Western Europe April 2018 travel blog

Mount Saint Michael

Lands End

Gloious sunshine greeted us this a.m. we left early...before 9a....and drove to Marazion to see Mount St. Michael up close. We had intended to walk out on the causeway but it was aready beneath the splashing waves...by maybe 6 in. The castle atop it was closed to visitors today...Sun. There was little point in making the trek. So we stopped, took pics and left.

We then drove around the bay past Penzance and Newlyn to Mousehole. This is a quaint little fishing village with a protected harbor, narrow streets, houses right to the very edge of the road. Streets are one way only.

We left behind the bay with its sparkling sandy stretches of beach to drive to Lands End. We expected some neat rock formations and little else. Were we wrong! We were charged parking, given a couple of brochures and walked by a clump of whitewashed buildings...the last and the first buildings...cafe, hotel, gift shop....in England. Really?!? We had to pay to get a pic of the Lands End sign. Paths were fenced off from the cliff's edge...no one could get to Lands End. We left in dismay.

We had been forewarned by 2 hikers...breakfast companions....that we would be disappointed and we were.

But not to worry. We defied the nagging GPS and took the narrow coastal road through picturesque farms hidden by bushy flowering hedges past little villages with neat names like St. Just, Pendeen, Morvah, Zennor and others to St. Ives. Unfortunately it is Sunday and the cyclists were out in full force. We'd get by a bunch...some road in the road's center and wouldn't get over...and see something neat, and not want to stop because when we did, we'd have to pass them again.

But St. Ives is a bigger village spread over a high hill with several streets. Buildings come right up to the cliff's edge. Streets are narrow and seem narrower still with the tall buildings next to them. Cars drove both ways inching past one another when they met. The views are awesome. Narrow beaches and protruding rocks can be seen in places. Finding a parking place was, however, not to be. They were all taken. St. Ives is the start of many a coastal walk to Penzance. So we went on.

We decided to head back to Bristol retracing our steps. But the GPS would have none of that. We went A30 till we got to Exeter and then followed M5 to Bristol. So most was new territory. We drove almost dead center on the peninsula through deciduous trees and swampland or so it seemed. Once back at Exeter we knew the road. The drive was fast and uneventful.

About halfway we decided to go on to Wales. We bypassed Bristol, took the toll bridge across the Severn Inlet and stopped in Chepstow. It is situated on the banks of the Wye River. An old castle presides over the town. We found a place to stay...above a pizza parlour and have settled in. Yes the pizza is good. We've settled for the night.

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