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Think Bermuda and images of tidy pastel cottages, pink-sand beaches and quintessential British traditions like cricket matches and afternoon tea spring to mind, plus of course those professional gents going about their business in jackets, ties and Bermuda shorts, as if they forgot to put their pants on. For once the stereotype matches up to reality, though you may be somewhat disoriented if you mistakenly thought Bermuda was somewhere in the Caribbean. The island is, in fact, situated in the western Atlantic Ocean, nearly 600 nautical miles off the coast of North Carolina.

The majority of visitors to Bermuda come from North America for short stays, and most consider the island to be quaintly British; the Brits, on the other hand, come in much smaller numbers but tend to consider the island highly Americanized. It is, of course, uniquely Bermudian - a product of nearly four centuries of British colonial history and an equally long reliance on American trade.

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