I'm here by myself so I'm going to put the comments that I'd normally make to a travel buddy in here..
I'm on a bus to Alum Bay - on the other end of the island to where I arrived on the Hovercraft. We just went past a field full of sheep and lambs - they'd numbered them all so you could tell who belonged to who. Cute little sheepies, with big blue and red numbers painted on their sides. Hehe.
There are also quite a lot of thatched-roof houses in this area.
Just walked down 182 steps to the seaside. I can't call it a beach because it's made of pebbles and I don't think that's really a beach. :-) I wanted to see the cliffs of coloured sand. You're not allowed to take any sand from the beach - if you did that then you wouldn't pay for the little bags of it from the souvenir shop.. Anyway, just got down to the bottom and I needed the loo. Bugger! Took a few photos and then headed back up the stairs.
Bought an uninspiring lunch of sandwich, crisps and a ribena carton. I'll eat it after I've had a look in the Glassblower's.
Alum Bay Glass is quite pretty, but nothing exceptional. Lots
of dust-collectors really. I like watching glass blowers work. Stuart the Glassblower from Scotland was mezmerising. The three guys they had on the demonstration floor were talented but it wasn't exceptional. I guess it's hard to be exceptional when you're making paperweights or pigs. To be honest, the pig-maker was the most interesting to watch.
Take a blob of molten glass, add some coloured powder and twist it a bit to mix it. Let the glass cool just a little then using huge metal tweezers, pull out four blobs on one side (the legs), two blobs on the other (the ears). Swing it around a bit to elongate the
body a little and to assist it cool. Stand it on its legs and poke with tweezers to make eyes. Continue to twist until glass sets, break off twisting rod (at nose) and put hot pig into kiln for annealing.
Eating my lunch on a bench outside in the sun. Suddenly a couple of ravens/blackbirds (not sure exactly) flew onto the adjacent table. They're as bad as seagulls (which didn't come scavenging) - looking for any kind of scraps. I had an enjoyable time.. Taking photos, talking to the birds, watching other tourists try to feed them so they'd stay still long enough for a photo. Now it's time to get on the bus up the hill.
Paid to go in to the Old Battlement. They have a tunnel! Down a winding staircase which is only wide enough for one (and only just - I really need to do more exercise) and the acoustics are fab. The tunnel is only just wide enough for two to pass, but you'll hear them at the top of the staircase - even if you're at the spotlight at the other end, enjoying the view of the Needles. I wish someone had been there to play with the acoustics. I encouraged a young lad and his sister to mess about with it - and from the noise they made, it must have been fun!
I'm sitting at the front of the Hovercraft. Hehe. It's so exciting. I came over on it this morning, it's not like anything else I've been on. Low tide? No problem! The Hovercraft hovers over land or water - the only difference is the bumps from the waves. :-)
I'm going to send this now - it's already a long email/post and I'm on the way back to Portsmouth now. Hope everyone is good and I'll try to upload the appropriate photos soon.
Sent from my mobile device (and then edited because it put in line breaks that meant the post looked weird)