Thursday, July 2, 2015

Brixham for freshest fish, tastiest crab. . . . . . . . .

Looking toward Brixham from Torquay.
As we crossed the bay by ferry to Brixham I looked back and saw the 
pink cottage where we were staying. Although I only had my Nikon point and shoot 
I was able to get some photos despite the great distance.
Earlier that morning, on our way to the harbor, we climbed up from the beach to the cliff path 
and walked along the top by the walls HERE in front of those houses above on the left. 

Loading the Brixham ferry at Torquay harbor.

Arriving in Brixham - cloudy skies but warm.

Brixham is famous as the town where the fishing trawler was improved 
in the19th century over the original British Dogger boats of the 17th century. 
Later the design of the elegant wooden Brixham Trawler spread across the world.

The William Prince of Orange statue - a great resting place for local gulls. This William
from the Dutch Republic became King William III of England.

Brixham's fresh crab sandwiches - the best anywhere - we always stop at the 
harbor for one of these!

Jasmin at the replica of Sir. Francis Drake's, ship the Golden Hind.
This favorite tourist attraction was actually constructed from an old fishing trawler, 
and they did a great job I must say.

We walked up and down the tiny lanes along the hillsides above the harbor 
where many of the original cottages still stand. 
I recently acquired just one photo of my paternal grandmother taken outside one 
of these cottages, but sadly don't know which one as there have been many changes 
to the facades. I know little about her as she put my father into foster care at a 
young age and he never wanted to speak of his real family.
Bob has been working online to learn more about the family - this is how we knew 
of the general area of the town where the family lived in the late 1800's to early 1900's 
(my father was born in 1900). 
Later, in Torquay, walking back along the sea road to 'our cottage' as the sun went 
down, was the perfect ending to a very busy day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Walking into town ----------

On our first morning in Torquay we were up early and walking to town. 
Warm and partly sunny it was perfect for a hike.
We walked along the beachfront from the cottage, climbing the cliff walk/steps up 
over Daddyhole Plain (above the rows of new-style beach huts) and along the 
Rock End section of the Southwest Coast Path.
Meadfoot Beach at low tide.
The tower, which you actually walk through, and sections of old wall, are all remaining 
of the former Rock End estate. Very expensive homes have been built here - you 
can imagine the beautiful sea views they must have.
Bob and Jasmin at Rock End.
This board shows our path along the cliffs - we climbed to Daddyhole Plain 
from Meadfoot Beach, following the coast pathway to Beacon Cove. With stops for 
gasping at the views across the bay - Jasmin had not been on this walk on her last 
visit many years back - and of course taking photos, it took about an hour.
Passing the Living Coasts - Britain's only coastal zoo - read more here

Reaching the harbor we were a bit tired, but if I could walk into town with 
such views here in North Carolina, I'd sell my car! 
Ready to continue our day, we headed to the ferry for the sail
across the bay to the fishing port of Brixham.

Torquay's Inner Harbour

Boarding the Western Lady VI ferry which crosses Tor Bay in about half an hour for 
just a one pound fare - the best bargain in town!

Here, the ferry was passing the Grand Hotel, one of the oldest and largest hotels 
along Torquay's shoreline, and where Agatha Christie spent her honeymoon. 
Across from the hotel is a rocky beach and row of traditional style beach 
huts - my favorites.

For me, the small beach, named Corbyn Head, holds many childhood memories. 
When in elementary school - about a two mile walk from here - on warm June afternoons 
before school was out for the Summer hols, my neighbor, whose two children were 
in school with me, would meet us at 4 PM and walk us to the beach. She'd bring 
our swimsuits, towels, cheese and tomato sandwiches, orangeade drinks, and we'd
 spend a few wonderful late afternoon hours swimming and playing in the rock pools 
when the tide went out.
Those really are days I will always cherish.

Next time I'll show you Brixham at the far end of Tor Bay.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Down to my home in Devon. . . . . . . .

Arriving in England is usually the same for me. 
When we're going straight home to Devon we take the National Express 
coach from Heathrow airport to Torquay. We no longer drive in the UK.
It's a long ride and one has to be prepared with lunch/snacks for the 5 hour 
ride - we pick up a sandwich and bottled drink from M&S or Boots at the
 airport shops and, having purchased tickets online, just wait, somewhat 
bleary-eyed from the overnight flight, until the 501 coach shows up - always 
on time believe it it not!  The ride on an almost Summer day is lovely. At this 
time of year the countryside is spectacular. It was cloudy leaving London but 
as the southwest counties appeared on the signposts, the sun peeped out 
and by the time we were 'home' the afternoon was perfect. 

My dear cousin David was at the coach station to meet us.  
He took us to a grocery store for the basics we needed at the rental cottage
 and drove us to our 'home' on the coast for the coming ten days.
More about David in a future post - we grew up together, our mums were sisters, 
and thankfully we have stayed close despite the distance since I emigrated to 
the US over fifty years ago.

The pink cottage, almost on the beach, was awaiting our arrival.
We let Jasmin choose which bedroom she preferred - this was the magnificent 
view from her window.
The sun goes down late over Tor Bay at this time of year - it remains light 
until around 10:30 PM which is wonderful, and the early dawn brings bright 
mornings by 5:30 AM.
Here, as we looked across the bay, the lights came on in Brixham, the fishing
 town where my father was born.
It's a long journey home - but always worthwhile.
Sleep was welcome that night.

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