S: England May 2010
FC: Elaine, Diane, Joan and Phil Cornwall , England May 16-28, 2010
1: Diane and I started on Wednesday morning arriving in Philadelphia to meet up with her sister Joan and her brother in law Phil. Unfortunately, they missed their connecting flight, had to catch another, arrived in Philly as we were pulling out of the gate. Not the best way to start our vacation. But on we went to London, while Joan and Phil stayed in Philly to then catch a flight the following day from Boston to London. Phil was to be the driver and made the car rental arrangements, so we had to make a little change in the plan when we arrived in London. Diane, being the excellent traveler, knew just what to do so we went to our first destination, first by a short bus trip to Woking station, then by train on to Salisbury, where the owner of the B&B met us, then on to the small town of Dean where we spent our first night. Communication with Joan and Phil was difficult since they did not have a working cell phone, but eventually, the following day, Joan and Phil arrived with the rental car. We started on our way down the coast to Cornwal
2: This is Farthing Corner B&B our first night. Thatched roof from the 1600, home originally built in 1400"s, appears in great shape. We had tea and cake when we arrived, then later we went out to the pub in Dean a short walk from the B&B
3: This was out in the country, the owner grew a lot of her own vegetables, had lovely flower gardens, chickens for their fresh eggs in the morning.. Dinner at the Black Horse Pub was fish and chips. It was a family atmosphere, friendly neighbors and good food. In the morning, Joan and Phil arrived, and off we went to Salisbury.
4: This is actually the back side of the train stop in Salisbury, cute little house
5: Diane and I in front of the pub, and a war memorial This property was originally owned by the Singer family, it was also home to many troops during WWII | Us after 24 hours of no sleep...zzzzz
6: The Black Horse Pub and the official Mail truck of the Queen.. We are still not sure how people get their mail, since there are no addresses or mail boxes that we could find! | Along with our fish and chips we had a shandi, beer and lemonade mixture
7: This is the Cathedral in Salisbury, under construction, but still very beautiful. Below is the inside courtyard.
8: Yes, that is me in front of the Cathedral, the tiny little pink person
9: So beautiful inside, and still being used for worship
10: Note the date and wording, from 1700's
12: Salisbury was our first stop on the way down to Lamorna Cove where we would be staying for the next week. We had lunch along the way, then very carefully drove through the many roundabouts. Each time was a challenge, you had to quickly read the signs for the town or direction you were looking for,. Thank goodness Phil was driving, since you drive on the wrong side of the road, and shift with the other hand, I know I would have been totally non functioning behind the wheel. We found Lamorna cove towards evening, we were at the southernmost tip of England along the Cornwall coast. We stayed in a small 2 bedroom apartment, Diane and I shared a room with very uncomfortable twin beds! Lamorna had a pub, and the Cove restaurant, and a small diner down in the cove. So we did walk down there several times for tea and biscuits, breakfast and treats. The traditional English breakfast is bangers (sausage), eggs, beans, potatoes, mushrooms and tea,
13: This is the pub across the street from our apartment, but it smelled really old, probably cause it is!! This is the road down to the cove.
14: Our view walking down the hill, and our apartment, James and Amanda the owners were staying in the upper house, us below, She was so kind and helpful while Joan and Phil had no clothes., Amanda is a writer and James does metal art.
15: We had a lite lunch at the Cove restaurant., Diane and I shared crab cakes and bread | We went to Penzance for some groceries. It is interesting that you have to pay for all your parking, and the public rest rooms also charge.
16: This is the so familiar telephone booth, yes they are still around. Not sure if I mentioned that Phil and Joan did not get their luggage, so they were hand washing their clothes, and that was frustrating. We did still get out, walked to the Merry Maidens standing stones out in a field not too from from Lamorna
17: The story of the merry maidens is that the beautiful young maidens were dancing on Sunday to the music of the piper. but you were not suppose to dance on Sunday, so they were turned to stone, it was a very large circle of stones, across the way in another field stood one stone, that was the piper who played the flute
18: At the Merry Maidens standing stones, and a very big chair we found on a hiking path
20: We took a walk down the lane, found these very huge plants, I felt like a little fairy underneath the very large leaves
21: Sunday was Father's day, and still no luggage, Amanda was going to be home so she said she would wait for the luggage should it arrive. She took us to the small town of Paul for lunch at the King's Arm's Pub, which I might add was where we ate several times. We had the Sunday Roast beef, gravy, potatoes, cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, with Yorkshire pudding, which is really just a popover. It was tasty, we then set off on our walk down to Mousehole, then took a foot path along the coast back to Lamorna, took us about 2 hours, we loved it but were ready for cream tea, biscuits with clotted cream and jelly!!
22: In Paul we stopped to look at a very old Church, had been there1500 years, with many restorations. There is a cemetery with very old head stones, as you can see, 1777 on this stone
23: Inside the church was beautiful, quaint, and still being used by the locals Some of the walls still have the burn marks from WWII
25: As you can see, this is a very typical street, often traffic one way has to stop in order for the opposite cars to get by. We had to be very careful walking, they drove very fast, and we often had to move up close to a bush or wall in order to not get hit. It was very interesting, This road took us down to Mousehole right at the sea.
26: This is the cute little town of Mousehole
27: This is called a Plague stone from the 1600's, in some parts of England people got the Bubonic plague. People would bring food and goods to the homes of the sick people, and the money was left in the stone soaking in vinegar which was supposed to keep the plague from spreading.
28: If you go down the hill, you must walk up again ! Such beautiful quaint towns
30: This is the kitty house, below a rest and a view over the town of Mousehole
31: We had a beautiful coastal walk, complete with a yoga stop! It was fun. That evening I realized that at 10:30 it was still light outside, the sun was also waking us up early.
33: A little zen break along the walking path
34: We did a lot of hiking, along narrow paths, up many hills and through the bushes
36: The next day was Monday, so we now knew the bags would not be coming for at least another day, so Phil and Joan wanted to buy a few things to wear. We went to Penzance, which was a busy little beach town, we shopped and then headed to Marizion to Mt. ST. Michaels Castle.
37: While in Penzance we did some shopping and stopped at this train station, if you look at the sign you see the Cornish writing. I just thought that was interesting.
38: This is Mount St. Michael Castle. A family still lives in part of the time, and as you can see it is surrounded by water. When the tide is out, there is a cobble road that leads out to the castle, otherwise you have to go by boat
39: Once on the island, this is the cobble road up to the castle, below Joan and Diane take a break to look at the amazing view. Water all around, you can see the cobble path through the water
40: Phil taking a pic of the castle, the view from the castle
41: More views, see the cobble road to the right of the harbor | When the tide is low you can walk out to the castle, but when the tide is in you ride in a small boat. The cobble road very visible
42: This is the chapel inside the castle, although it was really small, the picture on the right shows the large pipe organ surrounding the stained glass window
44: All the rooms had so much to look at, but notice the suits of armor on the far wall
45: Another beautiful view from withing the walls of the castle
46: At the castle we had lunch, I had a pasty, a meat pie that is very popular in England. They truly are meat and potatoes people. We walked around the castle, then took the small boat ride back to shore. We decided we needed a few supplies for the apartment so we found the courage to head back to the grocery store just off a very busy round about. Heading back through Penzance, we came to another intersection with not a round about exactly, but indeed a very confusing traffic pattern. Phil was going through the intersection when a car came very fast from the other direction and clipped our front bumper. All I remember seeing was Diane covering her eyes, she was in front with Phil, the car speeding by in front of us and then hearing the crunch. We were sure there would be damage to the other car, but fortunately not, just our front bumper was torn off. Nonetheless, we were all a little shaken, especially Phil. The driving was very stressful on this trip and so we were glad to hear that Joan and Phil had gotten the insurance. Ok so now you see this was quite the adventurous trip. We went back to the apartment, Joan and Phil stayed home the next day, since they still had no luggage.
47: The next day, Diane and I decided to hop a bus we caught in front of the Wink Pub, and here you see we stopped for the cows crossing the road on our way to Porthforno to see the Minnak Theater. Joan and Phil decided to stay and wait for their luggage. On the bus, the driver gave us the story of the Merry Maidens stones, and other lore of the country. It was a pleasant ride, he dropped us off at the theater.
48: We arrived at the Minnak Theater, an open air theater with live plays. It was built by a lady and her gardener, moving stones and building the seating and the stage below overlooking the ocean
51: As you can see, the grounds were lovely, and there was a beautiful beach below, but of course the water was freezing. The theater is multi level, and there was a basking shark out in the water, being very distracting during the play. We had sandwiches for lunch, brie and cranberry for me. It was a wonderful day, and we had lovely weather, no rain !!
52: BRRR | Senna Cove
54: In the Sun
55: Over hill and dale and to the beach
57: Well it is Wednesday now, we had to drive to the town of Truro to turn in the car and pick up another. Well that was another driving nightmare, it took us ages to find the rental turn in but we finally did. Hopped into our new car to St. Ives, where we caught a train ride into to town. The town is very old, not meant for a lot of cars , had beautiful but very narrow cobble streets. So they encourage you to take the train in then walk around, which is what we did. On the left is another memorial to the men and women who have fought in wars. Some street players and a very pretty building with many plants and flowers. Almost every house has a planter with flowers or greens. We stopped for tea and scones again, one must have proper tea time you know!
58: While in St. Ives we went to the Tate Museum, and a sculpture garden. Enjoying our tea and scones and of course, clotted cream. Yum
59: The following day we walked down to the Cove, but it was early and the little restaurant was not open yet. It was a cool morning so we decided to walk, enjoy the beautiful views along the coast. While climbing on some rocks I lost my footing and fell into a sticker bush on the side of the trail. Fortunately Phil was ahead of me, heard my little yelp as I landed in the stickers. He pulled me out, I am not sure how I would have gotten out of them otherwise, I was literally in stickers. It was not fun. After that trauma, we headed back to the cove for our breakfast. We then headed out to Senna cove, walked in the very cold ocean and then around another cute little beach town.
61: So much to see, so little time!
62: Thursday, June 24th, my son's 33rd birthday, did I send him a card? Well I would call but we have very bad reception the entire time here, so I guess he will have to wait! After our breakfast down at the cove, we went to the Senna cove, walked on the beach, shopped of course, then went back to the Minnack Theater for Joan and Phil to see it. Lunch that day was from the Wink, sandwiches on our little patio at the apartment. After lunch we walked about 2 miles to a light house, lots of rock climbing, then back down to the cove for scones for the morning. Wow, we wore ourselves out!!
63: Friday up early for the drive back to London. We had our scones and tea, then headed out for the almost 4 hr drive on mostly 2 lone highway. We stopped for lunch, another sandwich, cheese and tomato this time. We did stop at Stonehenge, there were so many tourists, but it was worth the stop. Heathrow was very busy by the time we got there to return the car, we only went around the airport 3 times before finding the rental return! We then took the shuttle to the tube station, got on at about 5 pm, not a great time on a Friday as well. The tube was very crowded, but 45 min later we reached our stop in London. Ok now I know why I was told to pack light, public transportation! Walked a few blocks to our hotel, which turned out to be very nice. We rested a bit, got cleaned up and went out for dinner just down the street. All the college kids were at the Pubs, literally out in the streets, having a jolly good time. Cheers Had our pizza, worn out and returned to bed!! Another lovely breakfast then we were off to sightseeing via the Red bus.
64: It is now Friday, and time for us to leave the beautiful Lamorna Cove, so after yet another wonderful breakfast of tea and scones, we drove up to London. It was about 3 and a half hours of 2 lane highway, and along the way we stopped briefly at Stonehenge. It is right off the main road, which seemed
65: weird since it is such an incredible sight. It is also now gated off so you cannot walk among the stones just around them. We were tired and since the others had been here before, I just took pics from afar. Still an amazing site to behold!
66: This is the Crescent Hotel, a bed and breakfast we walked most of the time, or rode the underground and red bus
67: The sitting room in the hotel
68: Diane and I were downstairs, which was a little cooler, it was a really hot weekend in London
69: Another red box, ok I am obsessed! | Coming into Trafalgar Square
70: The British Museum
71: Overlooking the Thames, see the "eye"
73: The Tower of London, where so many died
74: The Bloody Tower, not a fun place to go! | Within the wall of the London Tower
75: The front of the Tower of London
76: The Eye and the tower bridge
82: The tower that holds Big Ben clock works and the Westminster Abbey
84: Westminster Cathedral and Buckingham Palace
86: Ship in a bottle, tried 3 times to get a good shot, no luck
87: Trafalgar Square, so many visitors, another pub, with flowers
88: Just before leaving for England, I saw a movie called Charing Cross Road, a very sweet movie, and much to my surprise, we went right down that street where it took place!
89: Bobbies, or maybe Bobett's on patrol, we were right next to the horses in the bus, they were calm, not bothered by all the traffic and noise
91: Below, the memorial to women of WWII
92: Tribute to Sherlock Holmes
93: Just looking not shopping at the most amazing Harrod's
95: The Mews, the horse stable of old, and the Benneton store with the faces
96: I loved the beautiful buildings
97: The Hard Rock Cafe
98: Another monument, there are so many and all so beautiful
99: We left London, tired and ready to return to our home sweet home. Our trip back to Philly was uneventful, and we arrived along with our luggage. In Philly we parted from Joan and Phil, all of us reaching our destinations without problem. I loved this trip, it was all I could hope for, and I appreciate Diane's travel expertise, Phil's calm when things were difficult and Joan's fun loving attitude even when she had no clothes. I would return to England in a minute if given the chance, the people are friendly and funny, they have a wonderful knowledge of their country's history, and an appreciation for what they have. Thank you Diane, Phil and Joan for sharing your trip with me.