Bringing my series on my visit to Cornwall to a close.
All good things come to an end, even this series of blog posts, and with this post we do indeed reach the end of my account of my visit to Cornwall.
THE JOURNEY HOME
With my train due to leave St Germans at 9:27AM on Monday July 16th we had decided that a departure from Fort Picklecombe at 8:30AM was warranted due to the fact that I had a reserved seat on that train, which was going all the way to London, and would have been in the region of £100 down had I missed it. We arrived early at the station, and once the train arrived I found my seat easily enough, although as had happened on the journey down they had reversed the running order of the train and I was facing against the direction of travel instead of with it (trust me, for a photographer this is quite significant). Here are the last of the Cornish pictures…
The rest of this post takes place outside Cornwall. The train ran a trifle slow, arriving into Paddington sufficiently late to ensure that I would not make my intended connection at Kings Cross. However, the failings of Great Western were as nothing compared to those of Great Northern. The train arrived at Cambridge where it was supposed to divide in two as usual with four coaches going on to King’s Lynn and the rest going back to London, then a good couple of minutes later we got an announcement telling us that the split was not happening and that we needed to go to Platform 7. As a direct consequence of this mess up we then hit two red signals, at Waterbeach and again at Watlington, arriving into King’s Lynn much later than we should. This made it four successive journeys on Great Northern where the schedule had not been adhered to. Their failures appear to have got worse – just a few days ago I saw a special bus service running between King’s Lynn and Ely.
Concluding my account of the day at St Michael’s Mount as we near the end of my series about my visit to Cornwall.
Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my recent visit to Cornwall. This post completes the day at St Michael’s Mount, leaving me with a post to do about the journey home and finally a page from which all the posts about this trip can be accessed. The fact that this will mean (including the page) 13 pieces relating to the trip bothers me not a jot – I have no more time for triskaidekaphobia than I do for any other ridiculous superstition.
WRAPPING UP ST MICHAEL’S MOUNT
Having finished our exploration of the mount itself it was time for lunch, which was excellent. The establishment at which we ate our lunch has a rule that alcoholic drinks can only be served if food is ordered at the same time, and according to their interpretation cream teas do not count as food, so on two occasions in the course of that meal we ordered portions of chips to go with drinks. Mention of cream teas (a speciality of the far west of England) brings me to a debate that rages unchecked: which goes on the scone first, the cream or the jam? The cream advocates argue that cream in this context is the equivalent of butter (and if it is Cornish clotted cream it is so thick that one can pretty much slice it like butter!), and that if you put the cream on first you do not get jam in it. I am not sure what the jam advocates base their case on.
Lunch consumed it was time to head back to our parking place on the edge of Penzance. The tide was just starting to turn but was still a long way out, and unlike the Mont St Michel, on which the current setup of St Michael’s Mount is modelled the tide here comes in slowly (no danger of galloping horses being swallowed by an inrushing tide, as allegedly happened at Mont St Michel on one famous occasion), so we were still able to walk back across a vast expanse of beach to rejoin the official footpath just west of Marazion. I omitted to remove my socks and shoes for this part of the journey, and they ended up thoroughly soaked, although by the end of the walk they had dried out again (without the sea breeze the heat would have been fiendish).
Continuing my account of a visit to St Michael’s Mount.
This is the third to last post about the day at St Michael’s Mount, and the ninth in my series about my summer visit to Cornwall. The next post will be all about the vast collection of antique maps that are on show here, and then a final post about the last stages of the day. I then have the journey home to cover to complete the series.
THE REMAINDER OF THE SUMMIT
At the end of the previous post in this series were about to head indoors for the second time in our exploration of St Michael’s Mount…
At this point we entered the map room. As an appetiser for the next post I offer one picture from there…
After the maps came a display featuring large amounts of weaponry…
That ended the indoor stuff until lunch time.
The descent takes past an emplacement of mini-cannons which are of French Revolutionary origin…
Just beyond this I encountered a Red Admiral butterfly:
Not long after this we could see our next destination, where we would be having lunch.
Continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall, with the ascent of St Michael’s Mount.
Welcome to the latest post in my series about my stay in Cornwall. This post takes us up St Michael’s Mount and covers some of the stuff at the top. There will be at least two and possibly three more posts about the day.
BASE CAMP (!)
Among the places at ground level, before the ascent begins are the restaurant where we would be having lunch and a visitor’s centre which provides a comprehensive introduction. After these one passes through a field that contains a dairy cottage before the ascent begins.
THE ASCENT BEGINS
The climb up to the buildings on top of the mount begins by way of The Pilgrims Steps, continues past the Giant’s Well and the Giant’s Heart and a cannon emplacement. Then comes the first indoor section and a roof terrace where we pause until the next post in this series…
Having covered Thursday, Friday and Saturday in six posts we arfe now dealing with the Sunday, my last full day in Cornwall.
As all five of us (my parents, my sister and my nephew as well as me) were making the visit to St Michael’s Mount we travelled in my parents camper van instead of using the train. We wanted to be underway by eight and achieved this. We were planning to explore St Michael’s Mount in full and then have lunch at an establishment there. Things panned out pretty much as intended. The road journey is a lot less scenic than the rail equivalent, so I am going to recommend unequivocally that anyone else planning to do this use the train – the walk from Penzance (all of which is familiar to me, although we started part way along it, having located a parking place just outside Penzance) is very scenic, while there is a longer walk available from St Erth (inland for most of its duration, instead of along the sea front). Here are a couple of satellite views:
THE JOURNEY IN PHOTOGRAPHS
This section ends the post, taking us across the causeway to the base of the mount:
The latest installment in my series “A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall”. This starts my coverage of Saturday in Plymouth.
My nephew needed some things that we had to go to Plymouth for, and so he, my mother and I took the Cremyll ferry to Plymouth, attended to the shopping and then went up on to The Hoe (subject of my next post).
THE CREMYLL FERRY
Once we were safely aboard the ferry it was time for the camera to do its work:
THE SHOPPING PART OF THE EXPEDITION
We had a substantial walk from the ferry terminal on the Plymouth side to the shopping area, during which I saw a few things to photograph:
The latest post in my series “A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall”, concluding my account of my day out in St Ives.
In my previous post in this spread out series about my recent visit to Cornwall (Thursday July 12 through Monday July 16) I covered a boat trip to see a seal colony. I now account for the rest of that day after the trip. Don’t forget that a more local view of St Ives is available from The Cornish Maid.
BACK ON TERRA FIRMA
I was back in St Ives at 1:15PM as scheduled, and had two definite targets for the remainder of my time there – find a cash machine and find somewhere not too extortionate for lunch. By this stage the town was packed, and far as I was able to locate there was a but a single cashpoint there, so I had a bit of a wait. Still I eventually got my money and found a place to have lunch.
THE RETURN JOURNEY
I was back at the station in good time for my three stage journey back to St Germans (changes at St Erth and Liskeard, and longish waits at both). My father collected me from St Germans and we headed to Cawsand to meet my mother, sister and nephew at a pub there before heading to Fort Picklecombe together. My camera battery just made it to St Germans before giving out for the day after one more picture en route for Cawsand.
My previous post in this series covered the journey from St Germans to St Ives and hinted at the feature of my time in St Ives. This post picks up the story. The Cornish Maid has produced posts giving a more local take on St Ives in her blog.
SERENDIPITY IN ST IVES
From the station I headed in the general direction of the sea front, taking photographs along the way.
As I hit the sea front area I encountered a man selling tickets for boat trips to a seal colony. Knowing that I was operating to a time limit (the connections back being less good than those for the outward journey I needed be back at the station around 3PM to be sure of getting back to St Germans at 6PM as I intended) I made enquiries about departure times and the length of the boat trip. I benefitted from being a natural born singleton – there was exactly one seat remaining on the Sea Horse, which was departing at 12:00 and would be back around 1:15, and that was the decision made (there is a seal colony at Blakeney Point in Norfolk, but this seemed likely to be an improvement on that).
One takes a small boat out to the main boat one is booked on, and at low tide (as it was for my outbound journey) one has to walk out into the sea to about knee depth for the first pick up. The water was cool but not shockingly so, and it was actually very pleasant standing in the shallows.
I managed to board the small boat taking me and others out to the Seahorse (a 12 seater boat, so still not huge) without incident, and the transfer to the Seahorse also passed without incident.
AT THE SEAL COLONY
I will let the pictures tell their own story…
BACK TO ST IVES
The start of the return journey featured the bumpiest sea of the entire trip (fortunately there was a breeze rather than a serious wind blowing, so the sea was choppy rather than actually rough). I imagine that in a winter storm (I encountered Cornish winter storms and their effects in 1989 on a christmas holiday when we stayed in a Landmark Trust cottage. I believe that the enitre village was actually owned by Landmark Trust, but the perimeter fence of RAF Morwenstow was within walking distance for those looking to place it). Fortunately the tide had risen to the point that the transfer boat could get right up to the quayside, so no further paddling was required.