Cornwall suits me well, and I was very sad to leave.
I'm still sad.
But it makes me happy to talk about it and share it with you. :)
Last year just Claire and I were in Cornwall, and we were only there a few days, but this year Bob could come, too, and we stayed for ten whole days. And now he is hooked, too! I am telling you, there is something very addictive about Cornwall.
This is a Clootie tree. You sometimes find Clootie trees next to wells or springs in Celtic areas.
(Cornwall is a county in England, but more apropos to their identity is that they are one of the six Celtic nations. The other five are Brittany, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales.)
A "clootie" is a strip of cloth. The belief was that you'd bring your sick child to the well, and tie a strip of cloth that had been dunked in the Clootie well onto the tree. When the cloth had decomposed, the child would be healed.
But some of the things hanging on this Clootie tree were plastic, so that kid is not going to be better for a long time.
This is Lanyon Quoit. It is older than the pyramids, and like most megalithic structures, nobody is exactly sure how it was made or what it was used for.
Unlike most places, Cornwall does not keep you at a distance from its megaliths. You can walk right up and touch them and climb on them, and have a nice little visit with the cows, too.
Cornwall was the world's major tin producer from around 2150 BC until the last mine closed in 1998.
Well Cornish lads are fishermen
and Cornish lads are miners too.
But when the fish and tin are gone,
what are the Cornish boys to do?
One smart Cornish lad we know started a fantastic tour company called Western Discoveries, which is how we have gotten to see all this cool stuff for two summers in a row now. We highly recommend Russ if you ever find yourself on the Penwith peninsula. He gives superb tours, and is a very thoughtful and nice person.
The deepest shaft in this mine is 250 fathoms (one fathom=six feet) under the ocean. I kind of have a mini panic attack thinking about that.
We stayed in St Ives again, at Little Leaf again, in room 3 again. :) We love Little Leaf! Danny and Lee are so warm and friendly and fun, and you can't beat the hilltop location because you wake up each morning and go out front and look down at the harbor.
It's a climb at the end of the day to get back up to Little Leaf, but then you feel it was okay that you had all those cream teas. We will always stay there, as long as they'll have us. :)
I hit the Cath Kidston sale. :) Whoo hoo.
This restaurant was new to us ... Alfresco. The food was delicious and the service was delightful. I don't eat seafood, but somehow Claire loves it (like her dad) and got the scallops.
Here are our other favorite restaurants in St Ives:
St Andrews St Bistro
Martin, the owner, is delightful, and his daughter who waits on the tables is charming. Everything we have eaten there is delicious. Make a reservation.
Harbour Fish and Chips
I love this place. We have eaten here our first night in St Ives two years in a row. :) They open the doors up to the harbour, and if you can get a table by the window, it just feels so relaxed and good to eat and look out.
The Balancing Eel
THIS is where the best fish and chips in St Ives are. :) But get your order to go.
The Cornish Deli
This place is tiny and fantastic. We have eaten here for lunch a couple times, but you could go every day of vacation and have something really interesting each day. (They also have summer dinner hours starting in July.) Yummy traditional and newly envisioned Cornish food choices. Bob had a game burger that had all kinds of different game meat in it. (I'll have to ask him what all was in it. I can't remember.) It's also a good place to buy food souvenirs, like Smuggler's tea. :) There are only a couple tables, so make a reservation.
I'm doing summer book club at my house again, and I chose Rebecca for our first book, because I knew we'd be in Cornwall and I thought it would be fun to read while I was there.
So I was so excited to accidentally stumble upon this house in St Ives. I didn't know she had vacationed there!
I made the book club girls look at some of my vacation pictures. I know. How rude.
"Kernow" is Cornish for "Cornwall". The Cornish flag (which is not oval and doesn't have "Kernow" written on it ... this is a car sticker) is called "Saint Piran's Flag." Saint Piran was the patron saint of tin miners.
The flag is supposed to represent veins of tin inside the dark rock.
If you go to Cornwall, you have to try a saffron bun. How did Cornwall get saffron, you may wonder?
Some people think the Phoenicians traded it for tin in Cornwall long before the Romans ever set foot in Britain.
This is Barnoon cemetery in St Ives. It was beautiful and interesting.
I would like to be buried there.
Read the inscriptions on the stones if you're able.
I talked about Men an Tol last summer.
Here's Mousehole. ("Mowzzle")
Do you know the story of The Mousehole Cat? (There is also a DVD, which Claire and I both liked. It is very sweet. I think we will try to watch it every year. It's available on Amazon as an instant watch.)
I love the reminders everywhere in Cornwall that you are never farther than sixteen miles from the sea. :)
And I love how so many of the houses have names instead of numbers.
I'll post some more pictures later.