Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cornwall (part 2)

The next day we came to see Land's End - the westernmost tip of the British Isles. It's just unfortunate that it was not spared from the encroachment of commercialism. To gain access you have to go through this facade for a range of shops, theme park type of shows and restaurants. Of course, if you go via the Cornwall Coastal Path you won't have to pollute your senses of this commercialism. I say ignore all these and walk further ahead until you come to the beautiful rocky scene of the real Land's End.

Paths around here are paved and clearly marked so you can get from one vantage point to another.

This is the view from the other vantage point looking over at the commercial area at the entrance to Land's End. If you notice at the left-hand side of the picture there is a hanging bridge (green one) that may give some people the creepies. It hangs over a cliff where a fall would land you some 200+ feet down the crashing waves below.

That's Cape Cornwall on the foreground - notice the cave carved out by the sea? I walked around that area during a stormy windy day several years ago when I walked the dog (Jack) of a local friend. The sound and power of the waves crashing on the rocks was just amazing.

Some scenes in Land's End. Almost every building here is named 'first and last' this and that. So you have the first and last pub or the first and last inn - ad nauseaum.

After a great time touring Land's End, we decided to do a little cultural thing with the kids. So off we went to Minack Theatre, an open-air theatre having the full expanse of the sea as a backdrop. How's that for drama?

The theatre itself was carved out of the rocks on the cliffside. Such amazing lifetime effort from the woman who started this - Rowena Cade. Their garden was amazing, too. All plants there are made to withstand sea breeze and most probably sea gales as well.

Since this theatre is open to the elements we naturally brought our jackets. But we were wondering what we were getting ourselves into because at the car park we saw a number of people dressed in winter garbs as in layered thick outdoors clothes, wooly hats, gloves, boots, the whole lot. Some even brought in sleeping bags! We decided to play it safe and buy a few wooly hats and jumpers in their gift shops. I know it's expensive but I'd rather pay than be stone cold for a few hours.

This is the stage of the Minack. As you can see the audiences' seating is quite steep. We had to hire (£1 each) cushions to protect us from the cold hard granite seating. See that rocky headland in the middle of the picture? Way before the play started we saw a couple of fishermen walked there, positioned themselves and cast their rods. We thought they would leave by dusk. But what do you know, they were still at it even after the play finished at 10PM !

The musical play we saw was Les Miserables staged by the Kidz R Us amateur theatre company from St. Ives. As their name suggests, all of the cast are kids and teenagers. Despite that the play was marvellous. The singers especially were good. The orchestral music was even live and judging from their sound, all done by kids as well. However, I could just imagine the worry of the parents of these kids because by nightfall the wind was gently blowing with chilly early springtime breeze. I hope none of them fell ill in their sometimes skimpy clothes.

We were shivering as well though we managed to survive with our warm clothes on. The beauty of the setting was apparent from the start but is most especially fantastically dramatic as the sun was setting throwing all red and yellow hues in the horizon. Then a lighthouse from a distance turned on and a brightly lit fishing boat sailed past. Such memorable sight they all are as a backdrop for a very good production of Les Miserable.

On our way home, Deng revealed why he was particularly keen on this musical. It turned out he (or rather a classmate) made a book report on the novel where it is based. He said it's only now decades later that he fully understood the whole story! ;)

1 comment:

eyanharve said...

Nice information and thanks for sharing. lovely blog,
- St Austell