curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
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posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 06:36pm on 07/07/2013 under , ,
We are having some very nice weather at the moment. When my sister organised a church outing, yesterday, for afternoon tea in the cafe at the top of our only mountain, it might have been expected to be the only cloudy day in the week - but no! The sun shone!

My sister and I, and Dawn, our new minister, decided to travel from Douglas to the station at Laxey, where you get onto the Snaefell Mountain Railway 'trams', on the even older Manx Electric Railway, so more or less making a day of it.

So there are a lot of photos under the cut of the views from the top, one or two people, the Snaefell Mountain Railway - and a couple of odd notices I came across as we waited to change trams...

Jackie, Dawn and I travelled to Laxey in what we called 'the toast-rack' as children - the open car of an Manx Electric Railway tram. You can tell it was a warm day - Jackie and I have travelled on 'the tram' many times and know how cold it can be in the toast-racks! The MER opened in 1893 (apparently making it the first overhead-wire-powered electric railway in the world - or so Wikipedia says - it must be close to that anyway) - and some of the tram cars are actually that old - the one we travelled on was a little more modern - built about 1910!.

MER tram at Laxey

Taking pictures on the climb from sea-level to 2,036 feet above it is not an easy option as the tram has windows and it shakes and rattles - and anyway, I like to just look sometimes. But this is what the views from the top are like, as you see the whole island spread below you;

snaefell 001

snaefell 006

snaefell 008

snaefell 024

The line you can see on the lower hill-side in that ones is the line we came up.

Here is another picture, showing a tram coming up -

snaefell 017

And here is one of the trams -

snaefell 018

The mountain railway opened in 1895 - the trams are powered by the overhead electric wire, like the MER ones, but are helped to climb up the five mile route from the bottom of the valley by having a 3rd rail to engage an early type of rack and pinion system.

The silver line snaking away in that picture is the mountain road - famously part of the TT course, and one of my favourite bits of road.

I just love these two pictures - some people walked up the mountain rather than taking the tram - including 3 year old Baby B with her dad in the second one - and there is something very Sound of Music about these pictures -

snaefell 028

snaefell 031

And after we all had admired the views and chatted, we had a very satisfying afternoon tea - here is my sister, on the right, with three of our church friends -

snaefell 042

When we got to Laxey we had to wait about 20 minutes for the tram back to Douglas. Dawn and I popped into the small church beside the station; but I didn't take any pictures inside it - actually I was more taken with two notices in the porch -

I like it!

You have to read that first one carefully to see exactly what is going on - and it made me smile particularly as our own organist is on maternity leave - but we never thought of doing this! And the second one just made me smile -


Not a notice you often see in church!

Today was a special service in church, and I have photos, but I'll share them in a day or two.

Oh - and an enormous hurrah! of joy and relief for Andy Murray.
location: On a warm, sunny, small island
There are 39 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
posted by [identity profile] at 05:52pm on 07/07/2013
there is something very Sound of Music about these pictures

There is! What a beautiful day you had.
posted by [identity profile] at 06:08pm on 07/07/2013
It was a really lovely day - people in general don't often do the 'touristy things' where they live - and it is nice to remind ourselves just why it is a nice thing to do!

And yes - I am just so amused at how sound of Music those two pictures look. The sun was so bright that I couldn't see them properly in my camera - it was a bit 'point it in the right direction and hope for the best'!
posted by [identity profile] at 06:07pm on 07/07/2013
What a wonderful view:)

*basks in equally nice weather*
posted by [identity profile] at 06:37pm on 07/07/2013
It is really rather beautiful, the view from up there.

This warm sunny weather is really rather nice, isn't it? We're having about 20C most days - although it was a bit cooler up there.
posted by [identity profile] at 06:19pm on 07/07/2013
That is indeed a very nice view.
posted by [identity profile] at 06:38pm on 07/07/2013
Isn't it? You can see 'the adjacent islands' when it is very clear, too - but it was a bit too hazy - however you get a 360* view of the island.
posted by [identity profile] at 06:21pm on 07/07/2013
Okay, explain the sense of toast racks to me beyond the visual charm, please! I lived in England for a year, Pinner/Middlesex, to be exact, so I know toast racks. Whyyyyyy?!?!?!?!?!? It makes the toast get cold right away so that the butter won't melt when spread. Toast in a stack to preserve warmth makes far more sense, to my mind. Yes? No? Maybe?
posted by [identity profile] at 06:42pm on 07/07/2013
The idea is to stop the toast going soft - but I'm with you - I prefer it hot, even if it isn't crisp!
posted by [identity profile] at 06:58pm on 07/07/2013
Well, it does do that, but scraping cold butter on hard, cold toast has no appeal for me.
posted by [identity profile] at 06:28pm on 07/07/2013
I'm always saying how beautiful your island is, but it's so true that I can't help it. The fourth shot is my favorite (and would be a perfect fit for "lines").
posted by [identity profile] at 06:44pm on 07/07/2013
Thank you - and yes - I had already worked out the prompt for this week before I realised it was the week of the tram trip - but it did occur to me that I might well end up with a suitable picture ... :)
posted by [identity profile] at 06:53pm on 07/07/2013
I always love seeing pictures of your wonderful island and the tram! What a fantastic way to get around. I'm so totally in love. Your eating group seems quite nice and your sister looks so very kind. Thanks for sharing these :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
posted by [identity profile] at 07:13pm on 07/07/2013
The trams are fun - but very slow - so more for looking at the view than for getting to work on. Well - unless you work in that cafe on the top - in which case the only way to and from work each day is the first and last mountain tram!

Morris, sitting with his wife (with the dark hair) was on crutches following knee surgery 2 months ago - but was one of the people who walked up from the road! So he looks well ready to tackle sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and cakes!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:08pm on 07/07/2013
Your blue, blue views! I always love your landscapes; they're gorgeous. Have to laugh at the "please come and play the organ for us!" sign too, that's rather cunning.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:24pm on 07/07/2013
If I try to use the auto-correct function on most photo handling programmes they try to iron out the blue in pictures like these - but it really is, often, blue like that when it is warm - you can only just make out where the sea finishes and the sky starts. So I don't bother with any form of 'correction' and post them in all their shades of hazy blue.

And isn't that organ sign cunning? I laughed when I realised what it was really saying!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:15pm on 07/07/2013
What lovely scenery!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:26pm on 07/07/2013
It is rather, isn't it? Sometimes it surprises me how much empty space we manage to fit into such a small island!

It does remind me, in parts, of Northumberland.
posted by [identity profile] at 08:42pm on 07/07/2013
what a fun trip! It looks like a gorgeous day; I'm a little jealous!

Also hee! at the toast rack!
posted by [identity profile] at 09:02pm on 07/07/2013
It was fun - a bit like playing at tourists - but actually it was all new to Dawn so it was fun seeing her reactions to it too.

We are clearly a breakfast island - with toast-racks attached to the trams and the sea terminal that is known as The Lemon Squeezer (
posted by [identity profile] at 09:17pm on 07/07/2013
The view is beautiful but this time I only have eyes for that charming tram.

Your sister looks as if she was enjoying herself.
posted by [identity profile] at 09:45pm on 07/07/2013
The trams are a wonderfully anachronistic way to travel - even older than many preserved steam trains. And fun, if a bit rattly.

On a really clear day you can see the hills of both England, Scotland and Ireland - even Wales sometimes. But such clear days are rare, and we were fortunate to get as good a view as we did!

Jackie has the feeling of relief you get when something you have organised works out! As well as the pleasures of a nice tea to enjoy...
posted by [identity profile] at 02:28am on 08/07/2013
What a lovely way to spend the day!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:35am on 08/07/2013
It really was - a real pleasure.
posted by [identity profile] at 03:08am on 08/07/2013
It looks lovely.
posted by [identity profile] at 07:36am on 08/07/2013
Thank you - it does have lovely views when the weather is clear. Although sometimes the clouds sit down on Snaefell and you can't see your hand in front of your face!
posted by [identity profile] at 03:59am on 08/07/2013
Oh my what beautiful views. That's a very special railway you have and I love it that it's called the toast rack.
I so want to visit your island!
One day...
posted by [identity profile] at 07:38am on 08/07/2013
The two electric railways are living history - but a really nice way to see the scenery.

One day, indeed. You will be most welcome.
ext_11988: made by lmbossy (Default)
posted by [identity profile] at 06:29am on 08/07/2013
What glorious views!! Hope you were smothered in sunscreen!
posted by [identity profile] at 07:39am on 08/07/2013
I had my factor 20 on the bits that showed and came away untoasted!
posted by [identity profile] at 01:35pm on 08/07/2013
You really had a lovely day for a mountaintop expedition. Very beautiful photos.

And congrats to Andy Murray! I didn't get to see the entire match but caught the end. Very exciting.
posted by [identity profile] at 05:15pm on 08/07/2013
It was great fun - we are very proud of having an actual mountain!

I felt so relieved for Andy Murray - now that he has finally won it people can just enjoy the fact that he is one of the world's very top players.
posted by (anonymous) at 03:22pm on 08/07/2013
Beautiful scenery!

I can see why you would call it the toast rack, it looks already to take it's load of toast for a ride!

Your tram cars are very similar to the little trams that take tourists around San Diego, except not on the rails, we have the Tijuana Trolley, oops, pardon me the San Diego Trolley for that !

What a cheeky way to get some one to play for them!

posted by [identity profile] at 05:20pm on 08/07/2013
The organ notice made me smile - I sent it to the two people who have been sorting out the relief organist for our church - and they both laughed and said they wondered how effective it was!

The scenery from up there is rather spectacular considering how small the island is.

I've just looked up the San Diego Trolley - and yes, the historic ones do look rather like ours, don't they?
posted by [identity profile] at 12:10pm on 09/07/2013
Very Sound of Music! Such glorious views.
posted by [identity profile] at 12:26pm on 09/07/2013
Very Sound of Music!

Those pictures just made me smile when I saw them on screen - they really only needed Julie Andrews!

I do like the views from up there - when you get one of the rare very clear days they are even better - but it was still lovely on Saturday.
dalmeny: (water)
posted by [personal profile] dalmeny at 12:26pm on 10/07/2013
Appreciated this, thank you.
posted by [identity profile] at 04:21pm on 10/07/2013
Thank you - my pleasure - it is about as much scenery as you are able to get on a small island!
posted by [identity profile] at 10:34am on 12/07/2013
afternoon tea in the cafe at the top of our only mountain
What a splendid idea! How lucky for you to have so beautiful weather. The shots are lovely - such a cool train! And the view is indeed spectacular. I had just finished the Silmarillion when I first saw the pictures, and immediately thought that this could easily be the view from the Meneltarma... or from somewhere closte to "New Imladris", too. (I've already read the new chapters and immensely enjoyed myself; review will take a little.)

The notes are great, but I'm afraid I didn't get the first one, or wouldn't without your comment, no matter how carefully I read it.
posted by [identity profile] at 12:06pm on 12/07/2013
Thank you.

this could easily be the view from the Meneltarma...

I hadn't thought of that - and you are quite right. There are more mountains around New Imladris - they won't get such open views!


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