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Island of Dreams

Bermuda has been praised by The Sunday Times writer Sally Emerson in the May 11 edition of one of Britain's largest Sunday newspapers.

Emerson visited the Island as a guest of package company Purely Bermuda.

“Here I was in exquisite Bermuda, with its pretty doves and dolly-mixture painted houses,” said Ms Emerson. “It was clean and safe and everyone we met was friendly, intelligent and articulate. What could possibly go wrong?

“The British visitor feels delightfully at home yet not at home.”

Ms Emerson noted that the oldest British colony remained “profoundly British”.

“An early photograph of the Queen in full regalia welcomes visitors at the airport; you can watch cricket (the Cup Match between the east and west of the Island is one of the year's highlights) and men in blazers (albeit with long shorts and socks up to their knees).

“You have to visit at least once to discover this other version of England.

“Together we rode down trails through lush vegetation. I leant out for an allspice leaf and crushed it between my fingers. Soon we were on the beach with its glittering pink sand.”

Ms Emerson said one of the more humorous incidents during her stay was the occasion on the beach when she was told by her riding instructor Natasha to take her horse, Tucker, into the water.

“I allowed him to bow his head and drink. The next thing I remember is my scream at the shock of cold as Tucker sank gloriously down into the refreshing water. I clambered off jeans soaking wet.”

“He wasn't drinking,” explained Natasha. “He was checking out whether the water was clear for him to lie down in.”

Ms Emerson joined Hidden Trails whose tours explore Bermuda's network of caves.

“We swung from the vines of banyan trees and crept into caves of stalagmites, gleefully wearing protective white helmets with torches attached, like chic miners.

“In another underground cave was the most eerily beautiful swimming pool I've ever seen-crystal clear, linked to the Atlantic through a network of more caves.

“There are said to be 300 shipwrecks around the chain of interlinked islands. I took a glassed bottomed boat to one of them, drifting over giant turtles, iridescent parrotfish, brain coral, tube sponges, snappers and silver bream that darted around portholes.

“At the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute in the capital, Hamilton, you can try the virtual dive or you can cheat and see turtles in the fine aquarium.

“Do not underestimate Bermuda. It is not all golf courses and bankers in silly shorts.

“This remote island, 1000 miles, north of the Caribbean, is thought to have influenced the setting for Shakespeare's The Tempest and was the inspiration behind John Lennon's Double Fantasy album. Behind the comfortable facade, it is a wild and magical place.”

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Published May 21, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated May 21, 2014 at 12:11 am)

Island of Dreams

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