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To Cornwall: Tintagel, Castle of king Arthur and Lizard Point

Home -> Europe -> United Kingdom -> Travelogue United Kingdom -> 13 September 2005

Tuesday 13 September, to Cornwall: Tintagel, Castle of king Arthur and Lizard Point

When we go downstairs, the cook is already busy cooking and we don't see her. I think she is preparing a full English breakfast for us. Elisabeth hesitates, she really hopes not... But I was right, a few minutes later she (another woman than the cook yesterday night) comes in with two fully covered plates with beans, bacon and other things wqe rather not have for breakfast. We decide it is best to be honest about it and tell we would like to have only some eggs. We apologise to her that we didn't seek hert out in the kitchen, she apologises for not asking us first. Well, after a few minutes she returns with a perfect breakfast: fried eggs on toast for Elisabeth, scrambled eggs for me.
The day starts sunny, but it is not warm and soon the sun also disappears when we drive to the coast. We start on some smaller roads but we soon notice that we have a much better view when we take the bigger roads.
Post office, Tintagel TintagelTintagel is our first stop, another place connected to King Arthur. It is clearly good for the local economy and there are still quite a lot of tourists. And a lot of restaurants, so we start with having a coffee. The oldest building in the village is the old post office (picture to the left) from the 14th century and open for visitors.
TintagelLike everywhere on the west coast of Great Britain (and of Ireland) palmtrees can grow in the mild climate that exists here because of the warm Gulf Stream. With the greenhouse effect becoming stronger the average temperature on earth will rise, but the Gulf Stream would eventually disappear causing a sharp drop in temperature in western Europe.
Coast near Tintagel castle Tintagel castle, Castel DyntagellThe main reason we are here for is Tintagel castle where king Arthur is supposedly born. It was build in the 12th and 13th century and an impressive ruin is all that is left now on two seperate rocks. One of the rocks lies in the sea and we have to climb a steep stairway to come to the other side over the deep gorge. It is quite a climb.
Tintagel castle, Castel Dyntagell Tintagel castleThe rock is 90 meters high, and thus a natural stronghold, a perfect place for the medieval people to build a castle. From excavations we know that already in the 6th century (the time in which king Arthur and his round table is often placed) there was a monastery on this spot.
Coast near Tintagel castleBeneath the castle, at the bottom of the rocks, there are a number of caves and among them Merlin's Cave, a natural tunnel which can only be visited at low tide. The spirit of Merlin is still roaming about there, which can be heard when the wind blows through the cave. The view on the fanciful coastline and the blue sea is great.
After all the climbing up and down, we take the jeep that transports people to and from the castle, so we don't have to climb all the way up again. I can still feel my legs after I climbed more than 300 steps yesterday at Cheddar. We are glad when we are back in our car, and give our legs some rest. After that we drive on, along the coast and sometimes we have magnificient views on the sea. We skip Land's End, the most westerly point and go to the most southern place of the island, Lizard Point.
Lizard PointWe have been at the most northern point already, John O' Groats in Scotland, but it is much nicer here. Now we only have to hope that we get our car out of the loose sand again on the fairly steep parking place. There are more people who have problems getting their car out of it again.
Lizard Point Lizard PointThe coast consists of beautifully whimsical rock in this area. Along the coast of the peninsula are many hidden caves and bays, formed by the power of the wind and the sea. But we don't have enough time to explore it all, our holiday will be over in a few days. But we are sure we could spend many days here, exploring all hidden treasures.
Fortunately, we have no problems getting the car out of the sand and we start going back. Half way we discover that we have forgotten our comprehensive travel guide somewhere, probably at Lizard's point. A pity, since it had very good tips about things we wanted to see and do.
When we fill up our car, we talk to a truckdriver that brings lpg to the filling station. He has to go here now almost every day while a few years ago that was only once a week. The British have discovered lpg now that the oil prices are really getting high. We have noticed that there are also many more filling stations with lpg and we have used petrol only once for a short distance.
At half past 6 we are back at the hotel, have another delicious dinner and talk a bit with the friendly staff. Then we call home to see how our kids are doing. And the best is to hear the voice of our granddaughter again, we really mis her! We feel the travel fatigueness coming, we are glad we are going home in a couple of days. But homesick, no, not really. We still enjoy all the new things we see and we want to see more the coming days.


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