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Published: June 29th 2017
White House Hotel
a few exterior shots
As I said at the end of the last entry, the taxi was prompt and it wasn't 15 minutes to the airport. We had watched the planes taking off the evening before, from an outside seat near the Footgolf field; such a gorgeous evening!
We were at the airport in plenty of time for Mike to get a full Irish breakfast. After doing battle with the self-serve baggage checking and boarding pass kiosk, only to learn that it was not working properly, a kindly Aer Lingus employee helped us. Had to move some yarn from one bag to another to get the weight correct and I'd forgotten that we could have 'checked' the luggage in earlier (online) and saved some of the fee. Of course, we were on a small flight so had to walk forever to the gate and then ride a shuttle bus and walk ourselves onto the plane. Four seats across so not as small as I'd feared and a good day to fly--clear.
Only a 45 minute flight and beautiful views the whole time. Mike got a shot of his first view of Isle of Man. Small airport--walked off, into the baggage area, collected our
White House Hotel
the place rambled all over and had several personas--this is a bar
bags, and walked out to get a taxi--met Phil, a Manx native about our age who was pleased to tell us where we were going, what we were seeing, about the Isle, the economy, people. Lovely visit on the way to Knockaloe Beg Farm (http://www.knockaloebegfarm.com/), our B&B for the duration. First of many happy 'wrong turns', we first went to Knockaloe Farm, the lane before the B&B, which I had wanted to see a bit because it had been an internment camp during WWI (http://www.knockaloe.im/). Interesting, and I was able to check something off before even unpacking!
On the way across the Isle from the airport, we had to take a couple of detours because of the annual Parish Walk--participants must walk through each of the parishes of the Isle within 24 hours and some of the roads were closed because of the Walk. Luckily, we were in a taxi, not trying to drive ourselves, because the GPS, which worked wonderfully in Ireland, turned out (we later discovered) to be spotty on the Isle of Man.
Got to the B&B, Knockaloe Beg Farm, run by John and Fiona Anderson, much earlier than legitimate check in. We knew it
would be and just wanted to drop off our luggage. We met John, busy at work, were waved to by Fiona, directing a hay ride for a children's birthday party being held on the Farm, and were greeted by their daughter, recently home from university in Edinburgh (loved it, graduating in the summer, moving to Edinburgh). Lovely young lady, brought us tea, coffee, and these great little honey biscuits. Talked to us, told us how to get to Peel (pointed to it out the window) by road, and a shortcut off the regular road, along the old railroad line's path. We were able to put our luggage in the room and freshen up.
So, off we went, to walk into Peel, trying to remember which way to look before crossing, etc. We made it down the lane, along the road for a bit and found a walkway through the woods. Took that, weren't sure, asked a nice young man (with his dog) who redirected us and we somehow made it onto the correct path. She had said it was about 25 minutes and we took a lot longer than that but figured it was 20 year old walking vs
60 year old walking. Great walk, mostly under shade. Ended in an industrial district--through the local power plant, past a couple auto shops and the smoked-kipper outlets. Found the marina, caught site of the Castle, and knew we were in the right spot.
Wandered up to the Visitors' Center, intending to get a bus route and better map but, because of the Parish Walk, the Center was closed. No worry, one of the 'guards' for the Walk ran in, grabbed a bunch of leaflets and a bus route and brought them out to us. Several locals went through the checkpoint and everyone was cheering them, ignoring us. Stopped at a local shop and Mike got his first IOM souvenir--a tie clasp, which he needs--couldn't find one for his Aunt's memorial service recently, with the -legged Manx logo. Wandered back down to seaside, found Davison's ice cream shop (much lauded and worth it--all the dairy in Ireland and here is very good, and i'm not a big dairy fan, other than ice cream).
Wandered over to Peel Castle (https://manxnationalheritage.im/our-sites/peel-castle/), missed the entrance, walked to the jetty (?), back, around the entire place, (Mike loved the rocks and high spots),
White House Hotel
The bathroom window...
then finally found the entrance. Our first chance to use our Heritage Go cards, to gain entrance to the Castle. Huge grounds. Originally an island, St. Patrick's (of course), the Castle started in the center of the island, grew and expanded to take up the entire island. Upon entry, they warned us that the rabbit population had exploded (as it will) and to be careful while walking. Some places, the ground was positively spongy; you could just 'see' the tunnels underground. It's a lovely complex, the views are gorgeous, and you can certainly understand why it was seen to be the perfect place to land and set up a fortress. Grand time wandering up and down, and taking pictures of the cove (man-made by the connecting road), people swimming, the walls and views.
Built up an appetite for dinner. Since it was 'only' about 5/5:30, we were able to get a table for dinner in a local restaurant and had a lovely meal (steak and ale pie for me) and even got a seat near a plug to recharge the phone/camera!
Headed back to the Farm. Did ok until we missed the turnoff for a bridge over the
White House Hotel
all kinds of businesses here!
creek. Finally decided we were seeing things we hadn't seen before and turned back, took the correct path, and got back to the road. Walked a bit past the lane, to the intersection where the church is, then back down. Then back to the lane up to the farmhouse (1/2 mile), and bed!!! We did remember to complete our breakfast request forms. Mike's going to try kippers (after he googles "how to eat a kipper").
We put in about eight miles walking today!
Tot: 2.735s; Tpl: 0.11s; cc: 7; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0539s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb