Saturday, September 26 - Sunday, September 27
We did brave the drive down the hill, since the only other alternative was to drive miles in the countryside along more very narrow roads. We did have to detour once for another car, but I am sure we gave all the other drivers a laugh when I got out and directed Tom by hand.
Thus we left Mevagissey and headed for the peninsula called "The Lizard" which is the southernmost point of England. That was quite beautiful and we had lunch at a cafe nearby. (We have decided to avoid the more famous Land's End, as we've been told repeatedly that it is a tacky tourist trap, full of buses and low-grade theme park junk - even though it is the westernmost point of England!) The name 'Lizard' is most probably a corruption of the Cornish name 'Lys Ardh', meaning 'high court'
We drove to St. Ives and found our B&B with no problem. It is one of fifteen very narrow attached row houses from the Edwardian era (about 1910 or so) high on a hill and has a magnificent view of the harbor here. Parking is tight, but our host came right out to meet us and basically created a spot by moving his car to a garage down the street somewhere. Each row house must be about a car length in width, since each home has exactly one spot on the (dead-end) road outside, directly in front of each unit. Grahame has done a fantastic job of completely renovating the house, and the decor is wonderful - quite modern for a change. Our room has the terrific view, is quite large and very, very comfortable with a king-size bed which we have not seen since London. This is the best B&B that we've stayed in, although in fact the one in Mevagissey was the only B&B that was not as warm and friendly as we'd seen - that one was a bit "counting the pennies" kind of place too. Grahame is a font of information on places to eat, and there are many, as well as local sights to see, some of which are quite famous and all within walking distance. This is a delight, as we are quite exhausted by all the harrowing driving and navigating (although we were quite nicely spoiled at Ed and Caroline's). So we now feel like we are on vacation (from hectic touring? driving? ordinary retirement?) and we we really need the R&R - it feels great to go at a slower pace, and for four days as well. We got an early table at a recommended bistro that night, and a good night's sleep.
Next day, Sunday, we got up later than usual and had a wonderful breakfast, and finally set out for Tate St. Ives, a branch of the famous Tate Britain in London. It is a modern work of art in itself, and features modern artists including Barbara Hepworth, the sculptress. A delicious lunch followed in their rooftop restaurant which overlooks one of the great beaches across the road. A meander back through town and an ice cream cone as we walked along the quay made a delightful stroll. We had an amazing seafood dinner at the Seafood Cafe (not Rick Stein - he is up the coast in Padstow for you "foodies").
Monday, September 28
After a great breakfast, we eventually started out in a different direction, heading off to walk along the coast path to the next town, Carbis Bay, about one and a half miles - probably two by the time we got to the path and backtracked once. At Carbis Bay Hotel, on Carbis Bay Beach, a nice lunch awaited us. Then, just for the experience, we took the train back to St. Ives - it took all of three minutes! Had dinner in a pub that evening.