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.
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.
- 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)
- They have their own Manx currency that cannot be used anywhere else in the world.
- They have a vampire grave that exists today.
- 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.
- You can buy insurance for your pet hamster. Animals are highly regarded in IOM.
- They have the world’s deadliest motorcycle race, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, with 242 deaths in its 107 years of existence.
- They are home to the tail-less Manx cat and 4-horned (sometimes 6) Manx Loaghtan breed of sheep.
- They don’t spoil their nature by cutting trees. Apparently they import their wood for houses from what I was told.
- 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.
LIFE IN RAMSEY TOWN
After placing our bags down, we decided to walk Gallygael (a black retriever) around the neighbourhood…
Some food we had at home in IOM: steamboat, full English breakfasts, lamb, curry and more!
PUB GRUB OUT OF TOWN
That’s all for this post. More scenery, in-depth history and iconic landmarks to come!
Photos shot by Sony A5000 & iPhone 6.