Thinking to pass some time, I drove north to St. Ives, which I had heard was a pretty place. Pretty it may be, but I found it designed neither for vehicles nor for pedestrians. I discovered for the first time a strange British custom known as "traffic calming", which seems designed instead to anger drivers as much as possible by making them drive around obstructions in the road. In St. Ives, I feared I was lost forever in the narrow, crowded streets.
After what felt like hours of wandering, I finally found a place where it was possible to leave my wagon. I enjoyed a Cornish cream tea and investigated a craft fair, hoping to find some other Waldings, but I was too worried about my horses to spend much time there. I soon hurried back to the wagon and took the quickest way out of town.
As I left St. Ives, the rain stopped, and so I returned to St. Michael's Mount. There I saw a miraculous sight. The castle, which I am certain that morning had been on an island, was now on a hill connected to the mainland by a winding causeway, just barely above the water. As I walked across the causeway, the water receded further, leaving long trails of seaweed, and I wondered what great wizard was inviting me to visit this castle. I hurried across the causeway, fearing the water might, at any moment, close in behind me. When I arrived at the castle, a guard welcomed me, but warned me to leave within four hours, or the tides would cover the causeway again.
The castle itself is a magnificent building, and has a long and interesting history. I looked into the well where an evil giant fell to his death after being tricked by a boy called Jack, and I gazed at the grassy hillside where St. Michael appeared to the fishermen. I also saw the accurate model of the castle, made entirely of champagne corks, constructed by a very faithful (if slightly inebriated) butler about the time of the last war. Though the lord of the castle and his family are still in residence, the castle is now owned and maintained by the National Trust.
On my way back from St. Michael's Mount, I found a magical stone circle of dancing maidens, but that story is for next time...
Mail comments and contributions to Gavin.