Our friend Julia enthusiastically recommended many beautiful places for Alekka and me to visit in Cornwall this summer, but chief among them were the Isles of Scilly. Julia and her husband liked it there so much there that they named children after two of the islands (middle names, but still). I love islands, so I was keen to see what these were like.
They are a popular holiday destination for people who live in southern England, many of whom return every summer. We were lucky to book a place on the ferry at the last minute and also to find a place to stay.
It felt good to leave the car behind in Penzance. Alekka and I enjoyed the boat at first, but it was a bit rough and and a number of our fellow travelers were sick. It made for a good session of Brit-watching, everyone trying not to notice but then discreetly offering a bag or a hankie. Everybody was glad when the three-hour journey was over, most of all the dogs.
We landed on St. Mary’s, the largest of the islands. The Scilly isles are peaceful and pretty. The culture is squarely British (gardens, birdwatching, and tea) but the climate almost makes you feel like you are somewhere else. We enjoyed the beaches, visited the prehistoric ruins, and hiked the trails.
Our last day on St. Mary’s was the day the IB exam results were to be published. Alekka and I whiled away the rainy morning (and alleviated some jitters) with shopping therapy at Seasalt, a local Cornish outfit that had things we both liked. Then we set up camp at a cafe with wi-fi to await the results. Alekka’s IB scores would decide whether she got into her first choice school, her second choice, or neither. There was a Phineas Fogg moment where we neglected to account for a time difference, then finally an hour later the results were in. And… she made the cut, with room to spare. London School of Economics, here she comes.