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.)


  1. What a lovely tour, Denise! Incidentally, the goose in the photo right after the black swans is a Chinese goose and they can get pretty aggressive. :) I love seeing the water, so serene and pretty!

  2. Being decorated in that way is supposedly lucky - but it is also a reminder to be grateful that cows don't fly.]
    Loved seeing the black swans settled happily into a foreign land.

  3. Oh dear! I just looked up Crowhurst and it's awfully sad. I don't think I'm going to look for this movie. I do love all your fun photos! I can see you guys had a great time!

  4. Onceagain tht looks like a wondeerful day out with lovely blue skies. Pity about the Pigeon poo!! Love all the dog shots.

  5. Want a lovely stroll. I will need to caych up and enjoy 1-6 tomorrow.

  6. They look beautiful villages/towns. Bad luck that you missed the filming but caught a bird pooh. Yuk that must have been unpleasant. Nice shots.

  7. Another delightful post. Loved the picture of the black swans. We don't see any of those where I live but I remember seeing them when we went down south. They say it's lucky to have bird droppings land on you. Okay, I don't believe it either!

  8. Great part of the world - although I am a bit biased as I was born about a hour or so from these locations - it will be fun to see if you get any closer to my ancestral home!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  9. Those pastries in your previous post made me drool. And so pretty, too.
    Those black swans are beautiful.
    I experienced bird droppings on my head in high school. How embarrassing!

  10. Looks like you had a perfect day to visit the seaside too!

  11. Hello Denise, another great post. I love the views of the water and coastline. The swans are beautiful. And the doggies are all so cute! Thanks for sharing your trip! Happy weekend!

  12. It's considered to be good luck when a bird poops on you!
    Jane x

  13. What a pretty place. Sorry about your mishap..I have had that happen to me one time and I never even saw the happened while I was mowing the yard.

  14. I have missed most of your vacation posts, while writing my own catch-up blog posts. I so enjoy your travel posts. I am going to try to catch up on your writings! I have been the recipient of seagull nasty stuff, while at Cave of the Winds in Niagara Falls. I look skyward, too, now to avoid it happening again! I bet you watch that movie when it comes out. I have watched a few movies, only because I saw the setup for where it would be filmed.

  15. you have something for everyone today, you know i love the dogs and the oh oh made me laugh, the swans are so beautiful and I love number 2 photo of those buildings.

  16. Wonderful photos, and love those black swans!

  17. You did your homework on this trip. You covered a lot of territory and showed us great photos.

  18. That dog does seem a bit perplexed by the surf!

    My parents knew a minister by the name Donald Crowhurst. Obviously not the same person.

  19. Hi Denise, went through all your vacation posts. It seems you enjoyed a lot and the pictures are just perfect. Your niece is so beautiful and she resembles you a lot..Thanks a lot for sharing..

  20. That's definitely the downside of birds! I'm always the one who gets hit too! And I always moan 'why me' ;>)! What a nice trip though in spite of that one splat !!

  21. Hi Denise! I looove watching your holiday photos! What a fine time to go on vacation. Have fun and enjoy!

  22. I never saw black swans, they are beautiful!
    That was sure worth the trip.
    And it's great that you could learn something, too ;) :D
    You sure had a nice trip :))

    Have a beautiful weekend!
    Tinna ✐

  23. such a soulful day! Wonderful to share in it. I bet your accent returned, LOL


  24. We took my dog once to Charleston, SC, but not to the beach. I should have took her.

  25. How lovely holiday photos (the beach is wonderful), you put here also humour, it's nice.
    I love the white houses. And never seen black swans, they are great.

  26. It looks as if you had good weather on this day. I love to see beach photos as we rarely get to the coast since we live inland. All these places you went to on your trip evoke memories of childhood Devon holidays by the sea. Dawlish Warren sticks in my mind with a nature reserve which is near Dawlish town.

  27. What a lovely day you had at the seaside! I love Devon and we always try to visit whenever we fly home to the UK from the US to visit my parents.

  28. I am still loving seeing these places through your eyes...laughing at the 'big pigeon' comment more than at it actually happening. Sounds like Roger coming up with some comment that cracks me up.

  29. oooooh there they are, the black swans. they are so very special. we were in NY when they were filming "the devil wears prada" it was a warm day and they were filming, everyone was wearing heavy coats and minks. it was kinda cool but that's not really my kinda' movie!!!!

  30. Hi Denise,
    Another lovely collection of photos from England - wow!
    I particularly enjoyed the red Letter Box (Postbox) and all the critters.

    The lone Seagull looks angelic.

    Thanks for sharing your joy with all of us.

    Have a Great Week!
    Peace :)

  31. I have heard that if you get 'bombed' like that it's meant to be lucky !

    Thank you for sharing some lovely pictures - what an amazing trip / visit.

    All the best Jan