Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ENGLAND 2016: Cornwall's St. Michael's Mount


Even though this is what we saw and did on our 2nd of 4 days in Cornwall, this is my last post of this series, before going back to the Bath area with Lisl and Michael.  So YAY for getting this done...before Astrid and I leave tomorrow for our annual trip to America.  (See, there WAS a reason for my urgency!)

Astrid and I had the great privilege of seeing France's Mont Saint-Michel back in 2010.  Back then, we had no clue there was another St. Michael's Mount...off the coast of Cornwall, England.  So when we discovered that last year, we knew we'd eventually see it...this year.

OMG.  It's not the same as in France but similar enough and just as wonderful in a different way, if that makes sense, on a smaller scale.

Our first view of the mount was in the context of a group of students drawing it.
What a way to start!

We were there at low tide and had full access to the causeway going in.
St. Micheal's Mount is one of 43 tidal islands that you can walk to from mainland Britain.
Astrid was a kid, looking for treasures left by the sea.

Walls or breakwaters surround the civil parish of ca. 35 people.

Once inside the parish, you see the homes and shops...

as well as the cozy harbor.

Seeing everything atop the breakwater walls was our highlight of the place,
since we did not climb to the top to see the castle and chapel (like we did in France).
Why, you ask????????

We had a decision to make...walk back before the tide came back in at 12:25 p.m.,
or wait and go back by ferry.
We opted for the walk back and made it by the skin of our feet...
but only my right foot was deluged...and with wonderfully warm water.
It's one of those memories you never forget.

But as we looked back, the ferries were already starting up their service to the mount.
Those tidal schedules are exact, we found out.

We rendezvoused with Chris, Pauline and Carrek, the dog...

before finding the Cutty Sark restaurant for lunch, with Cornish cider and pot pies.
That was another main reason for not taking time to visit the castle and chapel.  
Choices!  Decisions!  It was time for lunch and lunch overruled!

Besides, Pauline had something else in mind for us to see!
So we walked back to the car, enjoying our last views of Marazion, the town linked to the mount.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

What Pauline wanted us to see was the fishing harbor of nearby Newlyn, 8 miles away.

See the tiny dot south of Marazion?  Yup.  That's St Michael's Mount.

Newlyn is a fishing harbor only a mile from Penzance and part of its parish.

Lucky for us, just as we arrived, a fishing boat was unloading its haul of crabs.


Sometimes you have to see it to believe it.

After all that excitement, we walked up and down the wharf,
starting with this Old Soul, PZ513.
It took me awhile but clearly PZ stands for Penzance.

Pauline knows us well.  This was a photographer's heaven.

See what I mean?

It capped off a delightful day after the fog-shrouded views of St. Michael's Mount.

And even though this was done on our second day in Cornwall,
it seems like the perfect way to say Good-Bye for this year and THANK YOU to Chris and Pauline.
We do want to go back every year, as often as possible, for these great treasures.

Oh, and speaking of treasures, here are the weathervanes of our 4 days in Cornwall:


Does it ever get better?
(I actually think England and Holland could duke it out for quality...but not for quantity.)

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And now I need to go pack.  Tomorrow's 9:30 a.m. flight to Atlanta will come awfully early.....


Friday, October 14, 2016

ENGLAND 2016: Cornwall's Padstow


Moving right along, here's another coastal town in Cornwall!

If I started off with Astrid's panorama of "The View," wouldn't you want to see it!?!
(click to enlarge)

But first, we have to get there, approx. 15 miles from home base, but this time driving north.
Which makes me realize a map might be helpful:

In the last post, we went to Fowey to the south; this post we're in Padstow to the north,
population ca. 3,000.  (Click to enlarge.)

As you come into the town, you immediately see the town harbor.
Can you tell this is a fishing port?!

And can you tell we were there at low tide?

In fact, as we walked around the harbor towards where we would end up eating lunch,
both Astrid and I saw what we had hoped to see:  beached boats.
This is so unusual for those of us in America...and even the Netherlands.
I still just stare, knowing the tide will come back in eventually to un-beach them.

I did say lunch, didn't I!
Pauline and Chris took us to their favorite place for BLT/bacon buttie sandwiches.
And with the Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic), I was in taste-bud heaven.

After lunch we headed on the walk towards the memorial cross,
commemorating the Great War (WWI).
Europeans are the ones most affected by the two world wars, as opposed to Americans.
Almost every town/city we visit anywhere in Europe has a war memorial!

Then past the cross, after cresting the hill, there we saw it:  The View.
Padstow sits on the west bank of the River Camel estuary,
and out there is the Celtic Sea.

Across from us was this "White House" that caught my attention.
Supposedly some of the Royals spend time there (William and Harry, I think).
Apparently the north-coast surfing is ideal for aficionados. 

On our side of the inlet, even Astrid and Chris went down to the beach,
just to say they did it.

It was a hard place to leave but we did eventually walk back into town...

catching some goodies along the way.
(Maybe someone can identify the bird?  A sparrow?)

See the bottom teddy bear?
That's the Cornish tartan and flag.

We couldn't leave without a clotted ice-cream (that's one scoop!), thanks to Chris...
and pasties for our supper later on the train back to Bath.

Speaking of which, once back "home" we packed up and drove to the St. Austell train station,
where we said good-bye to our splendid hosts, Pauline and Chris.
It was now back to Bath...to join Lisl and Michael, our "bookends" for our England stay.

But not to confuse anyone, I have one more Cornwall post...of St. Michael's Mount...
which we visited our second day in Cornwall....

(to be continued)


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ENGLAND 2016: Cornwall's Charlestown and Fowey


I've just figured out that I AM organized, after all, and have decided to tackle the Cornwall part of our recent England trip first.

So, after Roche last post, you'll see a smattering of both Charlestown and Fowey this time, small towns on the coast near Pauline and Chris' home.

1.  Charlestown, Cornwall

Charlestown is only 6 miles from Pauline's, so it was an easy trip our first day,
after arriving by train from Bath.

It's a fishing port developed in the late 1790's and has remained relatively unchanged.
Because of that, it's been used as a filming location for both movies and TV series.

We stayed long enough to get a feel for the place, looking out to the Celtic Sea!
I wonder, of course, if Charleston, SC, in the USA, is a distant relative?

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

2.  Fowey, Cornwall

The next day, after our morning visit to the Roche Rock and parish church, we spent the afternoon in Fowey (pronounced foy), this time with Chris along for the ride.

Fowey is another small town and cargo port, this time 12 miles from "home base."

The parking lot near the ferry even has spaces for boats.
It was a good start to our trip.

Fowey has been the inspiration of many authors, apparently,
with Daphne de Maurier's house across the River Fowey pointed out to us.

We wandered our way through the town, stopping whenever and wherever we wished...

ending up at the harbor.
That's where we watched the school kids catch their ferry across the river home.
It's a cozy inlet from the Celtic Sea.

But it was the parish church, dedicated to Saint Finbarr, that Pauline wanted us to see,
and where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

The earlier Norman church was rebuilt in the 1460s after the French destroyed it.
Pauline wanted us to see the green men!

You could spend hours looking at the details.
This is o l d.

But Pauline wanted us to see the other green men inside...
after I got my first impressions of the nave.

What is it about the green men in these churches????
Lisl and Philine know a lot about them...and now they've got my atrention.

Even the pulpit, constructed from a Spanish galleon's captain's cabin, has them.
Don't you want to know everything about them?

By now the stained glass windows seem ordinary by comparison.
Did I say that?

And in case we didn't know, yes, it is still an active parish church,
keeping the needs of the impoverished in mind.

As I always say, Impressions, Impressions, Impressions.