A Fairy Tale Life?
Since retiring in early 2015, we have come across many people who have made the comment that we must be leading a “fairy tale life”. Traveling the world full-time is definitely a fantastic way to live, but we’ve always scoffed at the notion of it being what one would call “fairy tale”.
Until…Cornwall, UK, that is. It’s our second time here, and we can’t get past the notion that this area of the world truly depicts everything we associate with “fairy tale”. Long, winding laneways with overhead arches of lush greenery, meandering brooks, wildflowers with the vibrancy seen nowhere else, and even trees that look like they could come to life…similar to something that only Walt Disney could conjure up. There are stone walls that go on for miles, filled in with greenery (aka Cornish Hedges) which lure you in with their beauty, but make you say your prayers as you’re driving along the narrow roadways hoping not to scrape alongside one. Ancient buildings and castles, dating back to the medieval era just make for a daydream or two of how life must have been back in the 11th and 12th centuries.
Not far down the road from us is the village of Tintagel (pronounced Tin-taj-el…we massacred the pronunciation until one of our neighbours taught us the proper way to say it). Legend has it that Tintagel Castle is the birthplace of King Arthur. You know, the whole “Sword In the Stone” King Arthur, with Merlin and his magic…a story that even dear old Walt had to make into a movie himself.
For anyone interested in knowing more about the legend, here is an interesting link:
We decided to take a couple of hours and visit the castle’s ruins that sit high atop the cliffs of Tintagel. The views up there are some of the most spectacular that we’ve ever seen. The somewhat torturous climb is perhaps not for the faint of heart, but it is most definitely worth the effort in the end. Although quite daunted by the trek, I remained mesmerized as we made our way up very narrow stone stairs that jutted out over cliffs, hanging over the ocean far below. It was somewhat reminiscent of the roads in Cornwall…narrow, with barely enough room for 2 people to pass.
Below us is “Merlin’s Cave”, set amidst the rocks in the cliffs…there are actually numerous caves here giving proof of the millions of years of storms and rough tides that created them. There were even a handful of brave swimmers who ventured up to the cave’s opening.
Seeing the evidence of a bygone era again lit my imagination and had me pondering what it must have been like to live in those times. Just getting up to the castle and the village within its confines must have been a feat in itself, let alone having to make the climb on a daily basis. That lifestyle would surely put any modern day bootcamp to the test.
The views of the Atlantic Ocean spanned as far as the eye could see, and it literally took our breath away. It adds to the wonder of this great planet we live on. Mother Nature really knows how to do “perfect”. She’s never made a mistake when it comes to showing off the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis.
So, now when anyone comments with “you must be living a fairy tale life”, we can come back and say “yes, yes we are…at least while we’re in Cornwall”.
Linda & Mark