Winter Barn Owl

Winter Barn Owl
Life's a Hoot !

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Isle of Man - Retirment home for horses and another Glen

If you remember my post about the tram in Douglas, you would no doubt have seen the magnificent horse pulling the it.  As happens to all of us, there comes a time when we can no longer do as we have in the past.  It was heartwarming to see that the Isle has a 'retirement home' for all the Douglas work horses, as well as any other equines in need of  a green pasture and leisure time.  It is funded solely by donations and has been around since 1950.

 Even donkeys are invited to the party.  Everyone lines up at the fences waiting for the visitors to feed them treats!  

After our visit with the horses, we headed off to Peel, on the west coast.  Its main attraction is its castle, which now lays in ruins, but in its prime, protected the coast from marauders.  

The quaint city centre is a maze of narrow streets with an abandoned church that managed to salvage its headstones.

We ended the day by visiting our final Glen visit; Silverdale.  It is near Rushen Abbey (now a ruin), so naturally many of the attractions have a religious slant.

This bridge is called the 'Monk's bridge' (built in 1046).  I can just imagine the monks in quiet contemplation, as they walked through the forest and crossed the bridge to continue on their spiritual path.

Dinner was a simple pasta and salad.  We were too tired for anything more adventurous!  Too boring for a photo!

Tomorrow; the last day of racing and a 'special order dinner'!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Isle of Man - Race day and Fairy visits!

We chose to view the races from a church at Bradden bridge.  The church auxiliary do a wonderful job of putting out pews on the front lawn for prime viewing.  They offer hot and cold lunches (for a small fee) and most importantly; cakes, cakes and more cakes!  With the 6 pound entry fee, you could have a free piece of cake. More on the cakes later. 

Here is a sample of some of the racing:

After racing was over, there was a parade lap of most of the previous race winners over the years.  Note #23 in the centre is Carolynn Sells, who you read about in the Jurby day post.  There are so few women riders on the TT circuit, they deserve a special mention!

And now, the long awaited cakes.  It was so hard to choose which one to have, but I settled on the homemade shortbread!

Adjacent to the church is an ancient gaveyard.  It was virtually impossible to read the headstones that had been weathered by time.  The stories they would have told....

Our next stop was at Peter Murray's motorcyle museum (all his personal collection).  Definitely worth a visit.

Our last stop was for a dose of  'good luck'; a visit to Fairy Bridge.  It is the home of the 'little people' on the island and is considered to be very lucky if you stop and make a wish.  People come from far and wide to hang momentoes, tie ribbons and send wishes to their departed friends.  If you are a racer, it is almost mandetory to come to ask the fairies for good luck!

We finished the day at our favourite local pub, The Station, in Port Erin with our friends, Barbara and Eric.  The salmon was yummy!

Tomorrow: Horses and monks....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Isle of Man - Food fair and Groudle Glen

On our next 'non race' day, we headed back to the capital, Douglas, to do some last minute shopping for gifts (yes, K, got your Isle of Man trinket).  Although it was raining, we were thrilled to see a thriving food and flower fair happening on The Strand.  There was everything you could imagine; olives, jams, salamis, crepes, 'turkish delight', cakes and even a huge pan of paella.

I had to take a picture of this smiling Italian; He even sucked his gut in for the picture! Too funny!


Our next Glen adventure took us to Groudle Glen.  It's history goes back to 1890 when an enterprising businessman purchased the lease for the whole Glen, built a hotel and promised 'romantic walks' and attractions.  It boasted sea lions and (sad to say) chained bear cubs for the amusement of the guests.  The highlights of the Glen are a water wheel and huge viaduct.  You can still hear it moaning and groaning as the wheel moves scooping up the water!

    Sad to see trees uprooted       
Ono our way back to the cottage, we traveled through Douglas.  This is the view of the bay we admired coming down the mountain.

Stay tuned for more racing and the 'church cakes'.