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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


If lurid knee-length shorts spring to mind when you think of Bermuda it is entirely understandable, for the eighties fashion phenomenon put the remote collection of islands on many people's world map. However, the chain of coral islets couldn't be further from the in-your-face fashion faux pas, having embraced many a quintessential English tradition; from sophisticated gents playing cricket to refined ladies supping on afternoon tea. In all, Bermuda consists of around 180 islands and islets, lying just off the coast of Cape Hatterras, North Carolina, in the Atlantic Ocean. Its many coastlines are characterised by small bays with beaches of fine pale pink coral sand and surrounding vivid blue-green waters. Inland is an abundance of subtropical plants and flowers, interspersed with quaint pastel cottages.Bermuda was first discovered by Juan de Bermudez, a Spanish sailor, in 1505. It was claimed in England's name by Sir George Somers, in July 1609. After colonisation, the island prospered and has continued to do so almost continuously ever since.In 1968, the island was granted internal self-government (formally a British Dependent Territory) while the UK retained control of defence and foreign policy. The issue of independence continues to crop up. A referendum on independence was last held in 1995 but a low turnout produced a majority against independence