This is Minay’s third e-mail to her sister, it’s dated 5-11-2010.
From: Minay Sirois
To: Lyndy Sherman
5/11/2010 5:23 PM
Subject: day 6 and 7
Yesterday we left Bath, somewhat reluctantly, because we had enjoyed it so much. Headed off south and west to the Devon and Cornwall area, driving again. It wasn’t quite so scary this time, but still stressful. Got lost getting out of Bath. It was sunny today for almost the first time since we’ve been here. We made a stop in Wells to see the Cathedral there. It is smaller than Salisbury, but just a gem. Gorgeous scissored arches inside, painted ceilings, stained glass. Saw a Medieval clock that has a man striking the quarter hours with his heels, and the hour on a bell with a mallet he holds in his hand. In another area of the clock, men on horses come out and circle in a joust – ending with one getting knocked down. It must have just awed the people of the time who rarely saw anything more mechanical than a winch.
Next we went to the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey where King Arthur is supposedly buried with his queen. Just a marker showing where they found a grave years ago. The ruins were interesting and evocative. Also listened to a history interpreter telling of life in the Abbey just before Henry VIII ordered it destroyed. Lots of fun.
I was absolutely worn out by this time and we still had many miles to drive. Well, not that many – maybe 75 but they go slowly when you are tense, lost, and on tiny roads you must share with big lorries. Stressful. Got to Ilfracombe on the coast of Devon, got checked in and I went straight to bed. After a rest we ate some snacks we had from Annabelle’s take away breakfast the day before and some hot chocolate the room provided. Then to bed. Must have slept soundly – I didn’t even hear the hard rain they said we had in the night.
Today we did the Arthur thing. We drove to Camelford where Camelot supposedly was. Had a nice chat with the lady at the tourist info place. Bought a cheese and onion pasty to share for lunch – really good, then went to the Arthurian Center, the site of a battle King Arthur fought with Mordred. Mostly it was a lovely ramble, as they say here, among a field of sheep and down by a little stream. Then on to Tintagel where King Arthur’s castle was. It is just ruins up on a very tall and very steep hill, but the views were amazing of the Cornish coast. The climb up and down pretty amazing, too. We’ll be lucky to be able to walk tomorrow. Seriously. We paid 3 pounds to have a land rover drive us back up the hill rather than climb another one. Drove back to the B&B, along some tiny roads that a couple days ago would have scared the bejeebers out of us. We saw beautiful scenery today – hillsides covered with gorse (which is a dark green sort of evergreen looking shrub covered with yellow blooms at this time, green fields sectioned off with hedgerows or dry stone fences, lots of sheep and cows, flowers growing over the stone fences and trees sculpted by the wind so they lean to one direction and have almost no branches on the windward side. To the room briefly to drop off stuff, then set off on foot down another steep hill to the harbor to get dinner. Italian tonight, and very good, too. Up another hill – nothing is on flat ground here, to the room and so to bed. Tomorrow we leave for Stratford-upon-Avon for several days there and in the Cotswolds.
More another time. Give our love to the parents. Hope everything is well there. Love to you both
“In theory, there isn’t any difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” — Yogi Berra