FISH, TIN AND COPPER
By: My Plymouth Team
Do you remember a Disney's cartoon 'The Sword in the Stone'? It was about a boy called Arthur, who met Merlin the wizard and then pulled a sword from a stone. This could have been performed only by the true king. Therefore, Arthur became a king, and the sword (called Excalibur) was his legendary attribute.
I am sure most of you know this story. But probably not many of you have ever thought of a place where king Arthur was born. According to one of the legends, he was born in the Tintagel Castel, situated in the north Cornwall. Nowadays, you may still visit the ruins of this medieval fortification.
Another one: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. And please, do not pretend that you have not read or watched it. There is one scene where a wizard called Gilderoy Lockhart opens a cage with Cornish Pixies, nasty little creatures who love making trouble. In fact, Pixies (or Piskies) are similar to fairies and they come from the moorlands of Devon and Cornwall. If you visit Cornish villages such as Looe or Polperro, you may buy a statuette of a Pixie, which will bring you good luck.
As you have probably already noticed, the aim of this short essay is to provide you with some basic facts about Cornwall (or Kernow in Cornish), one of the British counties, which is a historic region, linked with Celtic culture.
Even though Cornwall is rather small (five times smaller than Ma┼éopolska), it has astonishingly reach culture, fantastic cuisine and stunning landscapes. If you are interested in arts, visit Tate Gallery's branch in St. Ives. If you fancy surfing, your first point of travel should be Newquay. If you are interested in Celtic and pagan cultures or ancient monuments, discover seven stone circles and a huge number of megaliths, menhirs, underground chambers and ancient tombs. Of course, if you are not afraid of ghosts, which often haunt such places.
Furthermore, a typical Cornishmen used to be a: fisherman or a miner. Nowadays, it is more about being an artist or a surfer. Many people work in the tourism industry. Cornishmen drinks cider, eats pasties for a dinner and fudges for a dessert. Cider is a beer made of apples. Pasties are baked pastries made by placing a filling typically of meat and vegetables (especially potatoes and onions) on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. While fudge is a type of confectionery, made of sugar, milk and butter, a bit similar to Polish kr├│wki.
If you have already surfed in Newquay, had a pasty in St Ives, visited Healey's cider farm located near Truro, then the next step would be to discover mining sites, such as the one near Camborne and Redruth. As I have a degree in cultural management studies, I have to mention that Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape is a World Heritage Site, placed on the UNESCO's list in 2006.
After visiting a stone circle near Boskednan, we may catch a train in Liskeard and travel through Looe Valley Line. In Looe, which is famous for the fact that it used be village inhabited by a great number of pirates, we can grab some fish and chips for lunch. Then, we travel to Hayle, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. After spending some relaxing time on the stunning beach, we can have a bear or two in a famous local pub, called The bucket of blood. However, you should drink quickly, as you will be able to buy alcohol only until 11pm.
The last stop of our journey is Land's End, the most westerly point of mainland England. We will get there by catching a double-decker bus with an open roof in Penzance. After about 1 hour ride, we will go for a long walk through moorlands and high cliffs. And watch out for sharks, as they resident the local waters, together with seals and dolphins. In the evening, we can have a Cornish Cream Tea, which comprises of scones, clotted cream, and jam. And please, do not feel confused when a waitress welcomes you with a local: "All right my lover?". Especially if you travel with your girlfriend. Simply place your order, say: "Ta!" and admire the magical, natural setting...