Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 4: Leaving London/Entering Cornwall

Eric and I woke up bright and early at 7:30 to catch our train to Penzance (in southwest England, Cornwall). We hired a taxi to take us to Paddington Station (only £18). We got there with just enough time to get our tickets and grab some breakfast and lunch to eat on the train.
The train ride was awesome. It took 5 hours to get to Penzance and the views were stunning. Here are some images of what we saw along the way as well as a video...

 We arrived in Penzance at 3pm. Very excited to get our rental car and start this next leg of our trip.
We agreed that Eric would do all the driving and I would do the navigating. When we first got the car, Eric took it around the parking lot to get used to the steering wheel and signal being on the other side. Within about 15 minutes, he was ready to go. Driving wasn’t nearly as bad as we were expecting it to be but the roads were really narrow.

There are 4 different types of roads; A roads are ‘dual carriage ways’ which is basically two lanes on each side of the road. B roads are single lanes with cars in either direction. C roads are very narrow to the point where you have to stop to let oncoming traffic pass or in other situations, back up. M roads are motor ways (highways). We took B roads to our next spot, St. Ives. After getting twisted and turned around (mostly C roads in St. Ives) we finally found our bed and breakfast. Beachcroft Coastal Retreat. It was amazing. Before being remodeled, the house was a bed and breakfast with 10 rooms under a  different owner. Now, after lots of construction and updating, the bed and breakfast has 5 large bedrooms. Here’s ours, called Trevose Room.
It has a huge bathroom with this amazing tub and a classy shower as well as towel warmers (which are extremely popular here and I don’t know why the US hasn’t caught on to this genius yet).
The view from our room was awesome...
For dinner we decided to take a footpath down to the coast. It was a mini hike through some wooded areas with cool views of the ocean.
Then I saw one of the friendliest cats ever. New pal...
Best friends!
The area by the water (called The Wharf) was really charming with tiny streets...
 We got down to a restaurant that got great reviews. A hole-in-the-wall burger joint called BrasBurger. It’s quite popular and we had to leave our name while we waited for a seat to open up. In the meantime, we did some more walking around and found this garden and tower.
When we got back to the restaurant they sat us at a 4-top table that already had a couple sitting at it. The place was pretty small. It had 3 large tables with benches and stools for multiple parties of people to sit together; you have to be willing to get friendly. It was great. Eric ordered a local ale which they call a ‘bitter’ and I got a local cider ale. They were delicious.
 We each got a cheeseburger; Eric’s with cheddar cheese and mine with a local blue cheese. We each ate half and shared the rest and split an order of chips. I haven’t had a burger (or any red meat) in about 7 or 8 years. I quite enjoyed it. It was a great burger to break the streak with. All the food was local and organic. Everywhere we go we see cows and sheep roaming around. It’s a lot more pleasing to see than the farm factories and acres upon acres of corn in the US. I feel a lot better eating the meat here because you can tell all the animals are well taken care of. Happy cows, happy sheep, happy people.
 The bathroom to the restaurant was outside and around the corner behind this cute red door.

We did a bit more walking around The Wharf before heading home and calling it a night. These are some of the lobster traps near the fishing boats.
 Before falling asleep, we watched some t.v. and caught an episode of this crazy British reality show called The Seven Dwarfs that was literally about 7 little people that play the 7 dwarfs in a show on stage. So bizarre.

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