This morning, we awoke on National Geographic Resolution in front of Penzance, a small coastal resort town in Cornwall in the southwest of England.
We departed the ship for morning activities. Some guests went on a hike along a coastal sea cliff and to see the historic zinc mine ruins of Cornwall. This area was home to the biggest metal mining industry in Europe for thousands of years, with miners using the best mining technology throughout millennia. Guests learned about the tough working conditions, including tunnel collapses, breathing hazardous dust, and handling arsenic with bare hands. The most fascinating aspect of this story was the fact that 500,000 Cornwall emigrants moved across the world in the 1800s, spreading their knowledge about mining technology and methods in places like the Appalachians, California, Australia, Africa, and India.
Another group went to St. Ives to walk around this beautiful coastal town that is known for surfing beaches and an art scene. A third group of guests walked through the beautiful town of Penzance, including the pedestrian street and the promenade along the beach. They visited the Penlee house, a mansion that houses an art museum and a gallery. For lunch, we all gathered in the historic Queens Hotel overlooking the beach. Guests had a sumptuous buffet of Cornish food, including pasties, fish and chips, and scones. A music duo performed local Cornish music with its Celtic sound and string instruments. An acapella singing choir performed a series of Cornish songs. To top off the cultural event, we observed folk dancing as musicians played.
After lunch, we separated again for afternoon activities. One group went for a long, five-mile hike across the moors and natural landscapes of the strangely-named Lizard. Another group walked around the village. Throughout the afternoon, guests headed back to the ship to enjoy the amenities. The sun came out and those on the ship admired the sunlit Penzance coast and the offshore island abbey of St. Michael’s Mount.
After a delicious dinner, we gathered in the lounge to hear historian Simone Edgar Holmes discuss castles throughout Europe and the world.