Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

An Overwhelming Escape to Cornwall

An Overwhelming Escape to Cornwall

Before the last week of August ended, I had an opportunity to visit Cornwall for four days with my family. It was my last hurrah before university starts. 

In the early hours of Friday, we got dressed in haste, taking turns in the bathroom and dragging the luggage lightly over the creaky wooden floorboards in order not to wake the sleeping neighbours below us. Once we were settled in the car, we took our lateral flow tests and started our journey. Despite the lengthy drive, I was able to have extra short bursts of power naps throughout the hours while I listened to the radio tunes playing in the background.

After four hours, we decided to stop by Summerleaze Beach to try and grasp the last bits of the burning sun rays. We ate our homemade lunch, changed into our aqua shoes and trekked up the sandy hills before settling in the middle of a busy crowd. I remember laying on my back with my eyes closed as I listened to the waves crash softly on the shore, and the scattered chatters and giggles. 

Our next stop was Boscastle, and unfortunately no, there was no castle in sight as I thought there would be. However, it surprised me with something different, something better.

Boscastle is a village with a picturesque harbour. I can hear the calming flow of the narrow stream just by thinking of it. We bought ice cream to quench the heat, we strolled by the side of the river as we glanced at the beautiful structures that stood before us. I also thought of Boscastle as the ‘Salem of England’ because of the massive Museum of Witchcraft that is situated near the end of the street. Sadly, I was unable to go in because it was fully booked. ‘Next time,’ I whispered under my breath.

The last stop of the day was Tintagel Castle. Much like the Museum, we were not able to go because it was fully booked. Neither did we choose to walk down to the castle because we knew climbing back up would be a nuisance, with all the heat and empty stomachs. We were irritable enough. To end our first day, we drove to Bodmin, where we would stay for the rest of the days. 

The second day started bright and early, but not as early as yesterday. Saturday was a day to remember and probably my second favourite as it was my first time to body surf, as well as my first time setting foot into any body of water in England. The beach was called Polzeath, it was sandy and hot but it was perfect because just as I anticipated, the water was cold. It was cold to the point where I thought half of my body went numb, but it didn’t matter too much to me as I valued the time spent more. I remember that taste of saltwater that lingered at the tip of my tongue or how sorely it stung my eye, or the way I could feel the sand in between my toes. I remember how refreshing it felt every time the waves washed over me or how my body shivered as soon as I stepped out of the ocean.

After an hour, we decided to drive back to Tintagel Castle and see if we could get in, but they were just as fully booked as yesterday. However, we didn’t let that ruin our moment and decided to head back to Bodmin and have a relaxing evening. We had dinner in the backyard that overlooked a beautiful sunset. I remember the savoury taste of the roasted pork, the smell of smoke that provided us heat through the chilly night, and the taste of the sweet apple pudding, covered in custard and cream. We were so tired from surfing that we were knocked out dead on the soft cushions of the bed right after. 

Sunday went by as quickly as Saturday. We visited one of the most touristy spots in Cornwall which is St. Michael’s Mount. My mum had always told me that at St. Michael’s Mount, you can walk across the sea depending on how low the tide is. From her experience, she was able to trudge to the mount. However, on the day we visited, the tide was slightly high but it was walkable, we just didn’t bring extra clothes for ourselves. So we ended up taking pictures a couple of miles away from the mount.

Without wasting any more time, we trekked towards a nearby market town which was called Marazion. In spite of the crowds of tourists, I still found the area quite peaceful. With the muted colours of buildings and narrow pavements, it made me wonder how calming it is at night, when visitors are tucked away in their airBnBs and just hearing the faint ripple of the ocean while the moon shines throughout the night, peeping through locals’ windows and reflecting on the still water. The thought made me gape in awe. As we walked through the high street, we noticed that most stores had an early closing time. Fortunately for us, we were able to catch up on the local ice cream shop. 

Because most stores were closed, we decided to drive to the neighbouring town which was Truro. The most significant memory I have from this place, despite having stayed there for a short amount of time, was the bewitching cathedral that stood in the midst of knitted shops. I couldn’t help but imagine how magical it would look during the winter season, with streets and roofs covered in snow. Regrettably, just like Mazarion, Truro’s city centre was mostly closed, leaving some food chains open.

We decided to have the traditional fish and chips for our late lunch before we drove to Launceston, where we got the opportunity to watch eventing. It was explained to me that eventing was for equestrians to compete in several contests such as cross-country. With little knowledge of equestrianism, it did not stop me from admiring the performances unfolding before me. The way riders carefully control the horses and the way they gracefully leap onto one task and another. Or the way the horse’s braided mane sways over, or how their healthy coats gleam under the sunset. Watching the horses’ hurdle was like watching a ballerina do the saut de chat.

Sadly, all good and happy things come to an end and Monday was that day. We woke up bright and early, to prepare our things and get them ready to store in the car. Obviously, just because it was the last day, doesn’t mean it would end right there.

We decided to drive to a scenic and charming toytown called Polperro. It is a borough that has a history of pirates since Polperro is also a harbour town. Remember when I said Saturday was my second favourite day because of bodyboarding? Well, you’re probably wondering what my favourite was… Monday was my favourite! Polperro was very captivating, I still dream about it up to this day. It’s not just the small alleyways and cute homes, but how the town was surrounded by nothing but nature. At every turn you look, you’d see humongous hills and lanky pine trees that stood closely next to each other. It honestly looked like I was on a set from Twilight, it was just missing that iconic blue hue.

The most unforgettable moment of this day was the sea and the dockyard. There was a large wall that divided the two and the scenery changes depending on where you glance. Once I sat facing the harbour, observing the boats parked near the dock while the houses behind blurred as I focused on the seagull that rested on top of the boat’s gunwale. I also climbed onto my cement seat to look over the sea. It was calm, watching the blue-green waters shiver by the ounce of movement that was caused by a child playing by the shore. 

There was a cave near the shore too, which was hollow, dark and cold. I didn’t explore further due to my fear of spiders. A cliff was also located just above the cave, and despite the empty stomach, I was eager to climb to the top, wondering what the sea would look like from above. What I saw exceeded my imagination, the endless stretch of water left me awestruck. It didn’t look like I was in England at all. If you ever showed me a picture of Polperro without telling me that it was in England, I would’ve assumingly guessed it was somewhere in Italy or Greece.

After a few snapshots from the cliff, we decided to grab something to eat. We had cream tea, lo and behold, it was my first time eating scones… in the Cornish way too. Always put the jam before the cream! Overall, Polperro was definitely the best way to end this Cornwall adventure!

To conclude, everything in Cornwall was magical but there was nowhere more mystical and other-worldly as Polperro. I will continue to dream about it! Hopefully, you, my readers, have listed down these places as your next travel destinations! All I can say is that Cornwall will never disappoint! 

Sincerely, from the person who had been to Cornwall once. 

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