Peter and I left London drizzle and rain Wed. AM. I took my first long-ish train ride (aside from one Amtrack run form Sacramento, CA to Santa Clara, CA) through beautiful, bucolic countryside to Plymouth. His dad Paul and wife Judith kindly picked us up at the Plymouth train station. Down to the waterfront we went to explore.
From this spot, in 1620, 102 passengers and a crew estimated to have been about 30 left for the Americas. Wikipedia tells me the ship was a simple trading ship on her last legs, so to speak.
A plaque reminds us these are the steps that carried the English Separatists to the ship.
Exposure to history, in physical form, on this trip is something I’ll go on and on about in the posts to come. I’ve never left the U.S. Historical relics there are young unlike here in England and I am buzzing from it.
A pretty harbor shelters sailing and working boats.
Some are particularly crusty – which interests me.
We threaded around narrow streets and I gawked up at old buildings. I read up a bit on Wikipedia, that source for instant summarized information. The oldest surviving house still standing in Plymouth is dated 1498. However, artifacts from the Bronze age have been found here.
After a bit we headed up to the Hoh, a public park on the cliffs above the town. Here we stretched our legs, let the dog run free and admired the panoramic views over the Plymouth Sound harbor and along the coast. My panorama pics did not make it but you get a peep of the view past a lighthouse from the 1800’s which used to lie off the coast and was moved to this position piece by piece.
There’s an apocryphal story that Sir Francis Drake played his famous game of bowls here in 1588 while waiting for the tide to change before sailing out with the English fleet to engage with the Spanish Armada.
A star shaped stone fortress sits up here. It’s called the Royal Citadel. It’s narrow slits of windows actually face into town, not the sea, pointing to the need to intimidate the townsfolk who had leaned towards Parliament during the Civil War. It is occupied by the military today. We watched a royal ship maneuvering into port.
Here’s a new concept to me. This is a Lido, a stone pool constructed in the 1930’s as a way to employ folks during the depression. It is unheated and open through September. The Cornish Coast stretches from the left of this pic.
Another novelty I just have to share, SIGNS-wonderful notice signs-polite signs-I’ve seen several marked Polite Notice. They don’t make signs like this in America.
Next up…quaint and picturesque seaside towns. Hold onto your socks. They may be blown off by the charm.