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Part 1 of 5: Travelogue in Isle of Man

Read part 1 HERE (intro to Isle of Man, where I stayed), part 2 HERE (Snaefell, Laxey Wheel, The Sound, Point of Ayre), part 3 HERE (Castle Rushen, Peel Castle, Old Grammer School), part 4 HERE(Bradda Glen, Cregneash village & ancient churches) & part 5 HERE (Manx museum).

Few months ago, I flew 20+ hours from Singapore -> Doha -> Manchester -> before finally hopping aboard FlyBe, a domestic propeller plane, en route to Isle of Man (IOM); a self-governing crown dependency in the middle of the Irish Sea, inhabited since before 6500 BC.

I wanted to capsulate my entire experience in one post but while filtering through hundreds of images at 3am from eerie medieval castles (bad decisions at night as usual) to mountains, I decided to split up my posts to give justice to this ethereal Tolkien-like land.

This post will cover the little bits: intro to IOM, aunt’s home in Ramsey town, random snapshots etc. 

Though seemingly innocuous, this ancient island is steeped with myths of malevolent spirits, faeries, hounds and…vampires. To a point where their typical souvenir shop don’t just sell knick knacks and pamphlets with 70% ads, but REAL books about “mysterious deaths in IOM”. They have a FAIRY BRIDGE too, where you have to greet hello whenever you pass.

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A view from my propeller plane window. I took a domestic flight from Manchester into IOM.

Legend has it that the island’s name came from the (Poseidon-looking) Celtic sea god Manannan Mac Lir who protected the land from invaders by shrouding it in a cloak of mist.

Encircled by Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, it is the only place on Earth where you can see all the kingdoms together on a clear day.

Guess what? It also inspired the creation of Thomas The Tank Engine and has been a film location for movies including Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets.

FUN FACTS:

  1. They have their own Manx language which has reportedly “revived from the dead” in recent years. “Hello” in Manx: Moghrey mie (morning) & Fastyr mie (afternoon / evening)
  2. They have their own Manx currency that cannot be used anywhere else in the world.
  3. They have a vampire grave that exists today.
  4. It also has the oldest continuous parliament in the world, Tynwald (over 1,000 years) where their annual ceremony still involves a SWORD today. Game of Thrones, anyone? However, the British Government controls their foreign relations and defence.
  5. You can buy insurance for your pet hamster. Animals are highly regarded in IOM.
  6. They have the world’s deadliest motorcycle race, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, with 242 deaths in its 107 years of existence.
  7. They are home to the tail-less Manx cat and 4-horned (sometimes 6) Manx Loaghtan breed of sheep.
  8. They don’t spoil their nature by cutting trees. Apparently they import their wood for houses from what I was told.
  9. IOM is 572 km² VS Singapore 719.1 km², but they only have a population of 85k+ people while we have 5+ million (as of 2016).

More facts found HERE.

The drive up the mountains to our home.

An inimitable drive up the misty mountains to our home while tapping away to Edwyn Collins’s Girl Like You.

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The perfect setting for a Twilight sequel.


LIFE IN RAMSEY TOWN

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Our home!

The zen room

The zen room.

The backyard

The backyard where we could have barbeque and chill tfo.

Nic & Kieran on the trampoline!

Nic & Kieran on the trampoline!

The attic in progress

The attic in progress..

The room with the fireplace and Steve's vintage guns. He was an ex-M16.

The room with the fireplace and Steve’s vintage guns (who is an ex-MI6).

Mr.Kieran Percival, my favourite Brit boy. Miss playing Mario with him. ):

Mr.Kieran Percival, my favourite Brit boy. Miss playing Mario with him. ):

After placing our bags down, we decided to walk Gallygael (a black retriever) around the neighbourhood…

After a short walk from home, we came to a quaint passageway that led to fields of vast greenery.

After a short walk from home, we came to a quaint passageway that led to fields of vast greenery.

Be careful not to touch nettle! They sting.

Be careful not to touch nettle! They sting.

A walk along an empty beach nearby.

A walk along an empty beach nearby.

Spotted this on the road.

Spotted this on the road.

While walking with Kieran around Ramsey.

While walking with Kieran around Ramsey.

Ramsey town enclave, lined with musty charity thrift shops.

Ramsey town enclave, lined with musty charity thrift shops. We bought some sandwiches and sat at the bench to snack.

Some food we had at home in IOM: steamboat, full English breakfasts, lamb, curry and more!

Must-haves in IOM: Manx milk, yoghurt, dairy, cream

Must-haves in IOM: Manx milk, yoghurt, dairy, cream

Nothing beats a home-made breakfast with fuzzy animal socks and PJs at 18 degrees.

Nothing beats a home-made breakfast with fuzzy animal socks and PJs at 18 degrees while butt-shaking to 90s rock/pop.

Yum...

Yum…

Of course, facetime-ing with my bf continents away.

Of course, facetime-ing with my bf continents away.

Trafalgar pub/hotel in Ramsey, where everyone knows everyone and drinking starts at 3pm.

Trafalgar pub/hotel near our place in Ramsey, where everyone knows everyone and drinking starts at 3pm! We met some family friends here.

Lager and cold weather.

Lager and cold weather.

with Mr Wattie (centre)

A bare-faced but mandatory photo with Mr Wattie (centre) at the pub.. He’s the only escapee from Isle of Man prison who could break out in the old days….and break out DAILY to have dinner & tea with his mum before sneaking back with grub for his inmates. Talk bout irony. He’s real tiny, dons a bomber jacket filled with pins, has lots of tatts & is pretty tech savvy.


FAIRY BRIDGE

Fairy bridge, on the A5 road from Douglas to Castletown. It is considered unlucky not to greet them.

Fairy bridge, on the A5 road from Douglas to Castletown. It is considered unlucky not to greet them hello whenever you pass this bridge.

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Tributes to loved ones on the trees at the Fairy Bridge.


JURBY JUNK

Jurby junk!

Jurby junk!

Here you can find a myriad of second hand items. Fun to look, but if you're not the sort who collects knick knacks, it isn't that worth it.

Here you can find a myriad of second hand items. Fun to look, but if you’re not the sort who hunts for knick knacks, it isn’t that worth it.

A heaven & hell for book lovers. Beside Jurby Junk, there is a warehouse with tons of books that will take hours to scan through.

A heaven & hell for book lovers. Beside Jurby Junk, there is a warehouse with tons of books that will take hours to scan through.


PUB GRUB OUT OF TOWN

We stopped by Grosvenor Country Inn for generous portions of pub grub.

After Jurby Junk, we stopped by Grosvenor Country Inn for generous portions of pub grub.

An intimate abode for beer and grub.

An intimate abode for beer and grub.

Mighty portion of fish n chips.

Mighty portion of fish n chips.

A blissful seafood soup, thick with flavour.

A blissful seafood soup, thick with flavour.

Oh geez, this sticky toffee dessert was a sweet escapade.

Oh geez, this sticky toffee dessert was a sweet escapade.


MANX SPCA

Cat VS Angry Bird

Cat VS Angry Bird

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RANDOM SNAPS

We drove to the farmer's house to pick up fresh ingredients!

We drove to the farmer’s house to pick up fresh ingredients!

A family friend's van..

A family friend’s van..

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IOM's HUGE Pets At Home store....you can bring your pet shopping too.

IOM’s HUGE Pets At Home store….it’s like an IKEA or GIANT for animals where you can bring your pet shopping too.

"Sorry ma'am photos not allowed," so that's all I got haha.

Uh.... ok don't ask me where that name came from (*screams "Racist cheese!" hysterically inside*) but this Cheese tasted really good.

Uh…. ok don’t ask me where that name came from (*screams “Racist cheese!” hysterically inside*) but this tasted really good.

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That’s all for this post. More scenery, in-depth history and iconic landmarks to come!

Stay clicked.

Photos shot by Sony A5000 & iPhone 6.

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