snaefell
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Part 2 of 5: Travelogue in Isle of Man (Snaefell, Laxey Wheel, The Sound, Point of Ayre)

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

 I took these images using a Sony A5000 & iPhone 6.

SNAEFELL MOUNTAIN

We hopped on the Snaefell Mountain Railway from Laxey town, which climbed 2036 feet above sea level to the summit of IOM.

Snaefell, which means ‘Snow Mountain’ in Norse/Viking terms, is the only place where you can squint at all the kingdoms on a clear day, which includes England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

This old Victorian enterprise that stretches 5 miles has been running since 1895 and is the only electric mountain railway in the British Isles.

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The friendly captain let me have his seat – probably because I was the only Asian obsessed with snapping photos of train tracks haha.

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At the edge of the mountain overlooking the sea.

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Now you know why Thomas The Tank Engine took inspiration from these old trains.

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Teletubbies land…

And we arrived at the top of Snaefell Mountain!
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I had no intention to be that weird ‘Asian’ wearing a Ninja attire while Caucasians bask in 10 degrees with a thin sweater on. I gave up my inner vain “fashionista” when the wind started blowing. But anyway, that coat’s from Zara if you’re interested to know.

with Nic!

with Nic!

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We found refuge at a mountain cafe and this latte came with the Manx/IOM official flag symbol. The three legs are known in Manx as ny tree cassyn (“the three legs”), which signifies something along the lines of, “whichever way you throw, it/we will stand”.


THE GREAT LAXEY WHEEL & MINE TRAIL

The Snaefell Mountain Railway brought us back to Laxey town, home to the iconic Laxey Wheel aka Lady Isabella.

It is the largest working waterwheel in the world today. Designed by Victorian engineer Robert Casement, the wheel was built in 1854 to pump water from Laxey’s lead and zinc mines 1500ft below ground. Apparently it closed in 1929 but Lady Isabella continues to turn today.

If you’re interested, you can can read up more via the information boards I took pictures of.

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Laxey town.

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Over 72 feet high.

Over 72 feet high.

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For more information: visit the website.


THE SOUND / CALF OF MAN

We then drove to the Southern tip of IOM for a sweeping view of the coastline at one of the most scenic places called ‘The Sound’.

I don’t know where that name came from, but it sits near the Calf of Man; a 618-acre island, separated from the Isle of Man by a narrow stretch of water called the Calf Sound.

The rocky islet Kitterland, between The Sound and the Calf of Man, is a popular ‘haul out’ spot for seals and it’s common to see dozens of them sunbathing on the rocks.

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POINT OF AYRE

Now all the up to the Northernmost tip of IOM, closest to the British mainland across the sea, is Point of Ayre.

We would spend our mornings treading along wild grasses with our black retriever Gallygael at the most tranquil and untouched beach I’ve ever stepped foot on (especially in comparison to Singapore city). Seals would even swim just beside us along the coastline.

It was so empty that I only met one elderly couple after a long stretch of walk to the Point of Ayre lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in IOM.

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I really wish Singapore had such scenery like this.

That’s all for part 2! Will cover museums, glens and castles in the next posts. 🙂

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