CORNWALL, UK – One of the great joys of going on the Olympic pre-trip is having the ability to set the itinerary. We are not limited to stay in the host city. We have the freedom to explore other parts of the country.
Since Dave Calabro and Anne Marie Tiernon will be based this summer in London to cover the athletes and the sports, Steve Rhodes and I wanted to spend a good portion of this trip taking you to places beyond London. Our stories will air this summer during the Olympics.
We couldn’t wait to visit Cornwall. We were hooked for several reasons. The coastline of the southwestern part of England is fabulous. We found a pub sign artist in this area and there is a spectacular St. Michael’s Mount castle surrounded by water.
Getting to Cornwall from London involves a six-hour train trip. We woke up at 5:30am Thursday and took a cab to Paddington Station where we caught the 7:30am train. Steve and I took a brief nap on the train, ate breakfast and watched the rolling English countryside out our window. By 1:30 pm, we had arrived at Penzance.
We squeezed seven bags of broadcast equipment into our small rental car and drove ten minutes to the Godolphin Arms hotel, situated on the beach looking out at St. Michael’s Mount. Driving in England is a challenge. The wheel is on the wrong side of the car, you drive on the opposite lane and the stick shift is on the wrong side too. Everything you’ve ever learned in driving is opposite. It is quite a challenge.
We spent most of the afternoon conducting interviews on the beach and videotaping the castle from nearly every dry vantage point. Friday morning, we will take a small boat across Mount’s Bay to reach this spectacular treasure.
The rest of the evening was spent visiting pubs in Penzance. Pubs remain important to the British culture but high tax on alcohol is making it difficult for many pubs to survive.
Gary Turner, the manager of the “Turk’s Head,” says he and other pubs are selling more food than they have in the past in order to stay in business and compete with chain establishments.
We chatted with Paddy and Trish McGregor who own “Admiral Benbow,” a Penzance pub decorated with hundreds of items from shipwrecks.
We had dinner at “The Dolphin Tavern” and talked with manager Matthew Jorey who said his restaurant is a popular place for food and drinks.
Friday is going to be a long day. We catch an 8:00 am boat ride to St. Michael’s Mount, then leave around 12:00 pm to interview a talented pub sign artist, Andrew Grundon, who owns “Signature Signs.” We are scheduled to have dinner at “London Inn” in Padstow before embarking on a three-hour car ride to Bristol, England. We are hustling to be in place to document a wedding Saturday at Thornbury castle.
It’s well after midnight. We have been up 18 hours and Steve is still importing video clips into our hard drives and recharging batteries for Friday.
Good night from the southwestern tip of England.
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