Sep 13 06
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A couple of weeks ago we visited my sister and her family in the Isle of Man. It’s lovely visiting the Isle of Man because it feels like you go back in time. It’s very quiet and very relaxed. But not content to go back just a decade or so, the Isle of Man held a Wartime 1940s weekend…

Saturday – Steam Travel from Port Erin to Douglas

It was Wartime 1940s weekend on the Steam Railway. The Isle of Man Steam Train is a regular commuter train, so nothing too exciting for the locals perhaps, but this was a great excuse for Pete’s first trip on a steam train.

The service runs from Port Erin to Douglas and takes about an hour and 20 minutes.

Pete and Caroline wait in the guards carriage for the steam train to leave for Douglas...

Pete and Caroline wait in the guards carriage for the steam train to leave for Douglas…

Along the way there was great entertainment to capture some of the events during the Second World War. At Castle Town we were entertained by a band, and rabbit stew was served.

RAF and Nurse

Steam engines travelling between Douglas to Port Erin This steam railway is in daily use - amazing - the Isle of Man is definitely stuck in a previous age!

Steam engines travelling between Douglas to Port Erin
This steam railway is in daily use – amazing – the Isle of Man is definitely stuck in a previous age!

There were adverts warning that there could be spies, saboteurs and more on the railway, looking for information or a way to disrupt the service! And suddenly we heard a commotion on the platform…

A spy is captured and escorted from the train!

A spy is captured and escorted from the train!

Arriving at Douglas, the spy was taken in to custody and we were presented with a brief presentation about German soldiers, their weapons, and who had the biggest (us or them)!

A machine gun position defending Douglas railway station!

A machine gun position defending Douglas railway station!

It was all in good humour, and it was very entertaining.

Sunday – Snaefell Mountain & Wallaby hunting at Ballaugh Curragh

On Sunday we decided we had to visit the highest point on the Isle of Man, Snaefell Mountain. Like Snowdon, there’s a railway to the top, but we decided we could manage the 45 minute stroll and opted to walk.

Laetitia and Laurence pose next to the Snaefell Mountain Railway tram

Laetitia and Laurence pose next to the Snaefell Mountain Railway tram

It was very windy… hence to awesome hair effects.

The summit of Snaefell

The summit of Snaefell

The next stop was to go Wallaby Hunting. A couple of days earlier I had heard an article on the news about wallabies on the Isle of Man. Apparently a couple had escaped from a zoo some years ago and now there are about 100.

Ballaugh Curragh

Ballaugh Curragh

The area where they hang out is beautiful. The Ballaugh Curragh is a complex mosaic of interrelated peatland habitats dominated by grey willow and birch scrub locally known as ‘curragh’. The paths wind their way through the wet bog woodland…

Walking in the tranquil Ballaugh Curragh

Walking in the tranquil Ballaugh Curragh

… and if you’re very quiet you can see through the trees a Wallaby or two munching on grass and wondering why you’re looking at them.

Wallaby at Ballaugh Curragh

Wallaby at Ballaugh Curragh

A very confident wallaby watching us watching him!

A very confident wallaby watching us watching him!

This was all very exciting, and made us think about planning another trip to Australia!

So we went back to Caroline’s and had tea and cake to contemplate the next adventures. (We ate all the cake before remembering to take a photo!).

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