I loathe saying I have a favourite anything, mainly because it changes as often as the seasons. My favourite songs, for example, are Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode, Horror Head by Curve and Cult of Personality by Living Colour, my absolute favourite changes depends what mood I’m in (although if there’s ever a time I need an entrance music, it will be Cult of Personality every time – CM Punk represent yo!).
When people ask me to choose my favourite place I have visited, I tend to surprise people with my answer of the two nights I spent on the Isles of Scilly. I’ve only had the one trip to the archipelago and I don’t know if it was the isolation, the scenery or the fact that it was impossible to get lost but I found it to be the most relaxing holiday that I’ve been on.
I set off to catch the ferry from Penzance at stupid-o’clock in the morning from the railway station at St. Austell, where I was staying previously. Luckily it was the middle of summer so even at that time it was bright sunshine, I’m not sure if I could have functioned properly if I could still see stars. There were other people waiting on the train platform, they were laughing and joking and all I could think was “It’s just gone 6am, you’re chirpy, I fucking hate you!” I’m not a morning person.
The ferry I had to get on was the majestically titled RMV Scillonian III and the name was the only majestic thing about it. I was shocked to learn that it was only built in the late-1970s, it looked like it should have seen action in World War II. My luggage was taken off me by a pleasant enough bloke and placed into a large container that those Storage Hunters guys would bid pretty high for. The journey itself had awesome scenery at the beginning taking in much of the south coast of Cornwall, and at the final stages where the ship meandered through the tiny uninhabited islands. There was however close to two hours of staring at nothing but the ocean, I hoped for a sight of a dolphin, shark or even a man overboard to break up the monotonous sight of water. For a ship that sails across the Atlantic, I found it relatively calm (probably helped by industrial strength seasick tablets) but the crew prepare for all eventualities as instead of guide books and pamphlets there were wall-to-wall sick bags.
The Scillonian docks on the island of St. Mary’s which was handy as that was the island I was staying on. With my big fuck-off suitcase I set off knowing I had a bit of a walk to the guesthouse. I walked along the pier that was nothing more than a sturdy breakwater which connected with the main high street. This is where I was met with a challenge – a fork in the road. Go left (the correct way) and it takes you direct to the guesthouse, go right (the stupid way) and you end up in Old Town, a mile out of your way. When I reached Old Town, dripping in sweat, I came to the conclusion I may have chosen wrong.
I saw a bloke by his van so I bit the bullet and handed in my man-card by asking for directions, the shame, the shame! I explained my predicament that I can’t follow directions and I’m a bit of a tit. Red-Van-Man explained the quickest way back which was to follow the road around until I came to the guesthouse, he then thought for a bit and came up with another plan. “Do you want to put your suitcase in the back and I’ll give you a lift?” Sod it, why not! “You’ll have to climb through the driver’s side though as the passenger door don’t open”
If this was anywhere else in the country, fuck it, anywhere else in the world, I would have politely said no. Rational thinking was now out of the window, I was tired, getting hungry and I just wanted to get to the guesthouse. He didn’t look like a borderline rapist so I climbed in, luckily avoiding losing my anal virginity on the gear stick. Barely three minutes after ignoring my Mum’s advice about getting in a vehicle with strangers, we arrived at the Isles of Scilly Country Guesthouse.
You’re probably thinking how is anything about this relaxing? In part two I’ll dissect some of the places and accommodation that made this the favourite place of mine…