A Travellerspoint blog

Sea Gods and Fairy Poo

all seasons in one day 11 °C
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Just a few weeks after Amsterdam, I was yet again on another holiday. Not to waste a Bank Holiday weekend, it was my fifth holiday in six weeks and I was headed for the Isle of Man.

Getting to the island was not the easiest, but as it was by train and boat I was able to book at short notice and still get a cheap rate. Having researched and found that I could see everything I wanted in just 3 days, I booked and just a few weeks later was headed for the island. On Saturday morning I took the train up from Milton Keynes to Liverpool, where after two hours, I walked through the centre of the city via the Liver Building to get to the ferry port, The ferry trip to the island coincided with the birth of the new British Princess, which gave us something interesting to watch on the TV screens during this three hour long journey.

Royal Liver Building

Royal Liver Building

Eventually arriving on the island, in the very heart of the British Isles, despite neither being in the United Kingdom nor the European Union, it felt very much like home. No immigration, same signage, and unfortunately the same weather!

Beachfront Hotel

Beachfront Hotel

Unlike the last few weeks, the weather had changed and was now pretty bad, with it raining pretty much all weekend. I therefore had to plan my days according to the weather in order to make the most of it, and so after checking in at my hotel on the sea front, the first place I headed to was the Manx Museum, just a five minute walk around the corner.

Manx Cat

Manx Cat

The museum was free entry, and had a wealth of history of the island that served as a brilliant introduction. It included a video that spoke about the sights on the island, a section on the history of the Tynwald - the world's oldest continuous parliament, another area talking about the use of the island as an internment camp in the Second World War, an area about the TT races, and another featuring stuffed 'native' animals to the island - including the tailless Manx Cat and bizarrely a wallaby.

Home of the Bee Gees

Home of the Bee Gees

Heading back to my hotel, past the street where the Bee Gees grew up, I spent the rest of the evening drying off my clothes before the next day's activities. Despite not being a particularly long day, I had woken up before Kate Middleton had even gone to hospital, and yet I was still awake after she had popped the Princess out, shown her to the world and gone home! I was starting to feel pretty unproductive!

Full Manx Breakfast

Full Manx Breakfast

Waking up the following day and having a filling 'Full Manx Breakfast' I headed off to Peel, on the other side of the island where there is a pretty castle, and a beach. Hanging about for just half an hour or so, I got back on the bus to Douglas, which went past Tynwald Hill, where the outside parliament is held once a year, along part of the TT race route.

Peel

Peel

Arriving back in the capital I boarded the bus to Laxey, where the weather had finally brightened up.

Laxey Wheel

Laxey Wheel

Laxey is the location of the Lady Isabella Wheel, one of the true iconic sights of the island, which for a small fee can be visited up close, as well as climbed on. Towards the back of the wheel is the old mining areas, and forests where fairies are said to live.

Laxey Wheel

Laxey Wheel


Mountain Railway

Mountain Railway

Heading back into Laxey village, I then boarded the Snaefell Mountain Railway, which took me to the top of the tallest mountain on the island, which on a clear day gives views of the four British nations, as well as the sea, where the sea god Manannan is said to live.

View from Snaefell towards Ireland

View from Snaefell towards Ireland

However this wasn't such a great day, and between the clouds some views could be seen, before even my hand disappeared before my eyes!

Douglas

Douglas

Heading back down and taking the railway back along the coast to Douglas I ended my final full day with just the capital left to see. Waking up to sunshine at last, after checking out of my hotel, I took a stroll up the promenade, before walking around past the Tynwald building and to the hill to the south of the town where there are some magnificent views over the capital and the Manx cliffs.

Manx Coast

Manx Coast


Douglas Bay

Douglas Bay

Before boarding my ferry home, I decided to buy a paper, but found some were not in stock, because the printing was late and therefore missed the boat - Island Issues!

Boarding my ferry back to Liverpool, I took a look around the gift shop, where there was a small selection of souvenirs for sale, including Fairy Poo - chocolate raisins. Along with printing their own money, and the fact the island is neither in the UK nor the EU despite being in the very centre of it all, I had finally realised just how bizarre this place was!

Just as the ferry out had coincided with the birth of the new British Princess, the return came at the announcement of her name. After another three hours of rolling news about this, I eventually arrived back in Liverpool, where I took a little detour to the Albert Docks, before making my way back to the station to complete the rest of my journey home.

Albert Docks

Albert Docks

The trip, albeit short was pretty busy and I saw a lot. The island is bizarre - sea gods, tailless cats, fairy poo, three legs, printing their own money, mobile roaming - but this all adds to its character and identity. Despite the weather not being great, I would highly recommend a visit to the island.

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Posted by kmmk17 17:00 Archived in Isle of Man Tagged mountain train city island liverpool

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