I am a very sentimental person. If I start to clean a closet the whole thing comes to a standstill when I find a box of postcards, letters, and photos. I will sit down and look at them all. Before we came on this trip I poured over all my old postcards of Cornwall. Last year we made a memorable journey to St. Mawes, a seaside village where I spent many summers growing up and after introducing it to David last year, we both could not wait to return.
This area once had strategic forts to protect the English coastline from Spanish and French invasion from the sea with two 16th century stone castles built at the entrance to the harbor: one outside Falmouth and one in St. Mawes. This morning we visited Pendennis castle which was situated high on the hill with cannons pointed out to the sea. The self guided tour inside was interesting with a video of men in silhouette taking you back in time by discussing an impending invasion. On the expansive lawn, dogs played and the Heritage site guides led activities for children. It was well done.
Our journey to St. Mawes took us around the peninsula, through long winding hedgerow lanes, and down to the River Fal for the King Harry Ferry. It’s a wonderful old car ferry pulled by heavy chains. They had a pop up exhibit of pictures by local Cornish artist Matt Johnson. We had ordered the poster at the top of the page before we arrived and he kindly delivered it to our accommodation. Once on the other side of the river, it’s a quick 15 minutes to the parking lot of an old wind blown castle ( the twin of Pendennis) which is situated at the top of the hill.
Walking down the long winding lane into St. Mawes, it felt like coming home. I only remember warm sunny days in St. Mawes which I am sure with wet English summers was not the case, but today the weather was perfect.
For many years, my family stayed at the Hotel Tresanton overlooking the water. They have a beautiful outdoor dining area on their upper level terrace where we had lunch today. White coated servers brought us crab sandwiches and salad fresh picked right out of the garden. All around us were families just enjoying the ambience. Dessert was chocolate mousse and fresh picked strawberries with homemade strawberry ice cream.
Everything today looked perfect in St. Mawes. Children swam in the crystal clear water, sailboats glided gently in the wind, and paddle boarders rowed out into the water, many with dogs onboard. Just watching them made you feel as if you were in a dream state.
At the head of the town overlooking the harbor is the Idle Rocks Hotel. I stayed there with my parents for several years and I remember it as having a seaside vibe.
Last year we attempted to recreate a photo on the terrace of the Idle Rocks of me with a boy I had met from Wales when I was 13, but the wind was so strong we could not do it. Today while enjoying a melon cocktail on the terrace, a kind man restaged the photo for us. I’m squinting in the bright sun, but look closely and you will see it was taken in the exact same spot.
Before reboarding the car ferry we visit St. Just in Roseland. We visited a beautiful old stone Anglican Church located in a cove with old gravestones right down to the water’s edge. I have an old photo of me looking at the hydrangeas and admiring the church. It felt very familiar and peaceful. We wrote prayers and hung them on a special tree designed for this purpose.
Dinner tonight was back in Falmouth at Zizzi which serves delicious pizza. We are tired after a day of adventure and fun, but looking back, it has truly been a magical day.