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    December 9. The MSM mounted two one-act operas: I Due Timidi by Nino Rota and Suor Angelica by Puccini. The sets, acting and voices were superb  – an infinitely better experience than the Met’s from the back of the Family Circle. We were enthralled.

     

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Bermuda aboard the NCL “Escape” — Historic St. George

Enlarge the pictures to full screen for essential detail.

Christine and I squeezed in a week’s cruise to Bermuda. We were both, just about recovered from the London trip jet-lag and needed an r and r break. By chance, the ship making the voyage was a new addition to the NCL fleet, the “Escape”. At 180,000 tons plus, the “Escape” is one of the super large class of vessels on which we would not normally sail; we hate the noisy, crowded facilities and the impossible activities, like: monstrous water slides, rope-climbing structures and bungie-jumping–none of which appeal to we mature passengers much, nor do they appeal, I imagine, to the increasing number of wheelchair and walker equipped travelers one encounters on these cruises now-a-days. We prefer the much more intimate “Gem” class.  However, we were offered a balcony stateroom for the same price as an outside view one and this gave us a chance to escape(?) the crowds when we wanted. And, the ship did have a piano bar serving 25 draught beers!

The “Escape” — a floating city of 6,000 souls . . .

 

Like all NCL ships, the hulls are decorated by contemporary artists. The Escape’s was designed by Guy Harvey, an artist my memory had denied completely until a passenger from another ship pointed out that I was wearing one of his designer shirts and that his logo was stitched on both back and front of it!

 

Dinner at the Captain’s table — pictures courtesy of Bobbie, dinner companion and now our friend . . . .

 

Photo op with the Captain and His Mate . . .

 

Bobbie with the officers. (picture taken with her tablet)

An unexpected plus from taking the “Escape” was, while docked in The Royal Dockyards, it ran a free ferry service to St. George. We took it together on the first day at port and I went again while Christine was at  Horseshoe beach the next day. The whole town of St. George is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is complete with a ducking stool and stocks. These reproductions get much more use than the originals; Tourists line up to take selfies in them!

St. George was settled in 1600 or thereabouts and became Bermuda’s first capital. Now it is a picture postcard town of pastel-colored buildings with startling white roofs. St. Peter’s church with its historic churchyard is a draw; the present structure stands on the site of the original wooden one which was erected by the first settlers in 1612.

Inside St. Peter’s a simple wooden enclosure has been added. It is named ‘The Queen’s Chappell’ and has the Royal Coat of Arms on the front. Queen Elizabeth II visited the place of worship a few years ago!

 

When I first visited Bermuda, 45 years ago, the roofs were all flat with walls built round them to capture the rain–the only source of water in the islands. Now, by law, they are all peaked with diagonal runnels to direct the rainwater into underground storage vats and painted white . . ..

 

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Somers dock

 

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This is the last picture of the St. George visit but I will complete the Bermuda story with “Festive Hamilton” in the next post.

THE END

 

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2 Responses

  1. Just remember the Brit Com line about “having to eat with the help”!

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