and life and vitality, that we love having it.  And just one ... a little anecdote, I had to run the London Marathon to raise the money to get it, but it was worth every mile.  This is a work by Ogden Pleisner; when we originally found it, it was titled The Mango Tree; however it is more correctly the PauPau tree, and just in interest, we use paupau here on this island to thicken our fish chowders.  Pleisner has no other peers in the watercolor medium, except for obviously the likes of Winslow Homer, so having six in our collection means a lot to us.  And he is nothing less than genius.

BURT WOLF:  The great American master Winslow Homer visited Bermuda and produced some twenty works.  This picture, called Bermuda Settlers, illustrated Homer's vision of the wild hogs that were found on Bermuda by the early English settlers.  The hogs we think had been left here by the Spanish explorers who had to stop back later and use their increased numbers to resupply their ships.  Good food has always inspired good art.

Bermuda's first settlers built cedar-framed all- timbered houses that were thatched with palmetto leaves.  During the early 1700's, the desire to conserve cedar for the profitable construction of ships led to the increased use of limestone.  Whatever material was used, the design had to meet the very unique environmental demands of these islands.

First of all, as the original settlers knew only too well, having arrived here as a result of a horrendous ocean storm, this island can from time to time be in the path of some difficult weather.  Second of all, there is no source of fresh water, save that which descends from the heaven in the form of rain.  And finally there are fabulous ocean breezes that come off the sea and you wouldn't want to miss them during the warm summer months.

The result of these elemental forces is an architectural style that is truly unique to Bermuda, that is valid today as it was almost three hundred years ago when it was originally developed.  Logs were used to build a basic frame, slices of limestone called slates were layered down like dominoes.  The bottom slate went on first, the bottom limestone layers went on in a way that formed a set of steps.  The final form was sealed with a wash of lime.  Downpipes pulled the raindrops together and directed them to a holding tank dug into the rock next to the building.  That was the basic plan for the original structures and even today, Bermuda's buildings are topped with a roof that acts as a giant rain pipe.  Even the chimneys are topped with forms that are designed to save rainwater.  The only major difference appears to be that these days the storage tanks are under the buildings rather than next to them.  The walls of the buildings are thick and sturdy and well suited to withstand the occasional passing storm.  They're also ideal for capturing the cool and gentle breezes that come off the ocean.  Around each window are a set of shutters that help contain the cool air.  Many buildings have open porches that give the building more roof area for the water works and a shaded area for outdoor living.  Bermuda's limestone met the most important needs of the island's early home builders, but it’s not a material that lends itself to architectural detail.  There are few decorative elements in the buildings of Bermuda.  On the other hand, they have a certain sculptural quality with clean crisp lines that reflect the ever-changing light patterns.

In many ways, the architecture of Bermuda is extremely natural and therefore very pleasing.  It’s done a good job of withstanding both the physical and critical tests of time.  Well, that's our report from Bermuda.  Please join us next time as we travel around the world looking for good things to eat and the reasons why people eat them.  I'm Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Islands of Bermuda - #902

BURT WOLF: On June 23rd 1609, an English ship carrying colonists to Virginia encountered a storm. A storm that sent it crashing into an ocean reef. The ship, named the Sea Venture was about 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

But the reefs that they hit were not just any reefs; they were the reefs surrounding Bermuda.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: And the 150 people who made it to shore safely became Bermuda’s first settlers. Wasn’t where they intended to end up but in many ways it was better.

BURT WOLF: The islands of Bermuda are the result of a volcanic eruption that took place about 70 million years ago. It sent up a three mile high needle of rock that topped out just below the surface of the water. The rock was in the middle of the Gulf Stream which comes up from the Caribbean and keeps the waters warm throughout the year. The warm water attracted coral life and over the centuries the rock was covered with the compressed shells that formed the 250 foot thick limestone cap that is now Bermuda. The pinkness of the shells produced Bermuda’s famous pink beaches.

Bermuda is a member of the British Commonwealth, but England is 3,500 miles away. United States a mere 600. Bermuda looks to England for its culture but its biggest trading partner is the United States and even today its currency, the Bermuda dollar is on a par and used interchangeably with the U.S. dollar. Bermuda was founded by Europeans but 60 percent of its present population descended from African slaves. Diverse elements, but somehow Bermuda has been able to blend them together. And in many ways they have done a better job than most nations faced with similar histories. The net result is one of the most beautiful, interesting and hospitable resorts in the world.


BURT WOLF: The capital city of Bermuda is Hamilton.

Hamilton has plenty of taxis. And the amount of truck traffic you’d expect for a town with 2,000 inhabitants, but not many cars.

Bermuda actually has a long history of opposing automobiles. The government only allowed them in after the Second World War. Even today, each family is limited to one car per resident and the maximum speed is 20 miles per hour.

As a result, the primary mode of transportation is the motor scooter. And that’s true for many tourists as well as residents.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Ah, it’s biker time.

BURT WOLF: Motor scooters are easy to rent.


JASON NESS ON CAMERA: Afternoon, how you doing?

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: I’m doing fine, how are you?


BURT WOLF: Everyone gets an introductory lesson, and a helmet that must be worn.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: Does it fit okay?

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Perfect. Alright.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: First things first here, push the bike forward to take it off the kickstand.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Push the bike forward to take it off the kickstand, right.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: Step down, lift back to put it back on.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: That’s it? I can do this.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: That’s—yeah, there’s more to it though.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Oh, hold on, hold on, hold on.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: To start the bike, key in the ignition, turn it to the right, squeeze both breaks. Headlights are over here, high and low beam, turn signals. And remember you do have to cancel them by pushing that in.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: You have to cancel by turning it off.


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: I like the horn.

JASON NESS ON CAMERA: That’s just the Bermuda greeting. If you hear anybody honking at you, they’re just saying hi.


JASON NESS ON CAMERA: We drive on the left here. That’s probably the most important thing for you to remember.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Okay. I’m ready.




BURT WOLF: And a reminder that Bermudian drivers are very polite and you are expected to follow suit. Hamilton contains the island’s major shopping area which is Front Street West. It runs along the harbor and consists of a series of three story buildings filled with shops and restaurants.

PHOTOGRAPHER ON CAMERA: Hey Mike, think honeymoon!

MIKE ON CAMERA: Honeymoon, you bet!


BURT WOLF: These are the Royal Naval Dockyards of Bermuda—a huge military fortress that was built by the British Navy in the late 1700s, and for good reason.

When the United States won the War of Independence against England, the British Navy lost its ports along the east coast of North America. The young American Navy was quite aggressive and England began to feel insecure about its position as ruler of the seas. This fort made them feel a little more confident about their situation.

ADMIRAL BRYAN DARBY ON CAMERA: My name is Bryan Darby, I am the Admiral of Dockyard and I represent a man called Admiral Richard Coburn. Basically you’re looking at a Victorian Dockyard; it’s only 200 years old. It was built by convicts. Sadly we had to bring 8000 convicts out from England, and they turned this fortress into what was called the Gibraltar of the West. And the reason for it was because Britain was losing control of the world to America. So if you’ll follow me, this a’ way.

This building here is a warehouse, but the top corner there is, in fact, the Dockyard church. They forgot to put a church in the plans when they built it, and found a very strong demand for a church around about 1850, so they gave them the top half of this building and they turned it into a Victorian church with about capacity for about 600 people. When 1938 came around, many years later, my father—my real father—was sent out from England to be the Chaplin of the Dockyard and run this church. And they turned this into the only interdenominational church in the history of the British navy. Sounds nice to us, doesn’t it? 

Unfortunately, it was against orders. So my dad was cashiered and sent back to England in disgrace, but he’d had the good sense to have me born before he did that. Many, many, years later the Queen of England gave him the OBE, which is the Order of the British Empire or Other Buggers Efforts I think they call it. Anyhow, he was quite pleased to get it, but he didn’t know why until they sent him his papers from his navy days and across the Bermuda page someone had written in ink, “When this chap retires give him a gong for what he did for the young men.” So thank you, Dad.

These buildings here were built by the navy for their offices. As you may see: small rooms, no ventilation, roofs made of lead. But the lead on the roof was dynamite. We drink the water off our roofs and that was dumb. But we never thought to ask. I don’t know what it is about the British.

This is called the four-face liar. I don’t have to tell you why, do I? It never tells the right time. Never.

And there’s my ship. Come and look at this beautiful boat. I give you The Spirit of Bermuda. What a lovely name for a ship. If you look at those masts, they had a rig called the Bermuda Rig. All the other ships of the day had square riggers, they were tall ships. We invented

the Bermuda rig, and that’s a sloop rig—and it goes much, much faster. So put 35 guns on a small boat like that and you’re quite a force to be reckoned with. This way please.

This is called a sheer leg crane. We had to have a crane in the dockyards. Out in the mail came these two sockets. And they said and now you get a 110-foot length of Canadian spruce, and you stick them in the holes, bring it up to the top, put a rope on top, with lovely winches and stays and what have you. When your ship comes in, you lower this enormous great structure over the ship and you pluck out the guns, and the cargo and the masts at will. Wonderful in theory. In practice, it weighed 43 tons. And sometimes the weight of the cargo overwhelmed the strength of the winch. It’s the only crane in history to have sunk three warships. Straight through the bottom. So they took it away. Isn’t that sad? Sad.

So you’re in a very interesting country, a very interesting island, and a most interesting spot in the world is Bermuda. Dockyard is the number one tourist attraction, and I am very pleased you are here today. Thank you very much indeed.


BURT WOLF: St. George’s was the original capital of Bermuda. And the second English town established in the New World. And much of its old English atmosphere survives.

The local church, St. Peter’s, is the oldest Anglican Church in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere.

Across the road is the State House, which is the oldest building in Bermuda. Dates back to 1620.

The Bermuda Perfumery was founded in 1928, when the gardens were coming into their own and traditions were being established. To this day each bottle continues to be filled by the dedicated staff. They manufacture perfumes with the best ingredients from around the world.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The reefs outside the harbor of St. George’s always made the approach rather treacherous. And as ships got bigger the problem became more pronounced. In 1815 the government of Bermuda decided to move its capitol from St. George’s to Hamilton, which had a better harbor. As a result, things in St. George’s got a lot quieter, and that’s one of the reasons they’ve been able to hold on to so much of their historic architecture.

BURT WOLF: Bermuda architecture is one of the most interesting aspects of the community. The buildings are constructed with a design that is unique to these islands. It is a response to the climate and the building materials that are available in the middle of the Atlantic. Vince Caan is a Bermuda taxi guide with a special interest in the local architecture.

VINCE CAAN ON CAMERA: The architecture in Bermuda is very unique. The homes are very solid; there are no frame homes. They’re made out of Bermuda stone or concrete block in the modern day. And we need that sort of structure to support our roofs, which -- we depend on rainwater from our roofs. The roofs are made of Bermuda stone. It’s cut into a slate; it’s about sixteen inches long and about a foot square and about an inch thick. And it’s laid similar to the way you lay your shingles in America. The roofs are painted with a lime wash, which is a lime powder you mix with water and it forms like a latex paint. That helps to keep the water purified. There’s a gutter incorporated into the roof, and it’s on a ten-to-thirty degree angle. And the rainwater is caught from the roofs and goes down into the tank, and a pressurized pump system pumps it back through the house. Every tank has a trap door, and the trap door by law must be on the exterior of the house. And of course the Fire Department reserves the right of putting their hose in any tank. They will replenish the water they take out -- so you don’t need hydrants.

Bermuda is noted for its pastel colors. In the old days, that I can remember, you had two colors. You had brick dust, and you mixed the brick dust with lime, which was white, and you got a pink. So you’ll see multitudes of different shades of pink. And the blue came from the old days; they used to put bluing in your white clothes, to whiten your clothes, so they used to crush that. There used to be a blue cube, they used to crush it and mix it with the lime wash, and you got blue, pale blues. So here we are in the modern day with computerized paint mixing, you got a variety of other colors.


BURT WOLF: The Bermuda Natural History Society was founded in 1901 with specific instructions to find out what was happening in the waters around Bermuda. Since then it has expanded into the Bermuda Aquarium, Natural History Museum, and Zoo.

Today its home to over 100 species of fish, plus an interesting selection of golden lion tamarin monkeys, scarlet ivis, giant tortoises, and children fascinated by the exhibits.

Doctor Ian Walker is the curator of the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo.

DR. IAN WALKER: That’s one of our golden lion tamarin monkeys. So we have three in this exhibit that run free.

DR. IAN WALKER ON CAMERA: And, they are very curious little monkeys, and they love to come up to visitors. But they’re absolutely beautiful. And I can say we have three in this exhibit, we have two males and one female.


DR. IAN WALKER: There we are. There we have Rosiette the spoonbill.

BURT WOLF: Spoonbill.

DR. IAN WALKER: Spoonbill. Named obviously from the shape of their beak. They’ll stick their bill in the water and…

BURT WOLF: Suck up everything they can?

DR. IAN WALKER: That’s right

DR. IAN WALKER ON CAMERA: This is our 148,000 gallon North Rock exhibit tank.

DR. IAN WALKER: And it’s uh designed to exhibit the most northerly coral reef system in the world—which is uh the North Rock—about eight miles North of here.

DR. IAN WALKER ON CAMERA: But we have a whole bunch of different fish in the tank and one of our favorites is Darth Vader, the black Grouper. He likes to come over and be petted.

Have you ever petted a grouper?


DR. IAN WALKER ON CAMERA: Would you like to?


DR. IAN WALKER: This is actually a natural behavior for them—not actually necessarily coming up to humans.

DR. IAN WALKER ON CAMERA: but posturing like this to be cleaned. So he’ll come up, and uh ordinarily in the reef fish like this would go into a sea frond or something like that. And they would just posture which would indicate that the other fish were safe to approach them and pick little bits of skin; you name it, off them. Give them a good cleaning. So--

BURT WOLF: It’s a spa treatment.

IAN WALKER: Exactly.

BURT WOLF: Darth, see ya around!


BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The two great spectator sports in Bermuda are: Soccer and Cricket.

Ah, soccer is pretty easy to follow. You kick the ball or butt it with your head and try to get it into a netted area at the end of the field and the opposing team tries to stop you.

Cricket, on the other hand, is very British and a little complicated and—I’ll have to get back to you on that.

BURT WOLF: The four primary participatory sports are:

Golf, tennis, kite flying and sailing.

Bermuda has more golf courses per square mile than any other country. And the first time the PGA Grand Slam of Golf was held outside of the United States it was held at the Mid-Ocean Golf Club in Bermuda. The beauty of the Tucker Point Club is a perfect example of why golf is so popular.

Tennis is a big deal in Bermuda too. There are over 400 courts on the island.

Kites are made and flown throughout the year and there are experts available who will help you build a kite and teach you or reacquaint you with the proper techniques.

Competitive sailing got started in Bermuda during the early 1800s, when work boats were refitted for racing and British naval officers took up the sport.

The boat used to train the youngest sailors is called an Optimist. It was designed in 1947 for a men’s club called The Optimists. They wanted to start the sailing equivalent of a child’s soap box derby. Today, 150,000 young sailors train on Optimists and the training appears to work – 70% of the sailors who have won gold medals in the Olympics started out in an Optimist.

Every two years, in the middle of June, over 180 sail boats gather together in Newport Rhode Island to take part in the Newport Bermuda Race. For over 100 years sail boats have assembled here to begin a race that takes them across 635 miles of ocean --- ocean known for challenging weather, strong currents and the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is a series a powerful currents that act almost like a separate river in the middle of the ocean. It has the power to decide where your boat will be going without prior consultation with your crew. The fleet is divided into five divisions to allow boats of various sizes and designs to compete fairly in what is one of the world’s most famous and aggressive ocean races. The race ends in Bermuda with the kind of celebration that is traditional for Bermudians.


BURT WOLF: During the 1600s, the primary source of great wealth to plantation owners in the Caribbean, was sugar. A bi-product of refining sugar was molasses and a bi-product of processing molasses was rum.

In Bermuda the Gosling family has been making rum since 1863. The first Gosling arrived in Bermuda in much the same way as the original settlers. He was headed to the United States and weather forced the ship into Bermuda. And like the first settlers, 200 years before, he decided to stay.

Today Gosling’s is the largest exporter of a Bermuda made product.


BURT WOLF: Bermuda has hundreds of restaurants catering to many different tastes.

One is the Sunday morning breakfast specialty of codfish and potatoes served with boiled egg, sautéed onions, tomato sauce with more onions, a Johnny Cake, a banana, a slice of avocado and a piece of cassava pie. It’s a specialty.

There are restaurants that are known for their local dishes like Bermuda Fish Chowder topped with Sherry Pepper Sauce and Black Rum.

There are chefs that prepare the classic recipes of France like the traditional onion soup.

There are bistros doing an excellent job with seafood, including spiny lobster.

There are restaurants that cater primarily to locals and can be fun to visit.

And finally, there are British-inspired pubs serving traditional pub grub of bangers and mash.

And of course you must stop in for high tea.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: Afternoon tea got started in Britain during the 1840s when the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who also held the title of Lady of the Bed Chamber, decided that she was getting hungry between lunch and dinner and wanted to have a little snack—which she took secretly in her bed chamber, and consisted of tea and some little bread and butter sandwiches. Eventually her friends heard about it, and it turned into an afternoon tea party, which became common amongst the British all over the world.


BURT WOLF: In 1883, Princess Louise, who was the daughter of England’s Queen Victoria and the wife of the Governor General of Canada, spent her winter holiday in Bermuda. Putting aside the question of why a princess needs a holiday in the first place, her visit was covered by all the socially important magazines and newspapers in England, Canada and the United States. Suddenly, Bermuda was fashionable and local developers began developing a suitable hotel.

On January 1st, 1885, just two years after the visit by Princess Louise, The Fairmont Hamilton Princess welcomed its first guests. The idea was to have a hotel in Bermuda that was so luxurious that it would attract people who normally vacationed in Palm Beach.

BURT WOLF ON CAMERA: The hotel was the place—flattering gas lights in each room, five-inch mirrors on the dressing tables so you could see how good you looked in the flattering gas lights, hot and cold running water in the bathrooms—amazing stuff for the time. Cruise ships began bringing in guests from the East Coast of the United States and the hotel became famous.

BURT WOLF: These days the Fairmont Hamilton Princess is in better shape than ever. It overlooks Hamilton Harbor and remains a center for social and business gatherings.

For a number of years, The Hamilton Princess has had a younger sibling, The Fairmont Southampton. The Southampton sits on top of one of the highest hills in Bermuda. Each guest room has its own private balcony and most have panoramic views of the island. It has its own 18-hole executive par-3 golf course.

Spas are a big deal in Bermuda and Southampton’s Willow Stream Spa is a perfect example. It has 31,000 square feet of facilities, including 15 private treatment rooms, three lounge areas, a private indoor pool and separate men’s and women’s saunas. There’s a heated indoor pool with a waterfall and gardens, and two outdoor Jacuzzis on a sundeck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The two hotels run as a team. All the facilities at each hotel are available to guests no matter which hotel they are staying at. And there’s a private ferry that takes you between the two properties. Princess Louise would have loved it.

Today, tourism is responsible for over half of Bermuda’s income, which makes it an essential part of an economy that imports almost everything. The government is constantly active in managing Bermuda tourism, and its primary interest is in quality rather than quantity. Over forty percent of Bermuda’s tourists are repeat visitors and the government wants to keep it that way.

That’s Travels & Traditions in Bermuda. I’m Burt Wolf.

Travels & Traditions: Bermuda - #112

The islands of Bermuda. They are the coral-covered peaks of a mountain that came up from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean seventy million years ago.  Today Bermuda is a fashionable resort with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches... a land with more golf courses per square mile than any other country... It has a functional architecture that is unlike any other in the world...  and an underground that is just as interesting.  It’s an island filled with sports -- and shorts!  Not bad for a twenty-one square mile rock sitting in the Atlantic, about six hundred miles off the east coast of the United States.  So join me, Burt Wolf, for TRAVELS & TRADITIONS  in Bermuda.

The first visitor to Bermuda was Juan de Bermudez, who stopped by in 1503, left his name on a rock and moved on. The Spanish knew about Bermuda because it was the spot where their treasure ships made a right turn to head back to Spain. The first settlers were a group of English colonists who arrived in 1609. They were on their way to Jamestown, Virginia when a storm took them off course and blew them into the rocks of Bermuda.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Eventually Bermuda became an English colony off the coast of North America.  But for four hundred years it has been trying to balance its British history with its American geography.  It’s only six hundred miles from North America, but it is 3,500 miles from England.  And from the very beginning, North America has been its biggest trading partner. Even today the U.S. dollar and the Bermudian dollar are on a par, and used interchangeably.  But that is not true for the English pound.

 This is the town of St. George’s. It was the first capital of Bermuda and has retained much of its historic English atmosphere. 

TOWN CRIER:  Oyez!  On behalf of the Mayor, the aldermen and common counselors, we welcome all of our visitors to St. George’s -- the oldest continually-inhabited English-speaking town in the Western Hemisphere!  Now:  the Mayor has instructed me of putting you in the chair and ducking you five times or until you repent!

WENCH:  For what?  I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m telling you.  You’re confused.  The Mayor’s confused, all of you guys.

TOWN CRIER:  I’m confused?  We’ll see who’s confused.  All those in favor of ducking this obviously non-repentant gossiping, nagging wench, say AYE!


TOWN CRIER:  Step aside, come on --

WENCH:  I’m not getting wet today!

TOWN CRIER:  You’re not getting wet?  We’ll see --

WENCH:  No, I don’t wanna go in the water -- 

TOWN CRIER:  Raise her up!

WENCH:  No!  No!  Wait!  Wait wait wait!!! No no no!!!!  You’ve got the wrong person, I’m telling you!

TOWN CRIER:  You’ve been found guilty by a jury of your peers!

WENCH:  Oh, and look at the way they dress, like they can judge anything!

TOWN CRIER:  Excuse me, madam, excuse me.  These are our visitors, these are our guests.

WENCH:  I still wanna be pulled in and go home!  

TOWN CRIER:  You will be soon.

WENCH:  You guys, pull me in and I’ll take you over, we’ll buy a beer over at the Whitehorse --   No!  Don’t put me --




WENCH:  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!   Okay, all right -- I confess it’s my fault --!

BURT WOLF:   Good, ‘cause I’m exhausted!

WENCH:  I’m very sorry, sir --


WENCH:  -- and I promise I won’t gossip about... anything...

TOWN CRIER:  Bring her in!  That’s enough.  Be off with you, woman!

WENCH:  Off with me?  

TOWN CRIER:  You wretched woman!

WENCH:  I know where you live!

TOWN CRIER:  The next one -- push her out --

SECOND WENCH:  Okay -- I say I’m guilty!  I’M GUILTY!!!

On a small island in front of the town is a full-sized replica of Deliverance.  Deliverance was the ship built by some of the original shipwrecked colonists who wanted to continue their journey to Virginia.

St. George’s was the second English town established in the New World. The local church is St. Peter’s, which is the oldest Anglican church in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere. The altar was made of local Bermuda cedar in 1624. The triple-decker pulpit also dates from the 1600s. The vestry contains some of the most precious sacred vessels and rare silver in the western world... a Charles I chalice sent to Bermuda in 1625, a complete William of Orange communion set... and an Adams-period christening bowl. The British flag flies on one side of the church, the American flag on the other. Many of the headstones in the churchyard date back over three hundred years.  And right next to the church is a sweetshop called Temptations.  Their sign offers Heavenly Pies, Divine Hot Dogs, and Sinfully Delicious Ice Cream... the ice cream got me.

At the top of King Street you will find the State House, which is the oldest building in Bermuda. It dates back to 1620. The building was also used to store gunpowder, which did not please the members of the Assembly. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The governor, disregarding his own safety, agreed to store the powder in his home.  But when he found out that the Tucker family had stolen most of the powder from his home and sold it to General George Washington right smack in the middle of the American Revolution, he reconsidered and returned the powder to the State House -- storing it in the attic directly above the seats occupied by the Tucker family.  Nice touch.

As you travel around Bermuda you may notice that many people travel by motorscooter or bus rather than by car.  Bermuda banned all motor vehicles until the end of World War II.  And they are still not thrilled with automobiles. Today each family is allowed only one car, that’s it. There are no rental cars for tourists, but lots of taxis and the Bermuda bus system, which is very effective.  Many tourists rent motorscooters, which are easy to handle and lots of fun. The national speed limit of twenty miles per hour keeps the roads relatively safe. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The reefs outside the harbor of St. George’s always made the approach rather treacherous.  And as ships got bigger the problem became more pronounced.  In 1815 the government of Bermuda decided to move its capitol from St. George’s to Hamilton, which had a better harbor.  As a result, things in St. George’s got a lot quieter, and that’s one of the reasons they’ve been able to hold on to so much of their historic architecture. 

Bermuda architecture is one of the most interesting aspects of the community. The buildings are constructed with a design system that is unique to these islands. It is a response to the climate and the building materials that are found here in the middle of the Atlantic.  Vince Caan is a Bermuda taxi guide with a special interest in the local architecture.

VINCE CAAN:  The architecture in Bermuda is very unique.  The homes are very solid; there are no frame homes.  They’re made out of Bermuda stone, or concrete block in the modern day.  And we need that sort of structure to support our roofs, which -- we depend on rainwater from our roofs.  The roofs are made of Bermuda stone.  It’s cut into a slate; it’s about sixteen inches long and about a foot square and about an inch thick.  And it’s laid similar to the way you lay your shingles in America.  The roofs are painted with a lime wash, which is a lime powder you mix with water and it forms like a latex paint.  That helps to keep the water purified.  There’s a gutter incorporated into the roof, and it’s on a ten-to-thirty degree angle.  And the rainwater is caught from the roofs and goes down into the tank, and a pressurized pump system pumps it back through the house.  Every tank has a trap door, and the trap door by law must be on the exterior of the house.  And of course the Fire Department reserves the right of putting their hose in any tank.  They will replenish the water they take out -- so you don’t need hydrants.

Bermuda is noted for its pastel colors.  In the old days, that I can remember, you had two colors.  You had brick dust, and you mixed the brick dust with lime, which was white, and you got a pink.  So you’ll see multitudes of different shades of pink.  And the blue came from the old days, they used to put bluing in your white clothes, to whiten your clothes, so they used to crush that.  There used to be a blue cube, they used to crush it and mix it with the lime wash, and you got blue, pale blues.  So here we are in the modern day with computerized paint mixing, you got a variety of other colors.

These days the functioning commercial center of Bermuda is the city of Hamilton. For most visitors the primary attraction is shopping along Front Street. The older stores have been here for at least a hundred years. There are dozens of good shops selling everything from old maps to new paintings. Your best buys will usually be goods of British or Bermudian origin -- local arts and crafts, English cashmeres, linens, and fine china. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): These days, with internet commerce and competitive pricing, it’s pretty hard to be sure whether you’re getting the best price, unless you make a list of the things you’re interested in at home, mark down the prices and do a comparison when you get here.  Personally, my travel-related shopping is not based on price, but on bringing things home that remind me of the good time I had on the trip.

If you’re going to drop someone a card or a letter, it’s interesting to do it from Perot’s Post Office.  Perot was Bermuda’s first postmaster, appointed in 1821. His post office has much of its original feeling. You can sit on one of the high stools and write your card on the old desk.

A few blocks away from the post office is the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity. It is a blend of Gothic and Middle English architecture and constructed of local limestone and imported English stones. The pews are made of American oak. The prayer cushions are all handmade.  It’s traditional to have kneeling cushions in an Anglican church, but the idea of having each cushion made by hand to commemorate some aspect of Bermudian culture is unique.  In front of the altar is a set depicting the flowers of the island.  Others are traditional Christian symbols.  And some represent family memories.

Down the road from the cathedral is the Sessions House. The Parliament of Bermuda first met in 1620, which makes it the oldest parliament in the British Commonwealth, and the third oldest in the world, after Iceland and Great Britain.

At the edge of Hamilton’s waterfront you will find the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, a reminder that Bermuda is one of the world’s most important yachting centers, and host to thousands of visiting boats, as well as some of the Atlantic’s great races. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA):  Competitive sailing got started in Bermuda during the early 1800s, when work boats were refitted for racing and British naval officers took up the sport. The most famous class here is called a Bermuda Fitted Dinghy.  It’s fourteen feet long, it’s open, but it carries enough sail to move a boat four times its size... which is a little like putting a jet engine on a skateboard.

As you walk around Hamilton you will see gentlemen going about in jackets and ties and shorts. Bermuda shorts are an accepted form of dress. They were originally based on the shorts worn by British troops stationed in Bermuda during the early years of the twentieth century. They are considered a most dignified form of attire for men and completely acceptable at all business meetings.

Today tourism is responsible for over sixty percent of Bermuda’s income, which is essential for maintaining an economy that is based on imports. Accordingly, the government of Bermuda has taken a deep interest in managing tourism and, unlike many destinations, they are more interested in quality than quantity. Over forty percent of Bermuda’s tourists are repeat visitors. The government wants new visitors but they also want everyone to come back, a traditional British approach to quality and continuity.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The government of Bermuda has set up a number of programs to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.  Each day there’s some public event going on designed to give you an insight into the history and culture of Bermuda.  Example:  on Mondays from November to March at noon you can come up to Fort Hamilton and see the skirling ceremony.

Bermuda is the northernmost coral island group in the world and sits on a two hundred square mile coral plateau, an area that is ten times the size of Bermuda itself. 

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): The clear waters are filled with marine life and over four hundred identified shipwrecks, ranging from a Spanish treasure galleon to a Civil War blockade-runner.  Over the years Bermuda has become one of the world’s top destinations for wreck-diving, both snorkel and scuba.

For the easiest insight to Bermuda’s sealife you can stop into the Bermuda Aquarium. Their tanks are filled with local sealife and there’s a fascinating exhibit on coral. You can pick up a sound stick and listen to a tank-to-tank commentary. 

COMMENTARY (over headphone):  “The unfiltered water which is pumped into our displays is teeming with tiny larvae...”

Not quite the experience of a hundred-foot dive, but not bad.  And very convenient if you are with children.

  Another adventure made easy would be a visit to the Crystal Caves, with Maurice Ming.

MAURICE MING:  The key word we have to remember when going through these caves, the word is “imagination.”  That is due to the fact that the formations you’ll see and notice down below, they have taken on different shapes.  That’s the key word, “Imagination.”  Now, using your imagination, just look at the reflection on the pool back down there.  It looks like the New York City skyline, or the island of Manhattan.

BURT WOLF:   That’s right!  There’s Central Park --

MAURICE MING:  -- Central Park --

BURT WOLF:   there’s my apartment, there’s the kids’ school -- fabulous!

MAURICE MING:  You’re right at home!  Now, this archway formation we’re going through right here, it looks like church organ pipes.

BURT WOLF:   Can I touch one?


BURT WOLF:   It’s like soap.  Wax.

MAURICE MING:  Limestone rock is the same rock that marble is made from.  You can see how smooth it is?  For marble, the limestone rock, they put it through a process to get it that smooth -- this is nature has done its own job.  The water that you see inside this cave, it is salt water, this is part of the Atlantic Ocean.  There is no kind of marine life living in these waters, there is no vegetation growing in here.  And the reason that is is because there’s no sunlight that comes through here.  And that is why the cave is named “Crystal Caves,” because of the clarity of the water.  Notice coming through, you’re gonna feel some water dripping on you, coming through here?

BURT WOLF:   Yes, I did, actually --

MAURICE MING:  Let me explain.  It’s rainwater.  We’re talking from five to six months ago.  The reason it takes that long to reach down inside of here, the rainwater has to come through rock.  That rock is limestone rock; it’s a porous rock.  Now, once the rainwater does come through, and it reaches down inside this cave, what it does, it leaves a deposit behind.  The shape of all these formations is calcium carbonate.  These formations take one hundred years for one cubic inch for them to grow.  That’s about five centimetres every hundred years.  Now, look at this formation right here in front of us, I’ll explain this to you.  From the top, they’re known as stalactites, from the base, stalagmites.  Once they connect, they form a column.

BURT WOLF:   That stalactite is just about to touch that stalagmite.  

MAURICE MING:  True.  There’s a few thousand years in between there.

BURT WOLF:   A few thousand.  So we come back in a couple of thousand years, they’ll be touched up?

MAURICE MING:  We’ll both be in good shape by that time.

BURT WOLF:   Exercise and diet, that’s it.

MAURICE MING:  That will do it.

Besides sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving and spelunking -- a word which means “exploring in caves” --  Bermuda is an excellent place for tennis, which was imported along with other English traditions. There are about a hundred tennis courts on the island and it’s not difficult to find a game. 

Bermuda is also a great spot for golfers. The island has more golf courses per square mile than any other nation in the world. The fact that they are all on a small island has resulted in some challenging terrain. And some magnificent views. 

Every year around Easter time, you can experience another of the great sports in Bermuda -- kite-flying.  Many of them are handmade.  Al Seymour, Jr. is an expert on Bermuda kites, and teaches a class at the Southhampton Glebe School.

BURT WOLF:   Okay... I’ve got this right, now?


BURT WOLF:   Good grip?

KIDS:  Yeah...

BURT WOLF:   And then I just push it up?

KIDS:  Yes.

BURT WOLF:   Okay, if I get it wrong, don’t laugh.  Too loudly.

AL SEYMOUR JR:  When I say “go,” you just push it up, okay?  Let it go!  Let it go now!

BURT WOLF:   Come on, let’s fly it!

AL SEYMOUR JR:  Well, the Chinese used to make hummers and stuff on their kites to frighten off people and -- I mean, it goes way back, thousands of years.  Put it right up to your ear, the string to your ear, you can hear it buzzing.  Press it a little bit, maybe --

BURT WOLF:   Oh, yeah!  I think it’s for you.  


BURT WOLF:   Boy, quite a pull, too.

If you’re in Bermuda on Good Friday you will see an amazing display of kite flying. Thousands of kites head up into the sky.

AL SEYMOUR JR:  I think it began here when -- well, legend has it that a Sunday school teacher was trying to explain to some children how Christ ascended in His resurrection.  So she took a kite on a Bermuda hill, flew it to demonstrate and then literally cut the string and watched it drift away to sort of symbolize the event.

BURT WOLF:   It’s a great piece of symbolism.


And of course, Bermuda has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.  Along the south shore, Warwick Long Bay is the perfect spot for a stroll as the morning sun comes up over the horizon.  Jobson’s Cove is no more than thirty yards wide and protected from the open sea by a rock formation.  As beautiful and romantic a spot as you could wish for.  At the Mid-Ocean Club Beach you will find the Natural Arches, formed in limestone by the erosion of the sea.  At the moment these are the only significant arches on Bermuda, the government having legislated against the introduction of a McDonald’s franchise.  Elbow Beach runs along the southern side of the island and is considered to be the longest and one of the most picturesque. Elbow Beach is also the location and the name of one of the island’s most distinctive hotels.

The Elbow Beach Hotel was originally constructed in 1908 as a simple guest cottage. And there are still many guest cottages on the property. They’re spread out over fifty-five acres of landscaped grounds.  Sub-tropical flora... exotic plants... and manicured lawns, all of which  look out on a mile-long private pastel pink beach. And beyond the beach, a reef with a sunken ship that lies at a depth of sixty feet and can be accessed by Zodiac or from a shore dive.  Up on the hill is a 244-room deluxe hotel.  Six nights each week my old pal Erskine Phillips plays the piano. 

One of the things that makes Elbow Beach unusual is that it actually operates two properties at the same location. One is the group of traditional Bermudian cottages. The other is the main hotel. There’s a full-sized climate-controlled, fresh-water pool... tennis courts... water sports... and an arrangement with a local golf course that can confirm a guaranteed tee time up to one year in advance.  The Elbow Beach also has an excellent restaurant called the Seahorse Grill.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA): Let’s face it. England has not had an outstanding history when it comes to great food. Holding a large animal over a big fire was the basic recipe for hundreds of years. Fortunately British gastronomic tradition has not had a great influence in Bermuda. The cooking here is international techniques combined with local and imported ingredients.  And because it’s an island, fish is often the first choice. 

Traditional dishes include fish chowders seasoned with Outerbridge’s Sherry Pepper Sauce... mussel pie... Bermuda lobster... Sunday morning breakfast with codfish and potatoes... cassava pie at Christmas... and a glass of “dark and stormy”... dark rum and ginger beer.

Executive Chef  Neville King at the Elbow Beach has developed a contemporary Bermudian cuisine; he starts with a Bermuda fish chowder.  Pieces of grouper and whitefish have been simmered together to make a rich stock, to which tomato paste is added and brought to a boil. Onions, carrots, leeks, celery, tomatoes and potatoes go in and are cooked until tender. Herbs and Worcestershire sauce are added... a garnish of parsley and the chowder is ready to serve.

Dessert is a banana bread pudding.  Neville starts by cutting banana bread into slices... fanning the slices into a heat-proof bowl... and pouring on a vanilla pudding called a crème anglaise. The banana bread slices are pushed down so the pudding liquid soaks in.  That’s baked for about an hour in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven.

The pudding is served with a loquat liqueur sauce. Loquat is a local plum with a fleshy skin.  A good substitute for the loquat liqueur would be Amaretto.  A culinary celebration of Bermuda.

And finally there is the Gombey celebration. The word “Gombey” comes from the Bantu dialect of Africa and refers to a particular type of drum.  But it also means “rhythm.” Gombey dancing is a traditional part of Bermudian culture, a blend of West African dance, British Mummers, and military music, with a touch of Native American Indian. The group usually consists of men from the same family who pass on their style from generation to generation. There are similar traditions in many parts of the New World, from New Orleans to Rio, but only the Bermudian Gombey utilizes sticks to play the drums. Throughout most of the winter you will be able to find at least one Gombey troop in action.

BURT WOLF (ON CAMERA):  Well, that’s a brief look at Bermuda:  British history, American geography... a vacation experience that you will not find anywhere else in the world.  No neon signs. No billboards. No fast food. No superhighways. Just super people. I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip and I hope you will join us next time on TRAVELS & TRADITIONS . I’m Burt Wolf.