The main reason we went was for the TT motorcycle races, but the Isle of Man is steeped in history from the Celts and Vikings. They have the oldest parliament in the world which celebrated 1000 years in 1979. The island was a THE place to visit from the Victorian era till the mid 20th century when it became cheaper and easier to visit Europe.
Our trip was the best. The weather was great – one day was 26 degrees C – the hottest June day in 3 years. We only had a couple of wet days and it didn’t stop us doing anything.
We had the first week just playing the tourist and spending time with Mick's mate Al, the second was touristy, meeting Loulee and race practice each evening and on the third week racing and spending time with Loulee.
I’ll bore you with photos over the next few days – please bear with me.
If you have time, check out the links as they will explain things better than I can.
We travelled in the new A380 Airbus. Anyone would think we were excited to be on our way.
On our first day Mick’s mate Al took us out on his boat to look for basking sharks – no luck. There were several sightings during our stay, but not when we were out.
We stayed in Castletown - the ancient capital of Mann. This is the harbour with Castle Rushen on the right and the Castle Arms Hotel, better known as The Gluepot, next to it. This is Al's watering hole and we spent several late nights there meeting some wonderful people. We were made very welcome.
Then he took us for a drive around the Parish Walk course. It is an 85 mile walking race to be completed in 24 hours. The participants have to touch the gate of each of the 17 parish churches on the island. Some of the course is up very long steep hills. What an endurance test. This year’s event is to take place today. This was a great way to get reacquainted with the island. He took us to see the cottage featured in the movie “Waking Ned”. (You should see the movie if you haven't already done so. It is hilareous.) That’s Al in the middle.
The island was being protected by the Manannan's Cloak.
Then, the next evening, we all went on a walk around the Chasms and Spanish Head. The Chasms are just that – deep chasms in the ground – don’t leave the path. Everywhere we went the thrift was in full bloom.