An Old Woman Goes to St Ives

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End May 12, 2012

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Chy an Gof Guesthouse Penzance
Read my review - 4/5 stars
What I did
St Nicholas Chapel - St Ives
Barnoon Cemetery - St Ives

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, May 20, 2012

I woke up too early and slept fitfully after that - awake enough to check the time - 6 am - so I tried to sleep until 7, then showered, organized and went down to breakfast at 8 am.  After breakfast I ended up chatting with Liz for a bit.  She has done everything - even teach lace making while she was in Abu Dhabi.  I managed to miss the bus to St. Michael's Mount.  But while I was waiting, I looked at the brochure and discovered that the garden wasn't open on Sundays.  I had noticed buses leaving for St Ives so I switched gears and decided to go to St Ives today.  I had to wait another 40 minutes for the bus.  I got a round-trip ticket and it didn't cost any more than the return from Land's End yesterday.  I am confused.

After a half hour ride on the top of the double-decker tourist bus, I was at the station in St. Ives.  A nice man who had lived in Marazion where you can cross over to the Mount told me that it would be easy to find the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden.  And, indeed, it wasn't that hard.  It was pretty small.  It was actually her studio space and you could see a room with tools and some blocks of stone.  The garden had a selection of pieces in bronze and stone amid the luxurious plant growth.  There were some stands of bamboo and some of the other familiar plants of Cornwall Gardens - succulents and other sub-tropicals as well as plants that I don't know at all.  Inside were some pieces in wood as well as a small exhibit on the artist's life and career.  Her second marriage was to Ben Nicholson and they formed the nucleus of an art group there in St Ives.  She had a son by her first marriage who died in the war and triplets with Nicholson.  For some reason, I am always fascinated by famous people's children.

Since the Hepworth Museum is associated with the Tate St Ives, I went there next.  I was supposed to get my Tate ticket as an upgrade and I think they charged me more than they should have but I guess I can support the arts in this way....and by buying overpriced postcards.  (I did pay the right price - there wasn't much of a discount really.)  I need to send my UK postcards out since I have the stamps already.  I really need to buy some postcards that I am willing to part with and can send to people.  On my way to the other shoreline of St Ives, I came across an old cemetery so I took a break from art to run around the Barnoon Cemetery taking photos.  I also tried to get some shorts of the beach and bay. 

Now at the Tate St Ives there was an exhibit on Alex Katz, an 85-year-old American painter.  They had works by him over his lifetime in a series of 5 galleries and I got to read the large print version of the captions.  He is seen as a fore-runner of Pop Art with his very simple compositions, limited and flat colors, and his use of repeated figures.  Some of his early work looked amateurish to me but I really liked the most recent paintings exhibited.  One of his most famous is the bathers -  women friends and family members - in designer bathing suits - that looks like advertising art.  In another beach scene, his son Vincent appears.  His wife Ada was often the subject of his paintings as in the Black Dress where she appears in the same black dress across the canvas.  In another gallery room, Katz selected works by other painters from the Tate collection and commented on their significance.  The only exhibition of Cornish artists was small and included a few painting of Rachel Nicholson, Christopher Wood and Ben Nicholson as well as photos and memorabilia.  The building itself is modern and architecturally interesting but I could only take photos outside and it was very hard to get anything worthwhile so I bought a postcard of it.

From the Museum, I walked to the tip of St Ives called the Island where there was an old chapel of St Nicholas and the coastguard lookout.  There were lots of tufts of sea thrift and nice rocks to take photos of as well.  As I re-entered the city, I tried to take some photos of the old stone buildings but they weren't always situated as I would have liked them but I took a bunch anyway until I sat for a bit with my crab sandwich at a sidewalk cafe.  By this time it was already after 4 pm and I wanted to get back to the bookstore I had briefly stopped at before it closed at 5 pm.  I headed toward my landmark - the clock tower- but was disappointed to find the bookshop already closed at 4:50.  There were lots of other shops that had been open but were closing rapidly - cream tea shops, candy shops, other souvenir shops, galleries with pottery, antique shops.  It would have been a great place to look around but it was now too late so I walked back up the steep, steep hill to the bus stop.  It is a good thing I had all that conditioning in the Balkans.

There was an Australian woman at the stop who started chatting with me and we easily passed the time talking about venomous snakes and spiders until a bus came.  It was her bus but, when I asked if it were going to Penzance, the driver said yes.... in 2 1/2 hours.  All of a sudden, I conceived a desire to have a tour around the peninsula.  We discussed my return bus ticket and how much it would cost for me to do the longer trip.  In the end, the very nice bus driver told the man who was actually driving this bus that I had a return ticket to Penzance and I got on.  Very nice bus drivers!  So I got to see a lot more of the countryside.  It didn't look that much different and I didn't get any great photos - even on the roof top.  There is a plastic shield around the first 2 rows of seats and I chose to sit there - otherwise it would be too cold (I was cold anyway by the end of the trip) - and it was difficult to pop up to get an unobstructed view of whatever I wanted.  But it was fun to sit up there in the fresh air!

The most exciting part of the ride was having to wait for the cows to walk up the road to an intersection so that we could pass.  The cows and baby calves were walking along very slowly with their cowherd in his wellies.  The women in front of me were discussing the cow's distended udders.  One woman thought the cows were pregnant but the other told her that the cows were ready to be milked.   They were thinking that cows were only milked in the morning but I butted in and said they usually get milked at dusk as well. 

After 2 1/2 hours or so, the bus arrived in Penzance and I decided that this time I would get off earlier, closer to my B&B.  I walked around a tiny bit seeing if there might be some place where I could get some food for dinner.  I decided to eat from the food stocks instead.  When I got to the B&B, Liz caught me to tell me she put my socks outside to dry.  I picked them up.  We talked about arrangements for tomorrow and I realized I needed to get cash out of the ATM to pay her before setting out tomorrow for St. Michael's Mount.  So I had to walk all the way back into town before I found an ATM to use, but not quite as far as the bus station.  But walking is good for me, isn't it??

Since I am rather tired, I think I may try to wrap up my computer things early tonight and pack up in the am assuming I wake up early again.  Hmmm, what if I don't.  Maybe I should try to pack up a bit tonight - electronic equipment at least.

Post your own travel photos for friends and family More Pictures

Slideshow Report as Spam

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

Loading Reviews
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: