April 17, 2009
Posted by: Andoni
As I mentioned last week, we are doing some heavy duty traveling over the next 3 months and that's why my posts have been sporadic and short.
We just left Penzance, England - and just for the record, there weren't any pirates there. Maybe all the pirates left and moved to the horn of Africa. (Sorry, I couldn't resist saying that.)
I've been to England many times before, but this is the first time I've visited what they call "The Southwest," or the Cornish Peninsula. Driving down here, we passed Plymouth, Falmouth, and Truro. I think I also saw signs for Weymouth and Tewksbury. Considering the flat sandy terrain, heavy traffic and the wind sculpted scrub brush, it was reminiscent of driving to Provincetown on Cape Cod. Now it's obvious why our early settlers called it New England.
It's also interesting that the southern side of this Cornwall Peninsula as well as the southern side of our Cape Cod are both bathed by the same warm waters of the Gulf Stream which results in more moderate climates compared to the respective mainlands.
One thing that surprises me on this visit is how friendly all the countryside B & B's have been to a gay couple so far. We've been to Bath, the Cothswolds, Dartmoor, and now Penzance. Urban London is still to come. Such gay friendliness was not there 10 years ago. Also, I can't image the same gay friendliness in rural America. Opps, considering the recent events in Iowa and Vermont, I had better visit there before making this statement so definitive.
In Cornwall, there is so much ancestral pride that everything was "Cornish." The Cornish flag flew everywhere. Signs, menus and shops had Cornish hens, Cornish cheese, Cornish ice, Cornish clotted cream, even Cornish Ice cream. Most of these commodities is EU protected, so if you say it's Cornish, you have to prove it (somewhat like Champagne or Roquefort cheese).
By law, Cornish clotted cream has to be at least 55% butterfat, and I swear Cornish ice cream is the frozen version of their clotted cream. Real Cornish ice cream makes Haagen-Dazs tastes like the cheap supermarket brand.