Adventures in the Motherland(s): Isle of Man, Day 3
On the third day of vacation, my true love gave to me: three Manx seals, two dishes of Queenies and a walking stick made for Gandalf! OK, none of that makes any sense to you now, but let me explain...
This particular day, we decided to revisit Niarbyl and then headed to the Calf of Man, which is at the southern tip of the island. It was cloudy and Niarbyl felt much different than it did the night before, when we were sunset-watching. By different, I mostly mean freezing cold and blustery.
We grabbed lunch at the Calf of Man cafeteria (yay alliteration) which was sort of like a rest stop, but it was set up as a semi-circle with all glass walls so you could take in the views. It was much fancier than any rest stop in the U.S., because who's clamoring for a view of the New Jersey Turnpike? We ordered Queenies, or queen scallops, which is a local Manx specialty, along with jacket potatoes topped with Manx cheddar. Jacket potatoes=baked potato. The cheese was glorious, of course.
When we finished stuffing ourselves with the local delicacies, we went out to explore the Calf. Pretty soon, we spotted some seals nearby. The longer we watched, the more they showed off for us. They'd swim upstream (not really "upstream" since it's the ocean, but ahead of the current) and then they would ride it by us like it was a lazy river and pop their heads up. We were guessing that they must be used to getting treats from tourists, which is why they were so attentive.
The views at the Calf were amazing, and the rock formations were really cool, and not so crazy high that we couldn't climb on them.
Since Scott is part billy goat, he of course did lots of climbing up, down, and all around. At one point, he found a large piece of driftwood that I referred to at his Gandalf walking stick. Of course, then I made him do his best Gandalf pose for this picture.
Naturally, there were high fields overlooking the ocean that were full of lambs. It was some farmer's property, but also a public footpath, so we were able to get sort of close to the lambs. No, in case you were wondering, watching the baby lambs never really got old.
From the Calf, we wandered into Castletown to check out Castle Rushen, where we arrived 45 minutes before closing time...so yes, we were rushin'. (Yeah, I know, that was a particularly horrible pun.) Though we didn't have time to thoroughly go through the castle, we did have time to check out the stockade and some other cool medieval castle features.
One of which was an OUBLIETTE! You guys! I was so excited. I was also excited that I could identify the murder holes and parapets. I have a whole list of medieval words from reading Game of Thrones that I may never illustrate for Visual Vocabulary, (because it would be a whole year of hauberks, mangonels, and kirtles) but it was exciting to see them in action. Yes, big dork over here. I think I was more thrilled than Scott, which is a little sad seeing as how he's the fantasy nerd in our marriage.
Next time we get to an even cooler castle (Peel Castle) and me doing my best soldier-on-a-battlement impression. Yeah, it's something special.