UK in the winter - not too shabby at all
13.02.2017 - 18.02.2017 14 °C
As Ronni was not yet cleared for customs it was up to me to find something off the beaten track in our backyard, which is quite the difficult task for a vacation in February. A long google session later and I’d found exactly the thing we were looking for.
Tesco? No, surprisingly it had nothing to do with the supermarket, this island was part of the Scilly Islands (no, not Sicillly…!) and probably the furthest away from London I could take us without actually leaving the country (to be fair, that’s not even true as we can always go to Guernsey…).
After Ronni gave me the thumbs up (surely without knowing all the details involved) I quickly booked the cottage and train to ensure there would be no going back. It was then that I gave up all the details of how we would actually get there….a gruelling 10 hour journey that would involve several modes of transportation, including but not limited to trains, busses, planes and boats.
It was then that it dawned on us that we were really going to jump off the cliff and see what lay outside of the mainland. Setting out on a cold Monday morning it was refreshing to see everyone else on the tube going to work whilst we were expecting a five and a half hour train ride all the way to Penzance (don’t ask…).
Somewhere along the way we lost consciousness and started to drop in and out of it, until suddenly, by some miracle we actually made it and didn’t miss our connecting train in Plymouth. From here we would take a shuttle to the airport (this might be too grand a word to describe it, maybe airfield would be better), chatting up some retirees in the train station who apparently lived on one of the islands and were quite happy to inform us of every little detail there was to know (including the fact that the plane was relatively small…).
Anyhow, a bumpy fifteen minutes later and we arrived at Heathrow Terminal “Cow Dung” and were almost ready to “board” our plane. Oh, one little thing though….you get weighed beforehand to ensure you sit on the right side of the plane.
Ronni was already searching for a bag to puke in whilst I thought to myself that there were probably easier ways to die than crashing into the Atlantic from what we were told were only 750 feet cruising altitude
And one of our suitcases didn’t make the cut, apparently too fat for the journey and retained for an additional night in Penzance, hopefully to arrive the day after.
Ronni and I sat in different rows so whilst she had the cool seat behind the pilot and could see all the different buttons; I was left at the “exit” row next to the tyres. Before I could wonder if there was any inflight entertainment or when the stewardess would bring the refreshments we had taken off and started our 15 minute flight to St. Mary’s. Time does pass differently when aboard a somewhat precarious vehicle that was thrown slightly from side to side as it tries to make its way above the Atlantic in windy weather…but then the pilot decided to sharply dip the nose and start the landing process.
I pretended not to see Ronni’s tinted green face and angry look she gave me as we headed out to the boat that would take us to Tresco. I was a bit worried about the waves and the fact that the wind had picked up quite a lot, something I preferred not to share with Ronni and let her experience first hand :-)
We were the only ones on the boat, which was much smaller than expected….it had also started to rain by now which didn’t make the journey any easier, although the fact we had already been 8 hours en-route to get here made everything seem much more exotic!
A good 15 minutes later we finally arrived at Tresco where we were picked up by a small truck and brought to our cottage. By this stage we were just hungry and decided it better to head out to the main and only open restaurant which was also the Inn. What we didn’t take into account was the fact that there are no streetlights in Tresco – and explained why we were given a flashlight in the cottage….Thank God Ronni had her phone as well, thus enabling us to stumble in a somewhat reasonable fashion in total darkness towards the main drag of the island with the wind reaching quite significant force by now...
But all of that was forgotten the next morning when we woke up to this..
Deciding that breakfast was overrated and needing nothing more than a few cookies and tea we set off exploring the island, which is about 5km long and 1.5 wide. First thing, first we headed towards the only grocery shop in town and stocked up with food (although we were told to expect “London” prices by the locals, I’m not sure where in London they shop, because I’ve never seen such a huge grocery bill!). But vacation is vacation and as delivery was included we bought the essentials – wine, wine, beer, cheese, nachos and of course…meat!
Now that we had food sorted out we decided it was too good a day to spend indoors and therefore explored….well, in the end, probably all the island in one go. From botanical gardens, to moors, to beautiful beaches and ruins Tresco has it all – and more importantly we saw about three other people the entire day...
Off season does have its perks
We also saw the weirdest bird ever!
And saw salvaged pieces of shipwreck in a place obviously called Valhalla...
Plus we also managed a feat never accomplished before – we walked on water! (I know some people call it low tide, but still kinda cool!)
I was so tired by the day’s events, fresh sea air and overall ambience of the secluded piece of island we had found that bed time was nine thirty and I slept for roughly eleven hours (no after party for me, only some slight mocking from Ronni who told me I was fell asleep so fast she wasn’t even able to kiss me goodnight ;-)
Anyhow, the next day we faced man’s ultimate question – active or relax? With the weather being very kind to us we decided to have it ALL! So of we went exploring the northern tip of the island after breakfast, meeting only two other people along the way for the next four hours.
To say we were off the beaten track would have meant that at some stage there WAS a track, but as you can see….
The views were spectacular though...
And I was always good for some old fashioned shenanigans...:-)
We tried to make our way along what we perceived as dry land amidst the soggy moss and finally made it to the day’s highlight – views over the entire bay!
I must admit I just wanted to stay here for a while and enjoy the views, so we took out some food from our pre-packed lunch bag and just sat there in the sun, letting the wind run through our hair and watching the bay.
That's what I call a room with a view!
It took us an hour or so to get down to the village where the second part of the day awaited us – the Spa. As promised, after walking for a good few hours we were now pampered with some sauna, jaccuz and the mandatory massage session that turned every fibre of my body into blissed relaxation.
And as we went for dinner and a nightcap, we were left with this….
Tresco Island was really one of the best vacations we had in the last couple of years – secluded, quiet and everything you need to just power down and enjoy life at a different pace for a while...:-)