Tintagel and a Recent Update (Nathan)

Trip Start Sep 03, 2010
Trip End Oct 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
Tintagel Youth Hostel

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, September 18, 2010

After a complimentary (and fairly terrible) full English breakfast at our B&B, we started a long journey of bus rides. Even though we weren't traveling all that far, it ended up taking most of the day because we had to switch buses three or four times, often waiting an hour for the next to arrive. A kind old lady who was going most of the same route with us offered to keep us on track, and while we were talking to her she mentioned a youth hostel on the edge of a scenic cliff in Tintagel, which was only a short distance from Boscastle. This became our new destination.

It was early evening when we arrived in Tintagel, with the sun still shining. We hiked down a path towards the hostel for several long minutes, admiring the countryside, which was lush and green and full of adorable sheep. The most distinctive feature of Tintagel seemed to be the slate- it was used for building most of the walls between farms and pastures, usually in a distinctive herringbone pattern (we later learned this has a name- I think it was Curzy Way), as well as for roofing and as paving stones.

The hostel itself was an old, weatherbeaten structure near the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was a beautiful view, and we sat there enjoying it while waiting for the hostel's warden to arrive- we had gotten there about a half hour before check-in started. One odd sight we witnessed was a seagull above the cliff just hovering in place for about 2 full minutes, as though he were stuck. Finally one of the other guests at the hostel pointed out the warden, who was sitting on the bench by the door behind us, having apparently materialized there while our backs were turned. We checked in and followed his directions to the town of Tintagel, which was about 8 minutes' walk past the nearby church. The church was surrounded by a beautiful old graveyard full of thin worn tombstones and lichen-encrusted crosses. I got a couple pictures, but decided to get the rest of them the next day- all the tombstones faced one way and the sun was behind them.

The town was beautiful and quiet, though a little touristy. That area has a lot of connections to the legend of King Arthur, and the gift shops made full use of it. We didn't spend a whole lot of time there, just shopped for groceries and had dinner at an Indian restaurant (it was the worst Indian food we've ever had) then headed back to the hostel as the sun was setting and got to bed early. Our warden had told us about a beautiful trail along the coast that led to Boscastle, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get there before the Museum of Witchcraft closed.

So, now an update from THE FUTURE. For the blog, anyway, since it's two or three days behind. Some of you have been asking where we are now and what our plans are. Right now we're in Salisbury, with plans to visit Stonehenge and Avebury, and either Glastonbury or Bath, in the next couple days. After that we're heading to London for about 5 days, then taking the ferry to Paris for another 5 or 6. I really need to mention what an enormous help Glennica has been- for every hour I spend uploading pictures and writing about our experiences, she spends an hour working out our transportation plans and finding us the best prices on lodgings for the night so we never end up in a last-minute panic. She's already found us rooms in London and Paris and arranged for the ferry between England and France. She doesn't post to the blog much, but none of this would be possible (or at least it would be a hell of a lot harder) without her. Thanks, Glenn!
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women_n_seamen on

Glastonbury is said to be the Isle of Avalon, which was the old pagan home of the dead. How can you resist that?

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