Monday 7th September 2020
We had booked to go to the Eden Project in the afternoon to allow time for our daughter and her friend to make an early start and drive down to join us there.
That morning we decided to take a scenic stroll before returning to the car and headed towards the castle and down to Readymoney Beach. This is a delightfully sheltered cove owned by the National Trust and the clear water and sandy beach would make it the ideal spot for a swim if time allowed. The walk to the castle is not accessible at high tide and as the tide was rising and Eden was beckoning, we will save this for another visit.
We also stopped at Charlestown on the way and this proved to be an unexpected treat. Construction of the Georgian harbour and dock started in 1791 and the natural inlet was excavated to create a main dock and a shipyard.
Initially copper and then china clay was transported via the port and it remained largely unchanged during the twentieth century.
Its historical charm means it has been used as a location in several period film and TV dramas, most notably Taboo with Tom Hardy and the recent remake of Poldark. Doves were released in 1999 during the filming of a scene in Mansfield Park and they have now taken roost.
Unsurprisingly, Poldark branded goods are available from a stall on the quay.
From here we carried on to the Eden Project to meet Jaime and Sophie.
Those who have been know that the site has been cleverly designed so that the iconic biomes remain hidden until after you have paid your entry fee. Then comes the big reveal.
Visitors queue at a designated spot right at the start of the walk down to take selfies but, if you walk just a little way down the meandering path into the site you find yourself in front of almost exactly the same view and can take a photo without having to wait. [See selfie of the day].
The last time we visited about twenty years ago, just after it had opened, the vast bee sculptures were resting on a largely bare incline. Now, they nestle on slopes which are covered with bee friendly plants [below left].
Interesting sculptures appear amongst the foliage and social distancing is marked with Man Friday style footprints.
The plants in the Rainforest Biome are lush and green and feature many which are now sold as houseplants. Jaime developed her interest in horticulture during lockdown and was particularly excited to come face to foliage with some of the rarer specimens which she has been searching for on-line.
Sophie was very taken by the roul-roul birds: also known as the crested partridge or the green wood quail they are native to south east Asia and are clearly accustomed to the steady flow of people. They spend their time happily scratching for insects.
Statues cavort amongst the vines in the Mediterranean Biome as a tribute to Bacchus.
In the Core building, you can visit Infinity Blue – a nine meter tall ceramic art installation celebrating Cyanobacteria which are among the world’s smallest living organisms. According to the signs, around three billion years ago Cyanobacteria developed oxygenic photosynthesis and in doing so changed the nature of or planet.
Thirty two vortex cannons fire an orchestrated symphony of scented smoke rings into the air.
At various points around the Eden Project, empty frames have been mounted so that you can create your own work of art.
It was a pleasure to see how the Eden Project has flourished over the intervening years and we hope to be able to return again soon.