July 3, 2007

Today was the day we were going to visit Paul’s aunt Jean in Mylor Bridge, near Falmouth. We were up at the usual time, had breakfast, then set off. Ruth was not going with us because there wasn’t really enough room for all of us. So the six of us got into the two cars with our overnight bags and off we went.

The first stop was Tintagel, on the north coast. Here on a headland is Tintagel Castle, where King Arthur supposedly lived. There is not much left of the castle, but it is still clear what the layout was. It was in two sections, one on the mainland and the other on the rocky headland. Luckily for us the weather cooperated, so we looked around the site for quite a while. Besides the castle itself there were many other stone ruins on the headland. The views here were very beautiful and we spent some time watching a kestrel hovering in the wind.

Back in the village we had Cornish pasties and hot chocolate for lunch at the little tea shop, then Chris led us on a short walk along the coastal path. From here we could look back at the castle and see Merlin’s Cave. Before leaving we walked around the village a bit, visiting the old post office museum and some of the other shops, many of which made good use of the King Arthur theme.

From Tintagel we drove down to Fowey (pronounced Foy), on the south coast. From the car park there we walked down the steep hill into the town. We noticed that several houses had sandbags outside their doors, to keep flood waters out. In the town we had tea; here it was Cornish cream tea so we compared it to the Devon cream tea we had had in Dartmoor. We decided the two tasted very similar.

Then we took the little passenger ferry across the estuary to Polruan, on the other side. Here we walked steeply up the hill to join a public footpath. Soon that footpath joined the Cornwall coastal path, and we followed that back to Polruan. Once again we had great views and surprisingly good weather. Chris had planned our route very well and timed it so that we would arrive back in Fowey about 6 pm for dinner. We went to the Galleon pub which overlooked the estuary. Mostly we had fish: Rosemary had plaice, Paul had mackerel, Jason had fish and chips, Chris the chicken and mushroom pie, and Caroline had a jacket potato with prawns and cheese. But when her meal arrived, it turned out to be served cold and the prawns turned out to be shrimp, so Jason kindly traded dinners with her.

From Fowey it was less than an hour to Jean’s place in Mylor Bridge, although we seemed to spend a lot of time driving around the end of the estuary in the outskirts of Truro. Mylor Bridge is a lovely little village of about two thousand people. Although it is small, it has all the conveniences you would need: butcher, fishmonger, grocery store, pub, and medical clinic. Jean met us at the door and we went in and chatted for a while. Her little house was part of a row of houses, as is normal in Britain. The ceilings were low but it was very cosy and very nicely decorated. There was a main living room with a smaller garden room off it and also a kitchen. The back garden was surprisingly large. Upstairs were two bedrooms and a large bathroom. Chris, Matthew, Caroline, and Jason were staying in the even smaller house next door, which was presently unoccupied as the owner was at home in Sweden.

We walked down to look at the estuary; luckily it was high tide, so it wasn’t a sea of mudflats. Afterwards we sat and talked for a long time, then went to bed about 11 pm.

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