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Europe » Isle of Man » Castletown
June 18th 2017
Published: July 2nd 2017
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With the breakfast table all set up and ready for us
Slept great, despite the sheep (haha). No rooster but the sun rose about 5 to a gorgeous morning.

Our first breakfast at the B&B--there was a menu of sorts we completed the night before, checking off how much of which items we wanted. In addition to bacon and a farm-fresh egg, I ordered the croissant and boy, was Mike jealous. Piping hot, soft, flaky, topped off with home-made marmalade--yummy!! His kipper was quite good; he ate it like a pro. Company at breakfast was pleasant. A couple others got a soft-boiled egg, just like in BBC shows, served in an egg holder. One of the eggs was blue and the hostess, Fiona, was quite proud of it; she bred the chickens specially for that.

As they were going to church in Peel, the hosts gave us a ride into town. On the way, just after the spot we had turned off the road onto a path the day before, we saw the path, bridge and stairwell that we SHOULD have taken and made a note to try that on the way back. John dropped us at the bus stop at the Visitors' Center where we caught the bus east
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From the doorway in
to Douglas. Really glad we got the Heritage Go! cards -- used them yesterday at the Castle and today on all the transportation. The busses were all equipped with card readers that logged you in, digital displays telling where you were and what stop was next. Super convenient. Plus, the bus had good wifi!

Rode across the Isle, got off the bus in Douglas and followed the signs around by the Marina to the steam train station. Confirmed that the Go card is all we need to get on the train, no separate ticket; I guess they never have trouble with there being too many riders. Had a nice cuppa and scone while we waited. Went into the gift shop and got what turned out to be a great little booklet about the train and all the stops, with descriptions of the sights between stops and history of the stations. Nice ride. Shared the car with a woman who was a great train fan--husband and daughter enjoyed the ride but she was really into the train itself.

Got off in Castletown (http://www.iomguide.com/castletown.php) (Balley Cashtal), the ancient capital of the Isle of Man and home to Castle Rushen, one of the best preserved medieval castles in the world) (https://manxnationalheritage.im/our-sites/castle-rushen/), intending to walk around the waterfront, maybe see the Castle, and catch a later train on south. Found our way after a couple 'unusual turns' and a walk along the beach. Sue went into Castle Rushen, right in the middle of other buildings. Great castle--very well preserved, as the site said, some 're-creations' in a few rooms. Best signage we've seen so far--every room had a display telling you where you were in the Castle, what the room was used for during the different periods--original use for protection, mint, prison, housed the original Tyndall, their parliament, oldest in the world. Great tour, heck of a view from the tower up by the flag pole. Flags were at half-mast because of the huge apartment building fire in London earlier in the week. Again, took an 'interesting' way back but made it in plenty of time to catch the next train to complete the trip south.

The last stop south is Port Erin, about as far south as you can get on the Isle. There are ferries to the Calf of Man, a small island off the southern tip but we
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Up the lane beyond the main farm house towards the hillside and the self-catering units
didn't have time today. Lovely little seaside town--hotels on the waterfront gave a Victorian feel to it. As the weather was simply gorgeous, there were plenty of folks on the beach, playing in the water, kayaking out to see the basking sharks, getting the rare (for them) sunburn. Dropped into a waterfront hotel for a beer, then walked back to the train station for the ride back to Douglas. Caught the bus back across the Isle (through the town of Crosby!) to Peel.

Had dinner in Peel again--everything was packed. Don't know if the weather was unusually nice but it was also the longest days of the year AND people were probably coming out after being in for the TT (big, fast, 100+ year old speed motorcycle race) which was a couple of weeks ago, in the rain. But we managed to get dinner (fish and chips again for me--the fish is soooo good, fresh, lightly fried but there are chips with everything).

Nice leisurely walk home, taking the correct path this time--made the walk a LOT shorter, cutting off a good bit of looping back and forth. At the same time, glad we did the longer version
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Go kart track
the first day--it was lovely and really made us appreciate the shorter version! Still, nothing looks quite so good as that "Wigwam" sign because it meant we were quite near the farmhouse.

About 6 miles walked today!


Additional photos below
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morning stroll

More of the go kart track
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morning stroll wigwams

Which they also rent out
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KBF livestock

As we started our morning walk
Map of the original railroad systemMap of the original railroad system
Map of the original railroad system

Today, We Re in Douglas, mid way down the east coast, and taking the train all the way down the coast to Port Erin.
Views of the coastViews of the coast
Views of the coast

Douglas on the way to Port Soderick
Steam Train SouthSteam Train South
Steam Train South

Castletown (Balley Cashtal) is the ancient capital of the Isle of Man and home to Castle Rushen. One of the best preserved medieval castles in the world.
Steam TrainSteam Train
Steam Train

Port Soderick station


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