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Monday, May 7, 2012

Things to do in Cornwall

As you go through in life, your perspectives in life really do change. I'm grateful that my ambition to be an air stewardess didn't happen, with great blessings and a capable father, i get to travel wide and far without needing to serve coffee or tea.

Then, there was a time i envied my Caucasian friends who lived in big countries where vast greenery and blue sea is a mere drive away. Today, I am grateful that I'm living in a country with the world's best transport system, an improving political landscape and an efficient society. With these, coupled with an ambition for a career, it has earned me enough to travel the world.

And when i do, i seek out the weird,  the really weird, the enlightening, another world, and another culture.
My last holiday was the great outdoors in Great Britain!
Cornwall to me is a 鸟不生蛋的地方. With hardly any Asians or people for that matter, in sight. Appropriately named Land's End, because Penzance is really the furthest end of Britain.
For a city cat like me, it's kinda boring in the beginning to be at a place where there isn't much but landscape that stretches beyond your horizon.
However, once you get the hang of it, you enjoy the serenity, fresh air and start creating amusement for yourself like this



My favourite Action Movie app, in conjunction with the launch of Mission Impossible 5.

The below attractions are all located as landmarks in the rented car's GPS. Without planning in advance, that's how we discovered them!

1) SEARCHING FOR KING ARTHUR
Price: FREE!

I'm not a history buff, totally a bimbo when it comes to geography and history, but i know King Arthur! Or at least i know figments of this story.

I rather enjoy this very small medieval town, with kitschy shops.
                   
For a magical day out, take a nice long hike up and down the ruins of Tintagel Castle, where King Arthur was rumored to be born. Looking at the ruins, you try to imagine how the Castle looked like before becoming ruins. It comes to life as you imaginary plant knights and peasants in your head.

Best of all, most parts of this heritage site is FREE! However, i did go in winter. I'm not sure if in summer things would be different. I know for sure the beach cafe will be open and there'll be lively activities and reenactments so you don't have to use imagination.
It's an amazing location, set high on the rugged coast, steeped in legend and mystery. There's even a Merlin's Cave to explore right at the bottom! Alas i don't own a proper DSLR, so i can't show you much of the place, you'll have to go see for yourself! Or...google.
You can easily spend 4 hours for a good hike and a walk around town.

2) GET ON A CAMEL TRAIL
Price: 10 pounds

In Bodmin, its an area full of bicycle shops. For 10 pounds (SGD 20), you can rent a bicycle for the day. Its like cycling in East Coast park sans the crowd and along lakes, rocks and even sheep.
What i really enjoyed was the town that is at the end of the trail. It's a straight trail with 2 towns at each end. Each way takes a leisure 90 mins cycle. I started from Bodmin but i believe you can start elsewhere too.

Blisland, an extraordinarily pretty moorland village awaits for all tired and hungry cyclists.
Cornish pasty is a signature meal of Cornwall. We later found out that almost every other cafe/bakery claims to have the best or most famous pasty. 
It's like the Asian curry puff, except some of them have meat in it, some just peppery potato. It can be eaten as a meal as it's usually larger than a man's hand (assuming he has a big d***, you know what they say about a man's hand equals a man's d*** right?).

Blisland makes you feel like you're in Venice except people speak English and patient.
3) GO ON A SAFARI
Price: 27 pounds

Quite pricey for a zoo, at SGD 54, you won't need to go Africa for its safari anymore. However, a sister attraction of the caves at Cheddar Gorge, it's more worthwhile to buy 2 attractions at 36 pounds, with discounts for seniors 60 and above. You'll need a full day for each attraction though.

Singaporeans don't get impressed easily so although i was pretty excited heading to the safari, it was an anti-climax. You sit in your car and drive through the entire park with the park's animals roaming free.

While Africa's safari tour won't guarantee you the Big 5, at LongLeat Safari Park, you'll see them.
I thought the New Zealand's one was better AND free, except this post was written in the infancy of my blogging "career" thus i won't be able to tell you how to locate it.
However, i think it's the best zoo for children, the closest you'll get.
Do bring baguettes as you can feed some animals freely.

You're not allowed to bring down the windows of your car in the predatory animals though. I think it would have been more exciting if you go drive through during feeding time.
Though because of the currency conversion, the ticket seemed steep but is actually value-for-money. Not only was there the drive-through safari, there is Longleat House there's another park where you can walk through as well as animal shows.

Singapore doesn't have the best zoo anymore, Cornwall does! Even the walk-through park, you come as close as you can with the animals.

4) THE EDEN PROJECT
Price: 23 pounds

The Eden Project was something which we went and left without entering. At SGD 46, we decided we didn't want to pay that much to see a botanical garden. Despite it looking very futuristic.
I did however, made my contribution to the environment in the gift shop!
Mouse pads from recycled parts of a computer.
We found an imitation of UK's famous stonehenge amongst wild horses, a phenomenon unfathomed from prehistoric times.

A natural or unnatural phenomenon, nobody could figure out.

This is the real stonehenge. Today, visitors pay 7 pounds to enter the site but are kept at a distance.
Which means no photo taking next to the rock, much less climbing onto one!
My action hero father.
Great Britain, the Great Outdoors.

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