Grab the girl, get on the train and spend the Easter Holydays exploring Cornwall and the local attractions.
Sounds like a brilliant plan.
It's funny when you think about it. Or worrying. You live in a country, you explore the rest of the world around you (hey, the neighbor's grass is always greener - or cheaper if you fly to Amsterdam) but forget to visit the beautiful location surrounding you.
For example, I consider London a state on its own within England. Going to Reading or adventuring to Norwich is like leaving the nice and comfortable environment and go in the jungle. Yes, I can easily travel as far as Gatwick, Luton or even Stansted, but just to relax on a long flight so some other (nicer) place.
I guess I'm a lazy guy when it comes to local adventures. I can flight 12 hours to South Africa on a plane or travel by coach to Poland in 32 hours, but moving my sorry ass outside the M25 seems like a titanic task.
Probably I just need a special occasion. I traveled to Nottingham to run a marathon, and I will soon travel to the Isle of Wight to run another (so finally the years in my "look I'm an hardcore sportsman" will all reach 2006 after so many months), but I had a purpose.
This time I didn't need a purpose, I just needed someone who can share three days with me and still speak to me at the end.
And hey, look at the coincidence! Lindsey, the pretty South African girl who left London (and, technically, me) so many months ago after 8 months of dating the Olafmeister (World Record), was back in town to visit her friends (and me).
Trying to find a destination close enough to be able to access as many things as possible without a car was quite a task. At the end I decided to book a (very expensive, but hey, I have to impress the lady) hotel in Penzance, at the very bottom of the Lizard Peninsula.
From Penzance, easily connected from London, I knew I could board a ship to the Scilly Isles, or get a bus/train to St Michael's Mount and the Eden Project and still be able to come back and relax in the hotel. This was the great plan.
On Friday, wake up at 6.00 to get the train from London Paddington and start a 6 hours trip to Penzance. Unfortunately I've been vetoed by Lindsey about buying my usual long trip entertainment magazine (you know, guy stuff with articles about football and lesbians on the cover) so I spent my time listening to the Ipod and trying to sleep on the train, with virtually no food in my stomach but the quick muffin I had at the local Starbucks.
Anyway, we arrived in Penzance in the afternoon, and fortunately the weather was quite good, after few days of raining.
Penzance is quite an interesting seaside little town, with many hotels and many boats/yacht parked in the bay (well, any number bigger than 3 is a big number for me, I'm not really used to see so many boats parked in one single bay).
From across the bay I could see St Michael's bay, but I knew that in my great to-do list I would go there only on Monday.
After getting comfortable in the Beachfield Hotel (view of the beach, huge bed and nice bathroom), Lindsey and I explored the place. We had a nice portion of fish & chips in a random pub on the quay and then walked around the bay.
The low tide that greeted us just few hours ago with a strong smell of (dead?) fish, was quickly gone to be replaced by some billions liters of clear water and now everything looked and smelt much better.
I'm so used to London that when I wanted to pee I was looking for a McDonald somewhere within 500 yards, but I couldn't find any.
How do people over here avoid peeing in the sea if they don't have a McDonald? Oh yes, I'm always full of useful questions about local life.
The walk was quite long, because the day was warm and the sun shone almost for all the time. I was sweating like a pig, after 6 months of a long winter, while Lindsey, true to her South African roots, wasn't too impressed with the 16 degrees around her, but as long as the sun was up and smiling, she was smiling to (she's solar powered, or chocolate powered when the sun goes down).
Soon the tiredness of the long trip and the early wake up hit us and we ended the night very early in the hotel, ready for the first big trip of our weekend: the Scilly Isles.