Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 7: Tynwald Day, Viking Village, and Tea (of course)

Today was Tynwald day which is a national holiday of the Manx people.  It is when the Parliament meets to discuss matters of state.   What I did not understand before is that the Isle of Man is a separate country and only militarily protected by British rule. Actually the whole thing is pretty confusing to me, I need to do further research.  The Whole ceremony while full of "pomp and circumstance" didn't actually accomplish anything.  We enjoyed going to the Viking exhibits and taking pictures of the historic buildings.   After this we went to a tea shop for lunch and just enjoyed the afternoon.  After our late lunch, I went back to the flat for a nap.  Tim and I always feel tired.   This is because we are always "on alert" in a sense.   Everything is a learning experience.   From figuring out how to work the shower in each place we stay,  to learning the different words they have here for items that are familiar to us.   One example is that I'd always heard of the English eating "tea and crumpets".  I wondered what a crumpet was.   Cathryn bought us some to try and they ended up being what we call "English Muffins",  only a little thicker.   They use different words for things.  They say "toilet" or "loo" instead of bathroom or restroom.  Our minds are constantly working to process all the new information.
The temperature is in degrees Celsius,  rather than Fahrenheit.   They call gasoline,  petrol and it's sold by the liter,  not the gallon.   The currency here is the Manx pound,  which is technically the same as the British pound except the Manx pound has a different picture on one side of the notes AND the mainland stores won't take the Manx notes and vise-versa!  If we look at the prices in pounds as dollars,  they seem about the same as in the U.S., but they really aren't because the exchange rate for the dollar is so low.   It takes $1.60 dollars to make one pound.   If we go out to eat,  and a meal is say 8.99 £,  it's really $14.36, almost double !  This is making us be extra careful with our money. We usually eat breakfast wherever we are staying and eat only one meal out per day. We won't be bringing back many souvenirs, but I did get myself a Viking necklace and Tim got a Southern 100 T-shirt.  Oh,  and I did get some rocks from the shore at Tintagel Castle. :)
After my nap we went out to where the races are being held.  We met some people there from the Netherlands.   Tim talked to so many people. He was in heaven talking to so many motorcycle enthusiasts.  For me,  the races weren't that exciting,  but it was wonderful to see Tim's face light up.
Pictures are here:  https://plus.google.com/photos/104423898538711271791/albums/6033328572776271777?authkey=CLyrwbSk85b4eQ

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