MITSUGIRLYS DAWN TO BERMUDA NOVEL (or review and pictorial as some may call it)
Day 5: Ferry to St George, Tobacco Bay, St Catherines, Achilles Bay, Unfinished Church and the public bus.
DAY 2 IN BERMUDA:
I was up at 7:45am and it was time to get the family up and moving. I didn't want to waste a single moment of this beautiful day.
We headed over the the buffet and ate in the kids area where you could get your food easy and quick.
Once we were done getting our bellies full, we headed back over to our rooms and I seen the room steward in the hallway. I knew that meant it was time to get my zip-lock baggie full of ice for our soft cooler full of POP for the day.
We headed off the ship at 9am and once again, took our obligatory picture for the photographer (do they just stand out there all day taking pictures?).
This time the hubby caught the pirate off guard and grabbed his sword and threatened to chop off Sakari's head if he gave us any problems. The guy couldn't help but laugh. He wasn't a scary pirate after all.
We headed down the walkway, past the taxi stands and toward the ferry. Toward the ferry line. Toward the ferry line. Toward the end of the ferry line. Toward the end of....the island ferry line. WHERE THE HECK DOES THIS LINE END AT???? Geesh. It went all the way down and around and circled the block a few times and across the pier, up on RCI's ship, down the promenade deck, back out the door, jump onto Calico Jacks ship, down the slide into the water and swim back for your spot in the ferry line.
We made it. YIKES!! I figured there would be a line since the first orange ferry over to St George was at 9:30am, but I had no clue it would be like this. I guess with the ferry to St George not running on Sundays, everyone had the same idea as us and would head there on Monday.
Here are my plans for this nice Monday day in Bermuda...I had hoped at least.
9:30am orange ferry over to St George (45 minute ride)-3 tickets (or 2.75)
FERRY SCHEDULE (ORANGE):
Leaving Dockyard Leaving St George
10:15 Arrive at St George and proceed to Visitor Center for stamp
HOP ON HOP OFF BUS:
$6/pp x 2 = $12.00 (kids free) Runs every ½ hour
10:30 Bus to Unfinished Church
11:00 Bus to Tobacco Bay
11:15-2:15 At Tobacco Bay
TOBACCO BAY CONCESSIONS:
Jerk platter w/peas & rice or mac & cheese or fries & slaw $17
Hamburger & fries $12
Beer $7 ($35 bucket)
Frozen $10 for 12 oz and $15 for 20 oz.
Umbrella and lounger combo $25 or $15 each.
2:30-4:00-Hop on bus to Achilles Bay (Fort St Catherine Beach)or walk 15 minutes, there is a path from the parking lot next to Ft St Catherines to the beach at Achilles.
4:00pm-leave Achilles Bay bus to Alexandra Battery Sea Glass beach
5:30pm Catch ferry back to dockyard (3 tickets or 2 & $2.75 child)
6:15 arrive at dockyard
(Sunset is 8:25pm)
Shopping and dockyard time
Once we got into the long line in the hot sun one of the workers kept coming by and telling us "This ferry is full. You can take the ferry next to it that will leave in a few minutes and it will take you over to Hamilton and there's plenty of room on it.
Um...I don't want to go to Hamilton. You dock/ferry/bus workers are NOT going to screw me up again!! Not this time. No way Jose! I stood in line. I watched multiple people jump out of line and say "Come on, this ferry is full and we'll just get on the other ferry they are talking about that goes over"
Um yea, goes over alright...to Hamilton, which happens to be a good hour bus ride after that over to St George in case you people didn't do your homework. Well I did and I'm not budging.
The workers would continue to come around again, walking up and down the line telling people this ferry is full. Yep, you keep working your magic lady and people will just keep getting out of the line following your instructions and I WILL make it on this St George ferry that you claim is full.
HA!!! I WIN. I'm on the St George ferry and away we went! See ya suckers!
This was a great opportunity to get some good pictures of the Dawn sitting in port with the beautiful blue water caressing her reef kissing metal.
We didn't have the VIP seating inside, but we managed to line ourselves up and down one side and it was just enough to fit our family. Along the ride, some of us would just sit there, one of the munchkins would take a nap, one of us would continue to *turn camera on, *snap pictures, *turn camera off, another would run from the sun and I'm pretty sure another would be hyper and driving the one with the camera crazy. Just saying...
I want to say it was about 40 minutes over. Sakari was a hot mess from just waking up, still having her "make-up" on from the kids club the night before and trying to get excited about the beach day ahead.
We were getting close, they started slowing down.
Off the dock we went and it was time to try to figure out where it was we needed to go to find the new "Hop on-Hop off" bus.
We were just kinda walking down the streets following the crowd. I mean for sure they knew the right way to go right?
Every so often Kendra would turn to me and say "Which way?" or "Where do we go from here? and all the months of research I did and I would come back with the statement "I don't know, I have never been here before". Sigh. It's like I lost my mind going somewhere new. I'm pretty sure I had printed a map and it was in my handy dandy file in my bag, but it's like being put on the spot during a nursing test. All ways point to the correct answer, but only 1 is the best way to go.
So we just kept walking.
We seen a little street that somewhat resembles an "alley" (I'm sure every person on here has a different meaning for this after the "pop" terminology) and I decided we probably want to stick to a "main road".
So we head UP the hill. Who's idea was this???? Puff puff, pant pant. Whew. Once we made it up to the top of the hill. We turned right (because if there was one thing that I remembered from all my research and map searching, it was that I needed to turn right to head toward Kings somethingorother.
Here's those interesting roofs again.
See, honestly, I did have directions, but I froze for some reason and lost my mind.
We stopped at a little store along the way. Kendra wanted to buy some snacks for the beach to munch on. Billy took off to the building next door (which I believe was a bar LOL) and he didn't come out for a hot minute.
I told the hubby to ask the store clerk which was the way to the Kings Square or "Vistor Center" and he came out and said "She said go down and turn and then straight" :confused: Um...go down where? Turn what way? Seriously? I sent you in there for directions and this is what you come back with??? Sigh In I went for appropriate directions!
I was told to head down the stairs there were right between this store and the bar building and then turn left on the stone walkway and we'd run right in to the Visitor Center. Well don't you know that's the "alley-looking" road I decided, I mean someone in our party must have decided not to take and wanted to climb up the hill to stay on the main road instead.
So down we went...where we would continue to wait and wait and wait for Billy, who never came out of the bar until someone went looking for him. LOL
When he did come out, he had an entire bottle of booze with him. (He normally drinks Crown and Red Bull, this was not Crown, but he would have to settle I guess).
We got to the end of the street and there was the Visitor Center just like they said and the town hall.
I knew ahead of time that this is where you would purchase your tickets for the new St George bus system.
Here is the new wonderful St George Hop On, Hop Off bus system:
I thought it would be a great value to be able to hop on and off as you desired all day long. This would be a better way to see any place you wanted to see along the route and save your legs.
This is the route they take along with all the stops they make.
You will find bus stops along the way and they are clearly marked so you know you are waiting for one of these buses to come along.
Of course like always, I had a back up plan. IF we were unable to find this bus and we had to walk, I printed off directions on how to do this. I had heard that it's a nice big hill at the beginning of the walk and then once past the Unfinished Church it would be a pleasant walk.
However, since we were able to find the Visitor Center and purchase the bus pass, we wouldn't be walking to Tobacco Bay at least.
You simply go inside to the counter and tell them you want to purchase the pass, pay them and they stamp your hand with a bright blue stamp and you are done.
Now I had heard that the bus stop is a little "difficult" or "confusing" to find. We didn't have a problem at all. You simply walk out of the visitor center and it's basically right beside it between that building and the red building. Not hard at all. There's a bench there and everything.
One of the buses pulled up the minute that we got there but we didn't quite have everyone together to get on yet...I bet you all can guess who's dragging behind...starts with K and ends with A. So that bus filled up and we waited on the next. The signs say the bus comes every 1/2 hour but I'm pretty darn sure they must have more than 1 running because we did not wait over 10-15 minutes before another pulled up.
Someone on another thread ask me how many seats and I was thinking around 13 or so, but I also forgot that these buses have the middle seat that also pulls down for a chair (that would block the isle) so quite a few people can get on. Looking at the picture, I'm thinking it might hold maybe 17 people??? I remember counting and I remember it being an odd number.
Away we went to Tobacco Bay. I had originally wanted to first stop at the Unfinished Church to take some pictures and then catch the next bus on to Tobacco Bay. When the driver got around what I thought was the Unfinished Church, he kinda slowed down but kept going. It felt almost like a sight seeing tour. I didn't know if we were to shout out that we wanted off or if the bus just automatically stopped at all the stops. I would later find out that the driver ask if anyone wanted off and no one replied so he kept going. I guess that's a problem with sitting in the back seat.
So, plans are once again thrown off and changed on day 2. Oh well. We were headed to Tobacco Bay.
I did see people walking along the road and once again, I don't think it's something I would have wanted to do. But of course, being my first time there it seemed like it took awhile.
We were let off at the street and told which way to walk to the entrance. It was a fairly easy decline down the road to the entrance.
I took one look at the beach and thought "Man this beach is small". It's probably one of the smallest beaches I think I have been to.
The chairs were $15 each or 2 for $25. Kendra and I decided to get 2 and split the cost. I would not be in a chair today and knew the hubby would want one. Kendra and Billy the same. Chrissy got her just 1 chair to share with her daughter Shayla. So we had a total of 3 chairs lined up. Prime Real Estate was already claimed for this subdivision and we were forced to take the maids quarters this time around. Oh well. I didn't really care since I had no intention of being there at the camp anyhow.
The hubby quickly claimed his spot, sat down, ordered a drink and took this picture to post on his social media site with the caption "My wife is out there somewhere". LOL
Sakari was the first one into the water like always (we were still picking our not-so-prime location). Brayden joined her shortly and they were both looking around at all the fish under the water.
Just a little tour of the place.
Here's the concession stand deck/area:
Some of the drink prices:
CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT GUN SODA IS??
Equipment Rental and bathrooms
I have to say, Tobacco Bay is not what I had pictured. You google the words Tobacco Bay and you ALWAYS see the pictures of the tall rocks that are VERY distinctive when you see them.
I looked out at the water and thought...where are they? This is not like the pictures I have seen online. Well, those tall stacks of skinny rocks are to the side of the beach/water area. It really threw me off. I always pictured them to be straight ahead. LOL
I immediately went to work snorkeling and taking pictures. Sakari wanted to come along with me so I told her she'd have to put her fins on so that she could go faster and swim better with the current.
I tell ya my pictures would be a hit or miss that day depending on where my location was and how stirred up the water was, to if the sun was shinning at the time I took the picture, to the depth of the water. Some turned out excellent, others not as good. I'm trying to share just the ones that are at least decent.
I have to say I was having a GREAT time snorkeling here. Well worth the visit for sure. I explored everywhere on the right side with the tall skinny tobacco stacks.
The thing I thought that was neat was every time I have been snorkeling, I always see the bright purple sea fans. This time, I would see maroon sea fans. It was a pretty neat change.
When Sakari got tired I swam back with her to make sure she got back safetly to shore and she would continue to play and snorkel around that area with Brayden. Kendra and the girls joined me and we decided to go out straight ahead to see what was out there. It was a blast indeed.
The soft coral everywhere was amazing. There wasn't a lot of hard coral in the area, but you did see some.
A super HUGE, I mean HUGE fish that probably had a body on him the size of Kendra's torso went flying past me. I was on a mission to get a picture of it. It was fast. It weaved in and out of the rocks. I would sit and wait. Then I would get tired of waiting and move over and see it again dart into another area. It was toying with me for sure. I never did get the picture but I squealed with excitement every time it went past me. However I did find this big guy, who was pretty big too and he seem to be the big fishes side kick.
Now my birthday is in February. I'm a Pisces, which probably explains why I love the water and fish so much. I can talk to fish. They know I love photography. So, I talked this guy into striking a pose for me and told him to say "cheese" (or actually "coral") and he laughed at me and told me "no, under no circumstance will I say cheese."
There's more of that maroon looking sea fans but this one was so bright and beautiful. Are these only limited to Bermuda and not in the Caribbean? (Since I have only seen a light purple there).
This place had the absolute BIGGEST soft corals I have ever seen...like ever. They were HUGE and everywhere. It was amazing. I only wish that you could tell how big they all are by looking at a picture.
There were gigantic Parrot Fish everywhere you turned. I had never seen any this big before. Do they feed everything in Bermuda their wheaties or what?
Coming along the left side the water seems to get more shallow than the other places.
Then I spotted about 8-10 squids swimming in a line. They were so cute. I have seen them before in the Carribean. Some people say cuddlefish, some say squid. I don't know the difference. It's a squid to me. Comments?
I watched them forever and they were so cute but so scared and wouldn't let you get too close. Kendra came out (she had previously went it to change her snorkel mask to another one) and she seen them as well too. But she said they weren't running from her and they won't lift their mouths up every time she got near them. She called them "knife fish" because she said they looked like they were going to stab her every time. LOL
Monster Parrot Fish!!!
Grapes and Cherreos for breakfast anyone?
Now this is not the greatest picture, but I had to share and ask...
I have swam with a lot of parrot fish before and they are always busy chomping away at the coral and pay no attention to you. I was going along, swimming back toward the shore, taking pictures and these 2 parrot fish go past me. One of them, which I have NEVER seen before, had this huge "thing" (not sure if it was a fin or what) on the very top of his back. He turned toward me, raised his fin (you couldn't tell it was there unless it was raised and it was NOT the dorsal fin) and opened his mouth and just sat there. I was a little taken back by this. I turned around to take a picture and he did it again. It kinda freaked me out because I have never seen them do this before nor had I ever seen that fin on the top like that. Was this a male protecting his female? They finally turned to swim away and I snapped a picture. He was putting his "fin" down as I took the picture. As you can see, it's not the dorsal fin that runs along the back. It was in front of that and when it was raised, it was all the way up by his head.
I have looked and looked and hundreds of parrot fish pictures on the web and have been able to find NOTHING like this before. The only way I can describe it is by showing a different type of species fish that resembles what I seen when it was raised.
It was pointy like the front fin on this fish, but it was extremely long and high when raised and not short.
Anyone have any ideas? Was it about to attack me? Was it protecting it's female or was it territorial?
Either way after that, I felt I had done enough snorkeling, covered the entire area, seen some pretty neat things, and it was time to call it a day.
I headed back to the sand camp and found that the hubs had discovered that you could get 15 minutes of free wifi there. I do know this is one of the wifi places that is included in your $15 plan you buy at the dockyard. But, all you had to do is put in your email and you got 15 minutes of free time. How many people have more than 1 email? Because I have about 5 of them. You could stay online for awhile if you used them all. LOL I chose NOT to get online the entire time we were there. I was on vacation!
Meanwhile, Billy had managed to get free cups of ice to use for his alcohol and red bull all day long. LOL I'm not sure how that happened.
I think we were there around 2 or so hours and I decided I was ready to move on. I wanted to head to Achilles Bay and check it out. I was not going to let this day go the same way as yesterday and I want more bang for my buck. The lazy guys who probably hadn't moved from their seats all day reminded me that we had paid for the lounge chairs and umbrellas and I gave them that "look" and they quickly got up and started packing. LOL
I took a few pictures of the area and noticed you could see the ships at the dockyard in the distance.
A few more shots of the area and we started walking up the hill to the road that the bus had dropped us off at.
Beautiful place and I will be back!
I had ask one of the "chair guys" at Tobacco how to get to Achilles Bay. He said he had never heard of it (LOL) and when I explained it was supposed to be right next door and by the fort, he turned around and pointed to the fort off in the distance. Um, Oh yea, I see it now. LOL So, I didn't think there was any way of us getting lost that was for sure. I did ask him if there was a sign over there once you get there and another guy answered that there was.
We turned left at the street and started walking. I almost felt like we were walking into a private resort area instead of just a normal street. I wasn't really sure.
Along the way, we all picked out "which house would be ours if we lived here". Oh course I would have to be on the beach and with a view like Tobacco Bay here, I'm just going to go ahead and pick this one with the sea horses.
It didn't take but about 10 minutes and we came to the end of the street and seen this bus stop. Great, at least we know that we can catch a bus back if we are in the wrong place. LOL
You could see the beach straight ahead so we knew at least we had found a beach. I didn't see any signs however. So, we just headed on down that way and over to explore.
We came to an absolutely breathtaking beach. It was just gorgeous and so deserted! There were only a handful of people there and I thought that was weird for such a gorgeous beach.
We found a spot along the edges by the palm trees for shade and put our towels and things down. I headed over to a "shack" that was being built and ask the workers (who I swear were Mexican and had a Spanish accent) what beach this was. We were at Fort St Catherine otherwise known as Gates Bay Beach. I ask about the chairs (as you can see in one of my pictures they are all stacked up) and he said "they're free". Ok then. He said he has never seen anyone here renting them and everyone that comes here just takes them and pulls them out to the beach. Then of course said..."go ahead and take them". LOL
I went back and told the guys and they looked all the way down there, then looked at where they had everything put down already, looked back at the chairs again and said "I'll pass". LOL Lazy I tell ya.
Meanwhile, the kids have already headed out to the water of course...with Sakari in the lead as always.
Time for a selfie at this beach and man was I a hot mess from snorkeling all day then walking in the hot sun to this location. You can tell if it's hot by my hair frizz. LOL
I really loved the fort as the backdrop to this beach. It really made for some nice pictures. The streaked clouds were an added plus.
We did take our snorkeling mask down here with us to at least check out the area.
There were tons of little fish everywhere...but really not much to see unless I imagine you went out a ways.
The kids had fun looking around in the water up and down the beach.
It was pretty wavy since it wasn't a protected cove area, but it wasn't as bad as Horseshoe Bay.
It did kind of worry me here though because it was one of those beaches that the minute you step in the water there's a drop. You can tell by this picture that it got deeper right away by Shayla being there and Kendra and they were not sitting down. You can see it's all the way up to Braydens neck where he was at and Kendra was actually swimming instead of standing up.
Beaches like this just make me nervous. It's easy to get carried out and away fast.
We walked back over to where our stuff was and I informed everyone that it was time to "move on". LOL The looks I get from others when I say this and they just got comfortable laying down. Billy looked up at me and said "Do you known how long it took me to carve the sand out from under my belly and then build up around my neck to lay perfectly in the sand?" LOL Oops. Never a dull or restful moment if you are on vacation with me.
So this is definitely a very nice beach and not at all crowded. It would make a perfect beach day if you are looking for a place to go with no crowds. The only draw back is there's no concession stand for drinks or food (I assume that's what they are building at the moment) and there's no restroom that I seen. Free chairs though...according to the workers. :D
I was almost positive from my research that Achilles Bay was to the left of the fort so we headed back out on the road that brought us there and seen something that said a beach house something or other and had a building there. We headed in that direction hoping that we weren't about to invade someone's property.
Then I seen a sign: We headed down the driveway and got close enough to see it was indeed Achilles Bay. Woo hoo, we found it.
When we got to the edge and looked down all I could say was "OH MY"
Well that looked a little scary. I'm not quite sure how we were going to get down to what was now the smallest beach I had ever seen lined up and down a huge wall with just a bit of sand there. How would we drag all of our things down those steps, into the water, around the wall and to the beach? With kids!!! Yikes.
I can't remember really how I found this place or why I decided I wanted to go there. Maybe I read it had good snorkeling? Maybe I read that it wasn't very crowded? Maybe I read that it was just another beach that was close to Tobacco Bay and it would be another beach that we would be able to say we've been to? I really wasn't sure, but I was a little disappointed that I had dragged the entire family here for this. :o
Something caught Kendra's eye and she pointed to the left. We walked around and over to the left...AND FOUND THE STEPS!! Woo Hoo. It wasn't going to be a bust after all.
We headed down the steps and over to this very small little bar. They had some cheesy decorated walls with shells in them but the people were super friendly.
Notice the prices of umbrellas and lounge chairs.
We sat down at the bar and I decided I wanted a REAL drink. All of our pop was gone except an orange pop for Sakari and I needed something to quench my thirst. The hubs started asking about various drinks, which the bartender was unsure how to make. LOL I have no idea what he was asking for but I heard her say "Have you ever had a Bushwacker?" ....HAVE I EVER HAD A BUSHWACKER???? OH DEAR LORD YES! THEY ARE YUMMY! I know these are supposed to originate in St Thomas at Paradise, or at least that's what they have you believe there. But I was willing to give it a shot. She had to run up to the "Beach house" to make it.
Meanwhile, where is Billy? He had made a pit stop up at the beach house himself and was having a drink and playing pool. LOL When he finally came down, he told us they were giving him free wifi up there (shhh, don't tell anyone they said) as long as he kept buying drinks. I guess he scored on that.
While the lady was gone, I ask the guy behind the bar how much were these drinks. He replied "They are normally $8 but if we have to go up to the beachhouse to make special drinks, then they are a little more." Oh great, this drink is going to cost me an arm and leg. Oh well, good thing I'm thirsty.
The drink came back and it was "ok". NOT at all the way they tasted at Paradise in St Thomas. Just saying. They hubby paid for the drinks (he had a $20) and somehow he managed to get two $5 bills back in Bermuda money. Cool. So they actually only cost us $5 each. Ok, I'm good with that.
We kinda slid down the steps and planted ourselves at two of the tables with an umbrella. There was also a few lounge chairs there as well. We told them we were planning on ordering food here in a bit. They didn't seem to mind that we were sitting at the tables or the lounge chairs.
Me and the girls decided it was time to head out along the rocks and see if there was anything to see in this area.
There were hundreds and hundreds of these little schools of fish everywhere. I kept swimming down the middle of them to see them scattered. hehe
There were all kinds of little coves to explore up and down the wall. It was a pretty neat place.
I found the cutest big puffer fish/trunkfish...another one of those "gray areas" that I'm really not sure what the difference is. But I spot them in the Caribbean all the time and I just love them.
We snorkeled all over the area for awhile and I decided I had better get out and at least order something. I was starving at this point.
The prices were pretty high but I knew that they would be. I ended up getting a cheeseburger platter with fries and so did the hubby. I split mine with Sakari and thank goodness I did that because these things were HUGE!!!!
The food came out and it was pretty yummy along with crispy cooked fries that I love.
The kids discovered some of these along the rock walls. I had no idea what they were and had to look them up when I got home and found out they are called Chitons.
A little more snorkeling for us after we ate.
Even this purple sea fan isn't anything like the color that you see in the Caribbean. It was just so vibrant in color and beautiful.
It was definitely a beautiful and interesting place to snorkel. I was really glad that we were able to come here.
I went to settle up our bill with the bar tender and ask about the Bermuda money. The guy had a $2 bill and said he would trade me for $2 American money. I was definitely game for that.
We packed up our things and thanked them for a wonderful day there and started up the stairs.
Everyone went to the restroom before leaving and I took a few more pictures while waiting on the rest of the group.
We headed back down the street the way we came and toward the bus stop to catch the next Hop On bus.
Once we arrived at the bus stop, there were several people already there waiting. After about 10 minutes a regular taxi driver came by and stopped. He shouted out "Hey, you guys are STILL waiting there? The bus hasn't came YET?" They said "nope, still here". He said "I have seen the bus several times. Would you like a ride?" They all got up and walked over and ask him how much because they were tired of waiting. His reply.... "NO CHARGE!!!" Can you believe it? Maybe the people in Bermuda are really nice and helpful after all. Of course the amount of people they had in their party would not allow for our party to get in the cab.
I did ask one of the ladies that was getting on just how long they had been waiting on the bus and they said they had been at the bus stop for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. :eek: Oh yikes! That's not good. The bus is supposed to run every 30 minutes at the MOST. I was now worried.
The nice taxi driver said "No worries. I will take these folks back to the ferry terminal and I will circle back around and if you are still here waiting, I will take you back to the ferry as well." Wow, how nice!
Of course it was only about 5 minutes after he pulled away that the bus came. So, we only ended up waiting about a good 15-20 minutes before we had a ride. I guess we timed that right.
The driver was super nice on the bus and once again, it was like a tour guide bus. He would tell us about things in the area and at one point he stopped the bus and said "Look over there, do you see the sea turtles?" GASP! I have NEVER seen a sea turtle yet. He pulled the bus over and got out, open the door and told us we could get out if we wanted to see them. How nice. Of course me and the kids bolted to the door. I just had to get a picture!
Now we were way at the top of a hill and the turtle was way down below in the water. So, it's hard to see but it's to the right of the picture and right above the bushes you see in the bottom of the picture. It looks like brown sea weed floating.
These things are quick. They pop their heads up out of the water and dive back down. He stayed long enough for me to get a few pictures and then we hopped back on the bus.
I hope there wasn't anyone on the bus that I made mad by getting out and taking pictures. Just be warned, if you are ever on any trip with Mitsugirly, you will be waiting for me to get pictures of whatever I can. Be prepared. Just saying...
We decided that the only thing we really wanted to do that day was to go to the unfinished church.
We got to the beginning of the route at Kings Square and informed him that we wanted to go to the Unfinished Church. He closed the doors and off we went...for about 2 minutes. LOL I guess I didn't realize it was that close, but in our defense, it was up hill so riding the bus was worth it.
We got out and some of the group really didn't seem interested in actually walking up to the church and peeking in. I however, wanted pictures of this neat structure and had seen several online were they held weddings there and I thought it looked so neat.
Once I got up to the door, I was met by a disappointment.
Well darn. I guess I would have to take all of my pictures from the outside and peeking in.
**disclaimer** It's been a long time since I have done any special effects with my dslr, but one of the things I use to love to practice was HDR photography. However, since I don't have my dslr camera with me, there are ways around doing the combining of 3+ exposed pictures and just using 1. It looks a little more "fake", but it's still worth a shot. The following pictures were my feeble attempt to do a 1 photo hdr picture. Some people love them, some hate them. I happen to be one that likes hdr.
We decided we would just walk back down to Kings Square since it was downhill. Man the roads in Bermuda are skinny with no place to walk in certain areas. I can see why they say it's so dangerous at times to walk along the streets.
We quickly made it back to Kings Square and stopped at a grocery store on the corner for some drinks and snacks. The hubby went in as well to purchase some cigars. He likes to have a black & mild while on vacation and he came out and told me that the prices in the store for things were no higher than what they were at home. I was shocked but glad.
I watched the buses go by that we were to catch going to Hamilton...one after another. I kept thinking that we really needed to get down there and get on one of the buses.
Now I have to say that we DID get back to King Square in time that we could have made the last ferry back to the dockyard (I think it was 5:30pm) in plenty of time, but I had planned to take the bus over to Hamilton and search for a camera store for either a battery charger or a new Olympus camera. I was told by many people both on the ship and in the dockyard that IF there was a camera shop to be found, this would be where it is at. So I was on a mission!
I walked in the store to get directions on where the next bus stop was AFTER the hubby, once again, ask the lady bagger in the store, then came out saying she said "just down the street". UGH! Which fricken street? We are on a corner...it goes 4 different ways.
I went in to ask and she pointed which street and gave more of a description.
We walked down the street to the area that she said and spotted the pink pole. There were only 2 benches along the sidewalk and they were both in the hot blazing sun. We sat and waited and waited and waited. I checked my schedule for all 4 of the buses that run from that area and head toward Hamilton and all the times that were noted there hadn't been one bus that came by.
One by one the family members started moving across the street to the shade. I decided to stay put because I was afraid that the bus would come, everyone would be over there and it would keep on going or if it did stop, I didn't want to have to try to battle getting across the road in traffic and missing it. So we waited, and waited some more.
We did see a lot of buses, as a matter of fact I counted 7 buses, going the opposite direction. At one point another couple came to wait at the bus stop and you could tell they were turned around and not use to driving on the opposite side of the road and the man had her convinced they were on the wrong side after seeing about 3 of the buses go by. They finally went over when the next bus came and talked to the driver, who told them all of the buses going in that direction would eventually turn around and head back to Hamilton. WHERE WERE THEY GOING? I mean it had been over a hour that several had went by and they sure haven't turned around and came back.
We had seen the Hop on-Hop off bus pass us at least 10 times and the last time he shouted out of his window "They will be here at 6:15pm...just 2 more minutes"...but yet it was now 6:20pm. LOL
They finally came at 6:25pm and right off the bat they were giving us a hassle and attitude. "This is a public bus, you must have clothes on". They insisted that we all put shirts and shorts on. Sigh. Ok, I get it, but I was tired, hot and getting cranky from sitting in the sun forever.
We got on, there wasn't hardly anyone on the bus, the a/c was blasting and we spread out and relaxed....until the very next bus stop, which was in the opposite direction of the grocery store...and EVERYONE in the city of St George got on. Like seriously! We bunched together and people were standing. YIKES! I'm so glad we didn't go that way to the bus stop. We would have ended up standing for the ride.
Pictures along the way:
The walls along the side of the road. I seriously don't know how the bus drivers, shuttles, and cars don't hit them. They are so close!!!
Poor Sakari was so tired and she fell asleep with the bobble head thing going on. I had to take out the towels and do a make-shift support system for her up against the window to keep from breaking her neck. Poor thing.
We continued along and I continued with the pictures.
The hubs was sitting on the other side of me and then a local next to him and then Brayden after that. See, we always find a way to split Brayden up...even if we have to use a local to do it. hehe
I got to talking to her and started asking her about a camera shop. She was naming off the ones that she thought might be able to help me. Most were stores with tvs and cell phones but she knew of one that did carry cameras...just not sure what kind. Then she broke my heart by telling me that all the stores in Hamilton (and pretty much all over the island) close at 5pm. I had did all this for NOTHING! Now I was not only tired, cranky, hot but ticked. Why do they close so early????
We chit chatted all the way back to the terminal and she was super nice. She was born and raised here. She talked about how bad the crime had gotten...contrary to what you hear everyone else talking about what a great island it is with hardly any crime. Hmmm. She talked about how most people hold down 3 jobs in order to pay their rent. She gave us pay ranges, children working and what their base pay is and told us that unless you are a doctor or a nurse, you won't be able to afford a place to rent alone without working several jobs. She told me that nurses start out at about $60/hr. She said one of her jobs was a nurses assistant. She talked about her life growing up. It was really nice to ride the rest of the way to Hamilton with her and hear her stories. I love stuff like this and getting to know a local.
Once we got to the terminal I ask her which direction to the ferry and she offered to walk with us. She also wanted to show us where the camera stores were she had been talking about just in case we had time to come back tomorrow to look for one. I guess this was their shopping mall for Bermuda. Too bad it wasn't open.
The Post Office:
She pointed in the direction we needed to go and head across the street to get to the ferry and we parted ways.
OMG!!! I JUST NOW NOTICED WHAT WAS IN THAT PICTURE!!! THE POLICE DIRECTING TRAFFIC BIRD CAGE!!! I DIDN'T EVEN SEE IT OR REALIZE IT WHEN WE WERE THERE UNTIL RIGHT NOW. Geesh! Mitsugirly = failure. Sigh
I thought the street walk signs were neat. They looked almost like the auto traffic signs but were a little smaller and had a person on it.
We crossed the street and Kendra points at a statue for me to take a picture of. At this point I'm almost tired of taking pictures and disappointed, but I did it anyhow.
We left the guys standing in front of the ferry terminal at 7:15pm and headed to the restrooms one last time which happen to be on the other side of the building. We took the LONG way around and when we came out discovered it was just right around the corner in the opposite direction of the ferry.
When we got back around, the guys were gone and the ferry was there! YIKES! They had went looking for us. Geesh. We went ahead and got on the ferry and before long waved them down. They thought we were magic genies at this point for already being on the ferry and they never even seen us pass by. hehe
Here's the map of where the bus terminal is compared to the ferry terminal. It's a very short walk and the way the local took us was even shorter.
The ferry was pretty empty and there were a few mopeds on it.
On our way back to the dockyard (about a 15 minute ride)
I was never so happy to get back to the dockyard and see her smiling at us. It was a very long day and much longer than it should have been considering the last few hours was nothing but a waste.
On the way back to the ship, we spotted this.
We FINALLY made our journey back to the ship and it had been a long day.
I could tell that the people at the Photo Shop were very disturbed with me for bringing the charger to them daily to charge, but what else was I to do? They really did act like it was such a burden and would make so many snide remarks about it like "Didn't you just charge it yesterday?", "Didn't you already pick it up this morning?" and so on. So this time, as soon as we got on the ship I told Kendra to take it up there and ask for it to be charged. I was hoping a "new face" would throw them off a little. Although she had been up to the photo shop with me before, I don't think they had noticed we were "together" at any point. My fingers were crossed.
We headed up to the room to shower and Sakari wanted to head to the kids club.
By the time we got up there, it was late and the kids and staff were just walking out of the room, all dressed up as Pirates and singing their "We are the Pirates, the mighty mighty Pirates" song. I immediately seen Sakari's face go from a smile to disappointment. She was going to miss out on the parade that she loves so much.
We decided to head to dinner and wanted to eat at the Bamboo Asian restaurant. I knew that this was now considered one of the complimentary restaurants that no longer had a charge. We have always enjoyed eating there on the other ships, but had heard it was a limited menu now. Still...I knew we would find something we liked.
We met Kendra and Billy there. Kendra informed me that when she went to the photo shop they told her first that they didn't have a charger. When she persisted they then said that they had "loaned the charger out". Um...ok. If I knew they did that, I would have "rented" it for a few hours, charged both of my batteries each day and returned it. At this point, my camera is so valuable to me, I would have PAID whatever it took to rent this charger daily for the cruise just to assure both of my batteries would be charged. So now I was bummed again. They did tell her that she was welcome to try back in about an hour to see if it was back by then.
After ordering our food at the Asian restaurant, it was about an hour before our food ever came out. I'm not sure what the hold up was because there wasn't very many people in there to begin with. Maybe 3 other tables that were full.
I took this opportunity to slip out and over to the photo shop to inquire about the battery charger. Once again, they said they didn't have it and had loaned it out. I ask them about their "loaning program" ...just saying and then that's when they said they had loaned it out to a Senior Officer because they needed their camera for the following day. Oh ok. They said it was never brought back.
I did ask why they didn't have any Olympus Tough camera's because every ship I had been on had them. The guy said "We're out of them right now." I ask about the battery charger and they said "We normally carry them for the cruisers to buy and they cost $29.95, but we are sold out of them right now". DO YOU SEE THIS PATTERN WITH EVERYTHING ON THE SHIP?? I just don't get that they are sold out of everything. Sold out of NCL Dawn shirts, sold out of ship ornaments, sold out of stuff animals, sold out of the 5 carton cigarette packs, sold out of chargers, sold out of cameras...what the hell is wrong with you guys??? I seriously ask them this too. I said "You were JUST IN PORT and on the very first day I'm being told you are sold out of stuff. How do you become sold out the very first sea day? Does the person doing the ordering not know what they are doing? Shouldn't they be able to estimate what the sales normally are for this ship? I just don't get it." They guy did say that "Well, when we order something, it does take about a month to come in." Ok, so my thoughts are if it takes a month to come in, you should probably be ordering enough supplies to last you during that month and ordering ahead. It's not that hard!
In the end, my moaning would not change things and I needed to get back to my dinner. They told me I could try again in the morning and try again I would.
I made it back to Bamboo just in time to see our meals coming out finally.
I have to say that our waiter was not very sociable or friendly. We didn't even see him smile once. We were desperately trying to figure out how to use the chopsticks and ask him at one point and even though each one of us seem to be holding them differently, he just glanced over and said "yea, that's the right way" and walked away. Either he was having a bad night or just didn't want to be bothered for some reason. Then after awhile he came back with a new set of chopsticks and showed us how to do it and it was like his entire attitude had changed. It was weird.
The food was good, not the best I have ever had, but good and filled our bellies.
Almost everyone left after they ate, but I decided that I wanted to try their desert. I had no idea what it was, but I was going to attempt it.
This came out and it looked good. Although I wasn't sure if I was supposed to eat the dried things on the bottom of the ice cream (which were some type of fried noodles) and the waiter looked at me, laughed and said "yes, you eat them".
We finally finished our meal at 10:30!!! Man that was a long meal.
We headed back to our room and decided to call it a night. I think this would be the first time in cruising history that I missed a night at the casino. Maybe it was for the best. Just saying...
Our towel animal for the night was a very small bird with big eyes. :eek: