Not only cats without a tail or sheep with four horns are living on the Isle of Man, but also fairies.You are not supposed to call them by this name, though. They are called "themselves".The bridge dedicated to them ,however, is called the Fairy Bridge. Lots of notes, letters, pictures and even some toys have been put in the trees there, with wishes for the fairies to fulfill.
I could well understand the wish for the rain to stop, but I was wondering what the bra and the rear view mirror were supposed to stand for??
I had read that some people on the island greet the fairies by blowing their horn and had dismissed this as a legend. But no, it really happened.
The bridge is close to Santon. There are two narrow spots for cars to park, but otherwise it's a very busy road. The busdriver let us off there and in order to get back to the bus stop we had to walk alongside the road in heavy traffic. If anyone wants to go there with children, rent a car! I was really glad when we had reached the bus stop without getting hit by a car.
There is another bridge on the Isle of Man about which I had learned in the forum, said to be the real fairy bridge. This one is even harder to get to without a car, so I didn't manage to see it this time. Again something to be done on my next visit.
http://www.manxparents.net/attractions/fairy.php for this fairy bridge.
Which one is the real fairy bridge, I have no idea. I didn't see any fairy near the bridge at Santon, but it had been raining so much that I suppose they preferred staying inside their... (I don't know where fairies live)Related to:
- Family Travel
Many things are different on the Isle of Man, also among animals. In Castletown we met one of the famous Manx cats. They have no tail. Legend has it that they arrived too late at Noah's Ark and their tail got stuck in the closing door.
As if to make for this, the local loghan sheep have four horns instead of the usual two. These sheep can mostly be found on the small island of Calf , but I also saw one on the main island.
Using your mobile phone
Usually when using my mobile phone abroad I dial the country code, the area code without the first zero and then the number. Since most European companies have roaming contracts with each other, this is not complicated and not too expensive. It's certainly cheaper than using the hotel phones.
On the Isle of Man this was different.
First I had to dial *, then 111, then * again,
followed by the country code, area code without the first zero and the number,
then # and push " send".
I then had to wait for my phone to start ringing.
Once it did, I had to accept the call and only then did it start ringing at the person's phone I wanted to talk to.
By the way, when I called taxi within Douglas, I had to follow the same procedure, which meant I first had to find out the country code of the Isle of Man. It's 0044, the same as the UK.
It may be different depending on the phone company, that's what I experienced with T-Mobile.
The Isle of Man uses pounds sterling, the currency of the UK however it does produce its own coins and notes. UK notes and coins can be used on the island, however you may have difficulty using Isle of Man pounds on the mainland so be advised to try and get rid of as much currency before you leave.
While the coins are virtually the same as British ones, with only one side different to UK coins, in some respects that notes look a little bit quaint. The picture of the Queen on them is very flattering and obviously hasn't changed since the 1950s!
Tynwald Hill Parliament Session 5th of July 2004
This is the oldest continuous parliament in the world. Constructed by Vikings more than 1000 years ago, from soil from 4 corners of the island, it has been surving it's purpose ever since.
We were lucky to be on the IOM during one and only yearly session of the Parliament at Tynwald Hill. It is a festive occasion that even Her Majesty The Qeen attends almost every other year. I was actually glad she wasn't here this year, because in that case it would be impossible to approach the dignitaries so close, and even sit on Tynwald hill's outer wall and eat sandwiches - like my kids did.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
You cannot use the Euro on the Isle of Man. The exchange rate between the Euro and Sterling was dreadful when we were there, but there;s not a lot one can do about it.
There is also a Manx pound note as well - it's perfectly valid, but it's probably best that you use up your Manx pound notes before you leave the Isle as there is no guarantee that Manx pound notes will be accepted in mainland UK in lieu of a standard English pound coin.Related to:
- School Holidays
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