12th July – Penzance & St. Michael’s Mount

A very wet start to the day. Since I stopped working it has been my mission to not wear trousers whilst outside, however the rain was so heavy and persistent I had to go and get a pair of waterproof trousers.

This was pretty much how the weather was in Penzance whilst I was there.I was going through Penzance to get to Marazion where I could get a boat over to St. Michael’s Mount.

Being only a few miles down the road, the weather was just as bad.From the car park it was only just possible to pick out the castle at times. The tide was in, so I knew I had to get on a small boat. I made my way to the pickup point to find a boat and rather grumpy Captain. The weather wasn’t bringing in the tourists, and he had to take me over as his only passenger. The trip over was rather bumpy!

Here are couple of other boats waiting for passengers.The tour of the castle doesn’t take long, I though it would have been longer. There are some fantastic views from the castle and some impressive drops too. I had a combined ticket which meant I could go around the gardens, however I didn’t make it all the way around as the weather wasn’t nice on the exposed bits of the Mount, and my shoes were very soggy by this point.

I’d like to go back on a nice day, where I’m sure it’s a bit more inviting. There are a lot of steps and exposed bits that aren’t too much fun in the wind and rain.The boat back wasn’t as bad, the boat was full and the sea a little calmer. I went for lunch in a local pub, I had soup, something involving tomato and spices, warmed me up a treat.

In most places I’ve been to there is a museum and I think I’ve been in all of them so far. There not fantastic, just everyday stuff really but you do get a little history of whichever place you are in. In the Marazion museum I asked the lady behind the counter about the pronunciation of the town name. Turns out it’s pronounced as it looks Mara-Zion, I thought it was different like Mousehole or Mowzle.

I was coming up to 4pm so I had to find something else to do and one of the many leaflets I had picked up was for the Penlee Gallery and Museum back in Penzance. After a bit of a panic getting a parking space; the gallery has no onsite parking, something I only found out when I tried to turn into the entrance. I went in and had a look around.

The main exhibition was of an artist called Laura Knight. Another of the many I’d not heard of, she died in 1970.

She lived and worked in the area around Penzance, and even lived around and painted in Sennen, which is where I was camped. Without realising it I was already familiar with one of her pictures, which was in the exhibition.

After WW2 she was the official artist of the Nuremberg War Trials and painted a picture called The Dock, which featured the Nazis in the dock but in the top left of the picture was shown the devastation war caused.

More about Laura Knight.

Culture fix complete I headed back to the campsite and a very easy tea…the local chippy van visited and a very long queue was formed!