Friday, July 10, 2015

English Vacation Journal - Part 7 - Teignmouth, Dawlish and Exeter

June 8th, 2015

Today we went to Teignmouth, Dawlish and Exeter.

I had asked if we could go to Dawlish as I remembered the Black Swans from years ago and knew that they were still in residence.  I also thought everyone would enjoy the town as they had never been there. 

Teignmouth was on our route and when niece and nephew saw what it was like, they wanted to take a walk along the front.

We noticed that all the railings had a fresh coat of silver paint which shone brilliantly in the sunlight, and pretty flower beds were being planted.  I said to myself how nice, they are getting ready for the tourist season.  

We found out later that a movie was being filmed with Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz, about the story of round-the-world sailor Donald Crowhurst, which took place in 1968.  I won't go into detail as it comes to a sad end but I was interested to find out that hundreds of local residents had been hired as extras, and classic yachts would be moored in the harbor to give the area an authentic 1960s feel. The reason for the newly painted railings and beautifully manicured flower beds suddenly became clear.  It would have been fun to see some of the filming and to look at all those classic yachts, but it was not to be and we missed it entirely.

The lifeguards were on duty.

Their equipment has gotten a lot more sophisticated than in my day, right down to the surfboard.  I never saw surfboards on a British beach in those days.

We enjoyed our walk and seeing lots of people with canine friends on the front and on the beach.  

The digger had made a big hole in the sand and wasn't quite sure how to react when the surf filled it in.

 Others weren't taking much notice.

And this one was too busy preening his feathers.

Gregg and I found a bench looking out at the ocean.  A very nice gentleman called Glen started chatting with us.  He must have been in his late 70s and it was very interesting listening to him, telling us a bit of his life story.  Eventually niece and nephew, who had continued on, joined us and it was time to go back to where we had parked the car.

At 1.03 p.m. we reached Dawlish and after parking the car once again we found the river walk.  

There were four black swans in total, seen only two at a time ....

and several geese.....

and goslings.

My family had walked on ahead and in the meantime there were lots of seagulls flying around.  I didn't like the look of that so I stood under the branches of a tree.  

The shade was lovely as I was getting a bit hot.  However, I didn't realize there were pigeons sitting on the branches just above my head.  The next thing I knew I felt something nasty hit the back of my shoulder!  I should have been looking out for the pigeons not the seagulls. Yak! 

I couldn't reach to clean it off my top so I caught up with my family and told them what had happened, and turned round to show them. Horrors!  Gregg said that must have been one big pigeon!  Fortunately I had Wet Ones in my purse - never leave home without them - and Gregg was able to clean my top as best he could, but I wasn't really happy until I got to the cottage that night, threw my shirt into the wash and immediately had a shower.  

I was very wary of all birds after that, even the seagulls in flight and avoided taking shade under branches of trees, and carefully looked skyward the rest of the day.  It left its mark in more ways than one.  And this is the first time I ever remember this happening to me.  The old dog looked at me in great sympathy I thought.

We walked down to the sea and niece and nephew.... 

and Gregg walked along the breakwater.  

Where the river met the sea there were a couple of dozen seagulls resting.  Some were bathing, some were drinking water.  I sat on the wall and watched Gregg take pictures of the family.... 

and later I took photos of the seagulls.

From Dawlish we drove to Exeter and found the Cathedral.  It was magnificent and I think it warrants a post to itself.  I will make one after my journal entries are finished.

In case you miss vacation posts I will be adding a link to the previous ones below.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.
Part 4 here.
Part 5 here.
Part 6 here.
Part 6 continued here.

(To all the hosts of the memes I love to participate in, I will posting my journal for a while but will be back joining in once these are over with.)