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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cornwall Day 3: St. Michael's Mount

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I have been trying to write this post for weeks now, but somehow I never found the words. I have been suffering from a pretty bad case of writer’s block and while I finally feel like I am able to just go and write, the words still don’t flow as easily from my fingers as they have before.

My boyfriend and me traveled to Cornwall in the far south west of the UK in early November and it may just have been my favorite trip of the year. I loved everything about Cornwall, but we only visited such a small area of the region that there are many things yet to discover: I definitely want to go visit the Northern Cornish Coast one day!

The reason we decided to stay in Penzance in the south was St. Michael’s Mount. It’s a tiny island just off the Southern Cornish Coast and has beautiful gardens, a nice little castle and a great view of the sea. It is, however, most famous for the manner on which to reach it. During low tide, the sea makes way for a path that connects the island to the mainland and makes it possible to just walk over.

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We arrived on a gloomy Friday Morning during High Tide, hence we had to take the ferry over to the island. During the winter time (starting in November) the castle of the island can only be visited on certain days of the week and in conjunction with a guide, so make sure to check the schedule if you plan on visiting.
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Even today, there’s a small community living on the island. It used to be quite a thriving little harbor town, but today there are only a handful of people remaining who all work for the family of the island. St. Michael’s Mount was gifted to the National Trust in the 1950s by the St. Aubyn family who had owned this place for almost three hundred years. However, they retained the right to lease this place for another 999 years and still live in the castle on top of the island.

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We walked up through the gardens (most of which were closed because of the winter time, unfortunately) to the foot of the castle where we got a first glimpse of the sea. Can you imagine waking up to a view like this every day?  

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The best word to describe the interior of the castle is cozy. I have visited my fair share of castles in Europe and they all have a tendency to look cold and not very homey at all. This castle however felt like a place where people actually live.

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By the time we left the castle, the clouds slowly started to disappear and we had a great view of the gardens that were actually in part designed to be looked at from above.

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We could also see just how much the sea had already gone back – this is fascinating, if you – like me – have never lived near the sea and really have no idea about the power of the tides.

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The Cornish coast is so beautiful when the sun is shining!

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We made our way down the hill and to the harbor that – like most of Cornwall – was incredibly picturesque.

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Walking back on the causeway to the mainland in the blazing sun was one of those moments that will be engrained in my memory forever. Visiting Cornwall was the highlight of the year for me travel-wise: This region has somehow stolen my heart and I know that this won’t be the last time I’m visiting.

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I hope you all spend a beautiful holidays season!

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