18 July 2012

Tintagel! ~ Part 2

Read Part 1 first!
Be forewarned, this post is heavy on pictures!  It may load slowly!  
The Trail down to the Tintagel Castle English Heritage site
The road down to the English Heritage site for Tintagle Castle was quite steep and I was glad to know that a Land Rover was available to bring me back up the hill once I was done!  I bought my ticket, viewed the shop and short movie about King Arthur's tenuous links to Tintagel and was off!

Standing on Tintagel ground!
To actually stand on this historic ground!  Not that history hasn't happened on every piece of ground that we walk on, but that this was a place I'd read SO much about and dreamed about seeing for so many years!  To actually be standing here, taking it all in was simply amazing!

The Haven
The Haven is the waterway coming in between the island and the mainland.  During low tide, it's merely a small (though beautiful!) bay, but at high tide, the water flows through Merlin's cave and effectively makes the Island a true island.  The tide was coming in and the surf on the rocks was growing as I watched!

The Haven and beach near Merlin's Cave
I spent a lot of time just watching the water!

Walls at Tintagel
There were dark rock walls everywhere and the green against it stunning.  The brilliant white daisies shown like stars!

Thrift overlooking the sea at Tintagel
Overhanging the cliffs were clumps of Thrift, one of my favorite flowers.

Waterfall at Tintagel
The waterfall was incredibly beautiful as it splashed it's way down into the bay below.

Stone Steps to the beach
I walked down the stone stairs to the beach.  Near the bottom, the sea has torn the lower steps loose and tossed them carelessly at an angle.  Each passerby helped the next one to get down.

The waterfall
The views from the bottom were lovely too!

Merlin's Cave at Tintagel
I walked into Merlin's Cave.  It's easy to see why this has become such a place of myth and legend!  I realized the tide was coming up quickly, so didn't spend much time here, but what time I did have was magical!

Banded rock from Tintagel
On the way out, I found this lovely small stone with it's crisp bands ~ and moments later was christened by the rising tide!  So I climbed carefully back up the stairs and headed for the path to the Island.

Stone steps to the Island Ruins at Tintagel
There were more stairs up to the island.  Steep stairs of dark grey, almost black slate.  I was grateful for the handrails!

The Haven at Tintagel
Along the way were views of the other side of the water separating the island from the mainland.

Gateway to Tintagel
And finally, up at the top of the stairs, a gateway to the ruins.  This gateway was built in the 1900s and is not original to the site ~ but now has been added to the history of the place!  This view is looking back through the gate to the stairs I'd just come up.

Panorama of the Island Ruins at Tintagel
Here is a panorama of the view from inside the gate.  What a grand view of the sea this must have on a clear day!

Me at Tintagel!
And here I am, standing amidst the ruins!


Portal at Tintagel
Everywhere there were portals of one sort or another.  Gateways and windows, and small opening for defense measures.

View of the sea from Tintagel
Just beautiful!

Looking down from Tintagel
And this amazing view gives you an idea of just how far up these ruins are!  It really is an incredible place.

Wildflowers in profusion at Tintagel
On the slopes, the wildflowers were in abundance ~ a profusion of color!

Tintagel in the mist
As the mist rolled in thickly, it took on an entirely new quality.  I remembered back to the movie Excalibur, when Merlin conjures the spell of making, which brings the "breath of the dragon." At this time and in this spot seemed so very real!

Tintagel portal
How blessed I was to be able to be here on this day in this atmosphere of mystery!  To think that I nearly called off my visit here due to the weather ~ I'm so grateful that I didn't!

Wildflowers at Tintagel
No matter where I looked, it was all stunning.

Steepest Stairs I've Ever Climbed!
Eventually I left the Island and made my way carefully and slowly up the steepest set of stairs that I have ever climbed in my entire life to the top of the mainland castle ruins.  I can tell you that writing this 24 hours later, my legs are still feeling the ache from that climb!  These stairs brought to mind the hidden stairway that Frodo and Sam took when climbing into Mordor and made me wonder if Tolkien had his inspiration for them here!

Snails at Tintagel
While walking around the mainland castle, I put my hand out to steady myself at one point and discovered these land snails!

The path back (instead of going down the stairs!)
When the time came to depart, I left via the footpath rather than attempting to navigate the steep stairway down.   Back at the English Heritage site there was a lovely small cafe where I had a saffron bun and tea before making the next part of my journey to Wells.

Wildflowers at The Haven, Tintagel
As I think back on my time at Tintagel Castle, it's hard to put into words just how moving I found it.  I spent about 5 hours there but could have spent days.  There was far more to see on the island than I had time for and though I had hoped to do a watercolor here, I simply didn't have the time.  But the views I wanted to paint were numerous and I'd have loved to just have time to sit and take it all in, to simply BE there, in the rain and the mist and the wind.

6 comments:

Leeanne said...

Breath taking!!! Thank you once again.

Nilg√ľn Komar said...

very nice location and photos of each

Connie said...

What a wonderful trip you are having! I wish I could go back. Your pictures are also very nice.

Anonymous said...

We follow all your travels with great plaesure.
Grace and Evert Smit
Vaassen Netherlands

Laurie said...

Lisa, I wouldn't have made it up all those stairs! I admire you! Your pictures and descriptions are stunning. Looking forward to more!!!

Susan Elliott said...

Magical!

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