Monday, 16 April 2012

Snaefell the Easy Way

We've just spent a couple of weeks on the Isle of Man. A friend who lives there very kindly offered to let us stay in his flat in Castletown as he had plans to spend Easter in China.

One of the main tourist attractions on Man is its network of steam railways and electric trams. Probably the best electric tram  to the summit of Snaefell, the highest point on the island, from which you can see Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. Obviously, it's best undertaken on a clear day. There is a café on top, from which it is a short, almost level walk to the trig point at the summit. I found myself moaning about the siting of a mobile phone mast close to the summit while sitting quite happily in the similarly-sited café, which just goes to show how illogical we can be.

We enjoyed ourselves so much we made the trip again, a few days later. However, the second time it was cold and windy. We alighted at the summit into a shower of sleet - fine if you're dressed for it, which we weren't. Fortunately, it's only a few sheltered feet from the tram steps to the café door. Three dogs were tethered to a park bench outside the café. As we made for the door they discovered that if they made a concerted effort in the same direction they could run off with the bench! It was, momentarily, like a scene from one of those slushy Hollywood films with acting animals (Babe in the City springs to mind). I had visions of them careering off down the hill to Laxey, bouncing the bench behind them.


Elisabeth said...

Strange but this description reminds me of the Island of Sodor of Thomas the tank engine fame, maybe it's the juxtaposition of island and of trains, albeit electric.

Dominic Rivron said...

Is this a record?! I posted the post only minutes ago!

Yes, Sodor does spring to mind. Fortunately none of the trains have creepy faces.

As for electrification, an electric line is visible in "Henry and the Express".

The Weaver of Grass said...

What is it about you and tea shops/cafes? It is as though they are made of iron and you have a magnet for a nose.

Kat Mortensen said...

That's a rather surreal moment - with the dogs!

I don't mind a bit of rain, but sleet and wind when you're not dressed for it, is rather a painful endurance, I think.

I've looked across to the Isle of Man, but have never been on it.

Jenny Woolf said...

I agree with Elisabeth. I wonder if Sodor was in fact modelled on the IOM! :D

Rachel Fenton said...

Brilliant image of the dogs there - superbly written, Dominic, I love all your travel/running/walking tales. Get them in a book.

And Sodor does spring to mind - I'll ask our resident expert when he wakes me at six to ask for a milo and a Thomas dd!