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Published: July 29th 2015
The more I learn about the Isle of Man, the more excited I am to explore about for the next few days.
Took a taxi to the dock this morning in Belfast - somehow my name turned into Nellie (which totally sounds like Julie). Which I suppose is better than my boarding pass for the ferry which simply said lol. The taxi driver was very chatty - of course we discussed weather, my next stop on the trip and what I do back home. The usual. The ferry ride was nice and smooth. I took the time to watch some shows on my laptop (Charlie Cox is adorable as Daredevil, just sayin') and just take in the scenery.
Today is a splurge day, for I took a taxi from the ferry to my hotel as well once I arrived in Douglas. (As a reference, I've taken less than 10 taxi trips in all my solo travels. Ever.) This guy was fantastic - it was like talking with an old mate - super super friendly. He was all excited I was a tourist not from the UK or Ireland lolol. "You're a long way from home!! What on Earth are
you doing here of all places? I'd wager most Canadians have never even heard of us." You'd win that wager, I'm sure of it. We talked about my travels ("Blimey, good on you! I don't even like travelling as far as South of England."), about our pets, he gave me some pointers of places I should visit and sure enough we discussed weather 😉
This is a place that seems to mix the best aspects of the UK into one lovely spot. The people are a little cheeky, but wonderfully warm and friendly. The scenery is on par. The houses are all brightly coloured and many have intricate facades on them. People say hello on the street. It's lovely.
My room wasn't quite ready yet, no matter, I wandered off towards the promenade. I took some photos along the water, but not that many because it doesn't do it justice, really. It's a huge promenade with gorgeous buildings along the entire bay. The sun was shining (YAY) and the water was this brilliant deep blue. From there I headed up to the Manx Museum - all about the history of the country and its people. I really enjoyed
the "in their own words" sections where they'd have a topic (education, farming, every day life, etc.) and have quotes from citizens about what it was like growing up 'back in the day'. I always love those personal touches. The education section made me laugh - they had some attendance notes from back in the late 1800s which included gems such as:
• "Morning very wet - attendance small."
• "Several children absent - planting potatoes."
• "Potato crop still causing thin school."
• "Turf Day. Many absent."
• "Many children absent. 'Herding cattle'."
I think my fave is that last one... why quotes around the 'herding cattle' bit?? I'm curious.
Continuing my splurge for the day, there's this restaurant that does a steak special on Wednesday nights and it's apparently to die for - so I went. Pretty good price especially for the IOM - 15 quid for the Manx steak, veggies, chips and a pint of Guinness. I always hate going into restaurants in the UK and Ireland because I never know what kind it is... do I seat myself? do I order at the bar and go sit? do I wait at the door? etc. SO MANY
OPTIONS. They took pity me on and laughed (kindly) at the poor travelling soul who didn't know where to go. I do like bars/restaurants that are still very local - you could tell the 'usuals' were at the bar. The guy working the bar noted I wasn't from around here... gee, what gave me away haha.
(Another good moment. I brought 1984 with me to read again because I wanted to bring small novels to read - while I was waiting the server comes up to me and says "don't you worry, the camera behind you isn't working". I had no sweet clue what he was talking about until he laughed and noted I what I was reading. Oh you little shit hahaha.)
So yes. Lovely first day. I feel I didn't do much but I already absolutely adore this place.
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