Monday, 16 March 2009

Coming for a walk?

On Saturday the children and I hopped on the bus and rode to Laxey, where we spent the afternoon exploring some of the glens and tourist attractions. We crossed the electric tram lines and dropped down into the glen which leads to the wheel.

We crossed the Laxey River.
Laxey takes it's name from the old Norse word Laksaa, which means Salmon river.

We didn't see any fish, though Joe tried and tried! We walked up stream to the smaller of the two wheels in Laxey, this one, the Lady Evelyn, I showed a picture of a couple of weeks ago, when I snapped it through the bus window.
The road I was on then runs across the top of the picture, just where the hedge appears to sprout telegraph poles. They are actually the overheads for the electric trams.

The wheel, Lady Evelyn is set in what used to be the washing floors below the lead and copper mines. (This wheel is barely visible in the photo in this link and is on the left of the image, not the more obvious one on the right). The Victorians turned the whole area into gardens once the mines had closed. During the summer months water is piped from the river onto the wheel to enable it to turn. You can see the viaduct here, above the bridge.

Off down there to the left is the sea.
We happened to turn up on the day these two little engines were pulled out to be cleaned and prepared for the beginning of the tourist season. They pull a coach along a narrow gauge track and through a tunnel to an old mine entrance.

We weren't allowed to go through the tunnel and had to cross over the road, rather than under it, which allowed me to get some more shots of the area, and a look upstream into Glen Mooar. The Great Laxey wheel is hiding up there, further up the glen.
We rejoined the railway line and walked along it for a short distance.

It culminated at the old pit entrance.

We joined a foot path which took us higher and farther into the glen
On our left side we had the river and to the right were fields of livestock. Loaghtan sheep, a manx breed. The rams have 4 horns rather than the usual two. That's the ram with his back to us, and the female watching us.

Then we rounded a corner and saw this.....
The Lady Isabella. The great Laxey Wheel.

We explored the area around the wheel and walked a little farther into the glen.
Water is diverted farther up the hill, it pours into a cistern here and is used to drive the wheel, the wheel used to pump water out of the mines, today she only turns during the summer months.
There was still plenty of afternoon left so we wandered back to the village and along the road to another of Laxeys glens. It nestles into the hill sides behind an old mill.
Laxey flour mill is still in use and producing flour today.

There is no longer a water wheel here, though if you look closely you can see where it would once have been on the right of the building, driven by the water as it tumbled down stream.
Immediately behind todays extended building there is what was once a boating pool. That white/grey object is the cistern through which water once poured to fill the pool. Although it is supposed to be drained, it was very wet looking and I didn't fancy a walk about in there!
As we wandered up the glen we criss crossed the river over bridges old and new.

There are foot paths on both banks of the river, the left side being wilder, the right bank was cultivated and planted as the beautiful gardens described in the link.

There is still some evidence of the attractions which once graced these gardens, this I believe was once an open air ballroom, lit at night by gas lamps and just through the trees is a once manicured lawn which was used for playing bowls.

We had a great day, spending about three hours exploring upper Laxey, we didn't go near the harbour or beach area and as we wandered our way back to the bus stop we planned another day out, especially to look at those areas.

Thank you for joining us on our walk. I hope you followed the links a learned a little bit more about our island.
After our day out we didn't have much energy left, so in the evening we all curled up on the sofa with popcorn and had a movie night. We watched all three Terminator movies, one after the other and thoroughly enjoyed them.
I've had a quieter, less exciting day today. I finally put a higher hem on the bathroom curtains! LOL It only took a year. I finished the tidy up around my sewing table, the house was vacuumed from top to bottom and two loads of laundry have been done.
1) Nice weather and a day out
2) Simple pleasures.
3) The next two days are MINE.


Miss 376 said...

What a lovely way to spend the day, it looks beautiful

Janet said...

Thank you Loulee..I so enjoyed the views!

It's gorgeous!

Babooshka said...

My kind of post. Great to walk the island through someone else's eyes, especially Laxey which I don't get to often enough.

GARI said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day. Thanks for taking me/us along.

jannimary said...

What a wonderful day you had. It was great seeing some places that we visited and I think another day at Laxey is in order when we are there in a couple of month's time.

Ali Honey said...

I did enjoy my walk and looking around. Now those are seriously weird sheep!

anne bebbington said...

I've never had the priviledge of visiting the Isle of Man although DH did on a Venture Scout camping trip many moons ago - you've really whetted my appetite - thanks for sharing all the lovely photos