PART 2 OF A RIDICULOUSLY LONG POST ABOUT THE ISLE OF WIGHT...WEST COAST
The Isle of Wight's beautiful west coast has the natural benefit of slow, dreamy sunsets descending gradually across the horizon and a more gentile, sophisticated appearance than some of the chavvier eastside towns (not mentioning any names, Sandown). The island's westerly tip features a dramatic coastal walk from the village of Freshwater ascending a gentle green hill, alongside stunning alabaster-white cliffs. A healthy batch of Super Furry Animals populated the hillside, delightfully placid toward the constant stream of huffing n puffing ramblers and fatwacs* invading their peaceful home (below).
Upon the crest of the hill stood an imposing Celtic cross - an 1897 monument to Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson who made the island his home in 1853, until his death in 1892. This beautiful cross (below) dominates the landscape, an ominous talisman warding off the evil lurking within the foreboding, smoke-coloured skies above. Eventually the heavens opened, the mini tempest rolling over the westerly Freshwater Bay as rapidly as it had arrived.
The pretty coastal walk continued along an increasingly narrow peninsula towards the stunning outcrop of rock formations known as The Needles (below). This beautiful vista appeared island-wide on heavy rotation across all postcard shops and deservedly so. The view was truly divine, its pure white cliffs and aquamarine water seeming somehow more Aegean Sea than Rule Britannia...
My jaunt around the Isle of Wight's westerly nether regions concluded with a browse around the petit bougeois harbour town of Yarmouth, the island's alternative ferry port to the fatherland. The seafront housed a rickety wooden pier, atmospheric under the dwindling pink dusk light and decorated with retro life-raft donuts (good enuff to eat! - below) and a handsome, post-ironic mod couple cuddling up against the breeze, showing off their minimalist, hipster, 21st century styling. Sartorialist...eat your heart out...(below bottom).
Like any pretty English village worth its salt, Yarmouth's sleepy main drag was populated with historic buildings and picturesque architecture. Cosy cottages bursting with colourful foliage, enormous barns converted into living quarters of extended bourgeois families and normal two up-two downs surrounded by fields drenched in afternoon sun (below) all contributed to the town's pleasant atmosphere. An Englishman's home is his castle, its just a shame he probably can't afford one here. Rah rah rah! We're going to smash the oiks!
A slow-burning sunset fading low over clattering yacht masts set the scene for my last glimpse of the charming Isle of Wight (bottom). The weather was great, the people welcoming and the beaches sandy...if you close your eyes you would almost believe you were not even standing on Old Albion's fine shores. Then you hear the familiar drone of a Vespa engine...and get the hell out of Sir Weller's way! Now...thats entertainment.
* fatwac - Fat American Tourist With A Camera (c) The Artist Formerly Known As Jaybs 2007