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.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Theatre in London. . . . . . . . .

Two very special London theatres - quite different - were not far from our hotel on the Thames River. 
During our one full city day we walked over 12 miles and were able to see both. 

We took the tour of The Globe, it was fascinating. 
Built entirely of English oak, the colorful interior was 
quite opposite to its rather austere exterior. 
Sitting and looking up at "the heavens" painted with clouds 
and sky, I noted the trap door through which actors 
could be lowered using a harness. 

The Globe is the only thatched building that has been 
permitted to be built in London since the 
Great Fire of London in 1666.

The museum area inside the theatre was interesting also.
Go here to read more about Shakespeare's 
Globe Theatre in London.

For more details on the Royal National Theatre go here - 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Goodbye London --------

County Hall (where we stayed at the Marriott Hotel which was so convenient) and the London Eye.

Yes, London's skies were truly this blue!  
Days were hot, the evenings cooled a little. . . . .and 
we walked and walked (with some travel on the 
Underground), covering 12 miles on foot one day!
We arrived back yesterday to hot, humid, rainy Raleigh. 
More stories soon of our great time in England.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

London on a Summer Evening. . . . . . .

Evening on the River Thames - Parliament and Big Ben

The perfect weather has followed us to London - we've had sunshine every day of this trip.
Tomorrow we cross the pond - sad to leave but always happy to get home.

Monday, June 22, 2015

In an English Garden. . . . . . . . . .

I have best friends who have the best gardens.
Above, Jasmin loving the beautiful flower garden of 
my very dear friend Jackie here in Torquay. 
More on our special friendship, and the wonderful 
places we journeyed to in Devon on a day out with her, 
when I get home and have more time to blog!

Tomorrow we head to London. 
Hot temperatures expected. 
Sightseeing will be non-stop until we jump, or
crawl, aboard that plane on Friday and fly home.
Time has gone by far too quickly.

Torquay in Sunshine. . . . . . .

Coastal view from Ilsham Marine Drive in Torquay

We're still here in beautiful Devon.
What an amazing time. 
Brilliant sunshine, warm temperatures, great food, 
and lovely people.
No time to blog but I will show you more photos of this 
lovely southwest county, and my hometown by the sea, later.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A whirlwind tour of Devon. . . . . . . .

Wow, what a busy few days we've enjoyed already! The time is flying by much 
too quickly and I have little time to attend to my blog. . . . . . sorry.  I will be back here 
to share my lovely hometown soon. Places such as my 'local', the pub named the 
Devon Dumpling in the village where I grew up, the cottages, the very same railing 
where I did somersaults as a child. All this and more I'm sharing with Jasmin who 
is enjoying this whirlwind tour as we cram in as much as possible. The weather is 
being so kind to us - and all is going well following a few glitches at the start!  
More later.