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English Countryside

English Countryside, Part One

St. Mawes, Cornwall
If you believe that places can be muses than you would love Cornwall. An Englishman we met during our trip to England used a phrase to describe what we were looking at one day which has stuck with me. He described the scene as "achingly beautiful." I agreed. When you combine glorious weather, the English countryside and picture postcard scenery, you have a winner. The beauty is simply off the charts. Somehow your heart gets involved and you fall in love with a place. This happened to me in Cornwall.

Checking into the hotel in the early evening

I couldn't wait to get to Cornwall. I knew that it was a muse for Virginia Woolf. She had spent childhood summers in St. Ives and "To The Lighthouse" was based on her happy memories of those vacations. The lighthouse of the novel is based on the Godrevy lighthouse in St. Ives.

Other writers had been inspired by its beauty. Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" had been set there. There were also the swashbuckling "Poldark" books. I remembered a dashing hero, devious smugglers, battles over the land, betrayal and romance. They were made into a popular television series which I watched many years ago. And more recently there was "Doc Martin, " a television series I loved. But still, I was unprepared for the beauty I would discover.

St. Mawes

After six days in London, we drove to Cornwall arriving late in the day. Our drive had been on narrow, winding roads bordered by hedgerows and the countryside was storybook. We checked into our hotel and unpacked. It was a short walk to dinner as we were eating in the hotel that night. The next day we awoke to foggy skies and the sound of seagulls and a fog horn. A walk outside revealed the view (see photo above), though admittedly it was much grayer and more overcast than this. This is what it looked like in the afternoon. The experience reminded me of the scene in "The Enchanted April" when the English women, who arrive in Italy at night, throw open the shutters the next morning to discover the stunning view. This is the road leading into the little village of St. Mawes where we would be spending the next three days.

The road to town

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