Friday 3 May 2013

A Garden Eden

Waking up and having another day of sun is like a special present, especially when you are told than there will be rain and wind. We arrived in between the Isles of Scilly. These are around 140 islands, but only six are inhabited and two of them we have visited: Tresco and St Mary’s. At 10 am a large tender boat picked us up and brought us to St Marys’ for an excursion to Garrison Hill and the old Star Castle. Today the Fort is a hotel located in the impressive building. It was a nice walk up the hill with beautiful views to some of the other islands. Today were many rowing boats in the small harbor, as the teams practice for the Pilot Gig World Championships which starts in this evening.

St Mary’s is a lovely little town with bright sand beaches on two sides. The sand on some beaches is so fine that at one time it was exported from the islands and used to dry ink, before blotting paper had been invented. In the small houses of the town live around 2000 inhabitants. The main incomes are tourism during the summer time and export of cut flowers.

The other excursion went to Tresco Island and therefore we used the Polarcircle boats for the first time on this cruise. On Tresco is one of the most beautiful gardens in England. Augustus Smith founded the Abbey Garden in the remains of the Tresco Abbey. This has its origins in the 12th Century. Augustus Smith planted a belt of trees as protection, but a lot of them were blown down in storms, the last in 1990. Since then over 60 000 replacement trees have been planted. Walking through the garden gives a feeling of being in paradise. You see all the different plants, the colorful flowers and have the overwhelming smell. Especially the part of the Mediterranean plants is amazing. The subtropical climate allows them to grow.

All of us enjoyed the day on the Isles of Scilly and we ended up relaxing in the lounge listing to Pianst Ralf.