A grand lordly life -Castletown, Isle of Man, U.K. (Aug. 10)

The Isle of Man is a green, hilly island that was part of Norway until the 1200’s. A stronghold for the Vikings, it was actually the last Viking king Magnus who began the construction of Castle Rushen, the focus of our day’s travel. The Vikings also introduced the island’s four-horned sheep, which strangely have two curly and two straight horns. Mom is bringing home some of the dark brown yarn made from their wool to knit a hat. We seem to have discovered more typical weather, but were cozily inside a first-class railcar on our way back for the worst of the rain. Here is our day in photos:

The steam railway carried us from Douglas to Castletown, by the sea, through rustic stone tunnels and alongside fields of grazing sheep, to an authentic medieval castle.


On the crowded way out, I shared a car with a group from Cornwall, who taught me how to greet the faeries who live beneath the bridges.


The castle gardens fill what was once the keep.


The portcullis would trap enemies at the castle entrance, allowing guards above to hurl stones or arrows down through three “murder holes.” Most of the castle is original.



Looking down from the top of Castle Rushen at a few of my Cornwall friends.

O’Kelly’s ale battered fish, mushy peas, and hand cut chips were the fare at The George Hotel, where we lunched after we found “there was no food on today” at the local pub.