Saturday, June 3, 2017

Landing in Cornwall

It was a long day with a lot of driving, some of it on the motorways, much of it on small, winding roads, and often on narrow lanes bordered by high hedges. The sun was shining this morning when we left the Red Lion Inn and headed toward Buckland Abbey.
But by the time we arrived the sky was gray and threatening. During our visit, the clouds opened, and the rain poured down, shortening our enjoyment of the English rose garden. But by the time we got to the car, the rain had nearly stopped. It was cloudy for the next part of the drive, but by the tame we entered Cornwall, the sky was clear and blue.

Buckland Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey built in the 13th century, situated far from worldly pleasures so the monks could practice poverty, chastity and humility.  Ironically all that poverty made them wealthy because so many gifts came their way. And their wealth was behind Henry VIII's seizure of church lands like these at the start of the Anglican Church.

From the outside you can tell it was an abbey, but the subsequent residents changed and remodeled inside to suit their tastes. The most famous owner was Sir Francis Drake, a swashbuckling Elizabethan sailor who attacked Spanish ships for their treasure, sailed around the world and helped defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588.  There were many treasures from his voyages, and historical displays.

There were also rooms with Georgian furniture,one of which had a treasure hanging on the wall.  It looked like a Rembrandt, but we said to ourselves, "No, it couldn't be."  But yes, it was. Apparently it was long thought to be a copy, but when it was cleaned, it turned out to be a true original.
The ride to Cornwall was long, but eventually we arrived at the large Sainsbury's where we bought our groceries for the week. We arrived at The Barn in Helford at about 6 intending to eat at the pub, but it is Saturday night and apparently others had he same idea. Instead Bill whipped up some spaghetti Bolonaise with the ingredients we had just purchased. After dinner we walked along the river and looked over the harbor where the sun was setting over the water.

We are all tired. Tomorrow we are heading to church at Truro Cathedral and Sunday roast dinner at a well loved restaurant.

Although we have internet here at the cottage, the broadband seems very narrow, and not too friendly to photos.  We will keep trying, but for now, pictures are not available.

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