Day three began with yet more history and culture as we headed over to the National Museum of Bermuda, located within the island’s largest Fort, The Keep, at the Royal Naval Dockyard.
Brimming with fascinating artifacts, from 17th Century silverware to ancient maps and handwritten documents, this museum tells the story of Bermuda in a fun and accessible way. There was one feature in particular, however, that we’d come to see. The grand Hall of History mural by local artist Graham Foster (who just so happened to be available to talk us through his impressive masterpiece) is one of Bermuda’s artistic triumphs and decorates the walls of its national museum. Graham was commissioned to undertake the immense task of painting the history of his island home, and the 32-panelled mural took three years to complete. The finished product offers a poignant, yet often playful, depiction of the island’s most momentous events, as well as some of the more minor. Within this colourful medley, we spotted everything from the original shipwreck from the 1600’s to the introduction of cars on the island. So many stories can be seen within this work of art, and if we’d all had enough time, we would have wanted Graham to take us through every single story he’d told here with his paintbrush.
After wandering the grounds of the old fort a little while longer, lingering in a building designed by Francis Fowke (yep, the very man that designed parts of the V&A and the Royal Albert Hall – Bermuda is full of surprises), we hopped back into the car to discover yet more unique splashes of colour at a beach covered in sea glass. The islanders aren’t exactly sure why the glass gets washed up here, edges softened by the tide, but it was a treat to see first-hand. Brown, green, white and red glass from discarded crockery and bottles have been remolded and regurgitated by the ocean, making for a truly unique landscape.
Soon, it was lunchtime, and it was at Woody’s, a local institution, that we enjoyed our first real Bermudian fish sandwich. Meaty Wahoo sat between fresh bread and layers of tartar sauce – this was the fuel we needed to keep us going in the warm sunshine for the rest of the afternoon.