Friday, March 31, 2006

The Rock

Bermuda, locally referred to as The Rock, is a land area of only 21 sq miles long (56 sq km) and about 2 miles (3 km) at its widest point, made up from several islands, many of which are now connected. One can travel from one end to the other in just over an hour (or in my case, about 90 minutes via the pink public buses) and from north to south in 15 minutes. Bermuda began as a volcanic mountain, but most of the volcanic rock is now 450 feet below sea level. The island appears to be made of limestone, clearly visible along the roadways and shorelines, which originated as sand from the reefs that formed dunes and subsequently cemented through the action of rain into rock. Upon close inspection, it is amazing what you can find inside the limestone! As I travel the shorelines there is frequent evidence of quarrying and cutting. Apparently the limestone was commonly used as a building material for protection against hurricanes but the laborious process is used little today (mostly for roofs) and now Bermudian walls are made with concrete blocks. As I roam the island I can’t help but think the concrete companies are doing well as new construction abounds and repairs are still being made to destruction caused by Hurricane Fabian in 2003.

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