Day two and it was time to see what St George’s, Bermuda’s oldest settlement, had in store for us. Starting with a homemade cinnamon bun breakfast at the family-run Sweet Saak Bakery, we then headed out to explore this pretty, walk-able town.
The cultural significance of St George’s is huge, and we could feel how each building, each road-name and each garden was steeped in history (we even heard the story behind the naming of ‘shinbone alley’ – it had something to do with sailors being too inebriated to walk back to their ships…). And this was no surprise to us, since the town is the oldest, continuously occupied town in the New World, first discovered by the fateful survivors of the Virginia Company of London’s shipwrecks in 1612. Quite the claim to fame, you’d have to agree.
St George’s was the capital of Bermuda until 1815, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so we spent hours absorbing the obvious beauty of the colourful houses, and being charmed by the once-grand buildings that, like so many others on the island, have been reclaimed by plant-life. One particular highlight was St Peter’s Church, where we came across a burial ground for slaves and free blacks. A highly significant place, many world diaspora tours come here, and we felt privileged to be able to see it first-hand. Bermuda was quickly presenting itself to us as a cultural mecca, and St George’s is the best place to witness what the locals call a ‘living history’, as they go about their daily lives in a living, breathing world heritage site.