The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Forgotten Magic Of Tintagel

My lips curled into a smile when I saw the word Tintagel etched on a huge slab of slate. I had finally made it. I have wanted to visit Tintagel Castle since I read my first book of legends about King Arthur. I was not more than 10 years old. Since then I have read various re-tellings of Arthur’s tale. From Malory’s Morte D’Arthur to Tennyson’s Idylls Of The King; from The Child Of The Holy Grail to the more controversial The Mists of Avalon  - and so many others that I cannot remember the names  of all of them.
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I am still not sure where the fascination lies but of one thing I am certain – this legendary hero from the Dark Ages has ridden through the swirling mists of time and gripped my imagination as surely as his strong hands once gripped Excalibur.
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Tintagel Castle, perched  high and precariously on the cliffs of North Cornwall, is said to be the place of Arthur’s birth. (Those not familiar with the legend may read it a very short version of it here). The climb to what remains of the ruins requires an almost super-human effort but, once up there, the view is as wild, spectacular, rugged and unspoilt as I had expected it to be. Tintagel Castle boasts an interesting history. But what of Arthur?
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I believe that a legend which has survived for hundreds of years and which has captured the imagination of thousands of people so fervently must have, at least, a kernel of truth in it. After all, each legend is as true as we want it to be. I believe that if we seek hard enough we will find what we are looking for.
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As I sat at the top of the castle’s magnificent headland I found the Arthur that I had always seeked. His legacy lay in the surrounding land that still remembers him. Perhaps, he does lie sleeping, somewhere in the apple-scented land of Avalon and, perhaps, as the legend goes, he will return when Britain needs him.
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And standing there, on the windy headland of what once was a magnificent castle, it dawned on me that Arthur has returned, many times, under different names and in the guise of countless men and women who have done their duty to their country. The real Arthur would wish for no more.
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Ah … and what about the magic of Tintagel? Well, it is hard for such a beautiful place not to lay its spell on such a one as me. I arrived curious and left enchanted and, as I stole one last glance at Merlin’s Cave, and imagined the thick mists for which this coast is so famous moving like wraiths around it, I had no doubts as to why a legend so  powerful and so magical had come into being. Cornwall 126
If you are interested, King Arthur, ‘Once and Future King’ amalgamates the historical figure with the myth and makes an interesting read.
And I will stop here, at least for today, before I get carried away, by the magic of Tintagel and by its legendary hero, to some misty realm.

13 comments:

  1. Brilliant photography and a post beautifully written...makes me want to visit the place : )

    Thanks for sharing,
    Doreen

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  2. I felt exactly the same when I visited Tintagel. It feels like stepping back in time to a magical middle earth! Great post :-)
    Di
    X

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  3. Great shots!
    A very interesting post, I was fascinated by King Arthur and the knights of the round table when I was young.
    Sue.

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  4. Wondeful post and so interesting !

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  5. Loree, you live in such a fascinating part of the world, one in which I would love to see, and I love your travel.

    Your photos are as gorgeous as the words you used to describe them. King Arthur has a hold on me as well..

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  6. Beautiful photos! Your posts are always such an inspiration.. filled with beauty and history. Thank you for sharing!
    xoxo, B

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  7. these are beautiful photos, loree, simply gorgeous. it is very easy to be carried away by the magic of this place, i can attest from a visit many years ago. i hope to visit this mystical place again sometime, but for now i feel as though i have, thanks to your stunning words and photos.

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  8. Loree - how beautiful and magical. I had read some about King Arthur but thank you for refreshing my memory of the tale and creating a link. Your photos are outstanding and your words touch my heart. Thank you for seeking your King Arthur and then in turn sharing him. Have a wonderful week - I always love your posts!

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  9. Your trip looks fantastic! I am so thrilled to travel virtually with you and enjoy everything that you are seeing. We just returned from our epic road trip to the Grand Canyon. Stories soon...I can't wait to scroll back to see if you have more posts on Cornwall. I adore England and my son...the Legends of King Arthur!

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  10. What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it!

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  11. Hi, Loree, thanks for stopping by, I had to pop over and see where you live. Malta, really? Wow, that must be so interesting. Love all the places you have visited, you are quite well traveled. If I could, I would travel all the time, love to explore new places.

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Thanks for stopping by. I read and appreciate every one of your comments. However, I prefer to go back to your blog and leave a message rather than reply to your comments here.

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