20-27 October 2001
Mini-vacation to Cornwall, England
Highlights by Mary Ann
27 October 2001
We flew to Manchester, England, and arrived around 0915 on
20 October. As we went to pick
up our luggage, we heard our name called over the public address system. Much to
our disappointment the airline luggage attendant shared that my bag had
gone to Copenhagen, Denmark. (John Ė too bad, that when the airlines lose
a bag, you cannot choose to go where the bag is rather than have the bag
come to you.) They said that it would arrive at 1800; we decided to stay
in Manchester overnight, because it was a seven-hour drive to Cornwall.
We canít complain, since with all our traveling, we have rarely had our
luggage get on the wrong flight before.
We were off to Cornwall around 0930 the next morning. John did very well
remembering to stay on the left. It was just those round abouts that he
needed to get the hang of again; remembering back to Ireland in l998.
When we arrived in Penzance, we checked out three B&Bs; we feel we lucked out by default and got
the best one, Chy-an-Mor. Our room
overlooked Mountís Bay. Our host Michael, a retired fireman, was incredibly helpful. Also
the B&B had all these wonderful things for their interior design and decorating.
Their Cornish breakfast was outstanding each morning. We recommend Chy-an-Mor
to everyone heading for Penzance.
With Guy and Diane Speakeís wonderful suggestions we had planned some things
we definitely wanted to do.
Some of the highlights for me during the week: I enjoyed our boat ride over
to the island of
St Michaelís Mount. It was a Celtic Monastery for centuries and then became the residence
of the St. Aubyn family, who still live in parts of the castle. My favorite
part was the walk back to
Marazion across the cobbled causeway that is uncovered at low tide. I felt like
Moses when the Red Sea parted and they walked across land that was usually
covered by water. I loved the quaint granite cottages in the villages of
Mousehole (pronounced "Mowzul") and St. Ives. I also thought the white sandy beaches were phenomenal. Oh, and the narrow
roads that take you through these villages are for two way traffic and
you are sure they could really only be for one way traffic. All of a sudden
a car is coming toward you and someone has to find a place to park in or
back up to, so the other can pass.
We were there at a perfect time of year, because you could actually see
the beaches, instead of having them covered with sunbathers in the summer.
We also went to the Minack
Theatre, which was carved out of the granite hillsides overlooking the Atlantic
Ocean. It would be fabulous to attend a play here in the summer. I had been
to Lands End in l986, with my mother. It has become much more commercialized,
but nothing can take away the rugged beauty of the Atlantic Ocean beating against the cliffs.
On Wednesday we took the ferry to the
Isles of Scilly and went to Saint Maryís Island. I must say it was one of the most nauseating
rough sea experiences Iíve ever had. I only wish we had had a longer time
to explore the island before getting back on the ferry. The ferry was an
hour late leaving Penzance (some freight was delayed by road work) and
took one-half hour longer due to the weather. Thank goodness, it was a
smoother ride back to Penzance. The only way I survived and didnít get
seasick on the way to the island was to zone out, plus I had taken an anti-motion
sickness pill. Next time we fly!!
Then on our last day, Friday, following our host Michael's recommendation,
we took a tour with a local (Harryís Safari) on the
back roads around Penzance. He showed us many stone structures
dating back to 2400 B.C. and 800 B.C. Some were burial sites and others
were a focus for some kind of ceremonial function.
All and all, Cornwall was just
what John and I needed. It was great to be able to read the shop notices,
road signs, the newspaper, and to understand what people were saying.
John - A highlight for me was watching the changing of the tides. Tides
in the San Francisco Bay Area rarely exceed six feet while fourteen feet is
normal in the Cornwall area.