Wednesday, 29 July 2015

We meet a tailless cat and a four horned sheep

Having arrived somewhat later than planned, we picked up


our hire car “Audrey” and headed south a few miles to

Promenade St Mary s

Port St Mary which is a quiet seaside / port on the south of the island not too far from the airport. Above is a picture of the Promenade and the houses along it were used as an Internment Camp during WWII.

Aaron House

Within the row is a B&B called Aaron House where we stayed for our first three nights on the island.  

Front Room Aaron House

Aaron House models itself on a Victorian B&B and hence the furniture and decor in much of the house is Victorian. It is worth reading its reviews on TripAdvisor if you are looking for somewhere to stay on the island.

St Mary s Bay
This was the view of the bay from our bedroom window when the tide was out

Full Moon

and this is the view on the night of a full moon.

Legend has it that the Isle of Man was created when the Irish giant Finn MacCooll threw a chunk of earth from Ireland’s coastline towards Scotland, when in battle, which promptly landed in the Irish Sea and became the Isle of Man.

To us, the island that he created looks rather beautiful and very much like Ireland in many places.

IOM Coastline 1

This was the first section of coast we saw just south of St Mary’s, then at the southern most point of the island, we saw  

Calf Sound and Calf of Man
Calf Sound and the Calf of Man with rough sea to the west (on the right) and calm sea to the east.

The Isle of Man National Trust run many of the historical sites around the island and there is a fee to visit most of them. You have the choice of either paying a fee at each site you visit; or buying a holiday pass for £20 which covers all of the sites; or showing your English National Trust Card and getting in free - we are doing the latter.

The first we visit is Cregneash which is only a few miles away from where we are staying. This is a village within which many of the

Cregneash Village

original houses have been preserved (both inside and out).

Blacksmith Carpenter

This building was the Blacksmiths / Carpenters and inside is the original equipment,

Inside Blacksmith

here the Blacksmiths Shop

Inside Carpenter

and here the Carpenters Shop.

Ned Begs Cottage with Reed Roof

This is Ned Beg’s Cottage with a reed roof.

Ned Beg s Cottage

Reed Roof Tied Down

The roof is tied down to prevent it blowing away in the rather strong winds. Nowadays, rope is used but originally Suggane (hand twisted rope made from straw) was used.

Front Room

In another house, a front room was laid out as it would have been many years ago, with a fire blazing away in the hearth

Blazing Fire

In another house, a person was making “Bumbles" out of reeds.

Bumbee Cage

“Bumbles’ or '‘Bumble Cages’ can be made in a matter of minutes. The story told about them varies a little depending upon who tells you the story but in essence, in centuries past the folk on the Isle of Man were very much believers of Fairies, and other mystical creatures. Children were brought up being told of the mischievousness of the little folk and also that bumble bees were in fact bad fairies who had been transformed into insect shape. So what do you do with a bad fairy? You build a ‘Bumble Cage’ to trap them in (follow the link for a video and another version of the story). It’s like a little rattle made of reeds and when it’s nearly finished, you pop a bumble bee inside and seal it up. Bumble bees are more fortunate these days in that pebbles serve as a substitute!

Old Loom

Weaving was one of the ways people made a living and the oldest loom on the island was in one of the houses.

One of our priorities was to see a Manx Cat and we were able to do this here. Sitting down, it looked just like an ordinary cat

Manx Cat 1

But as soon as it stood, its tail-less state

Manx Cat 2

was obvious.

Four Horn 1

The village has a number of four horned sheep,

Four Horn 2

this one had to be photographed from the back in order to see its horns. Apparently there are also some (rare) six horned sheep.

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