Sunday, 19 October 2008

Dorset revisited - unstable cliffs

© Magnus Andersson

My girlfriend and me had a fantastic holiday in Dorset in late September. It was supposed to be a little treat to myself for my birthday, which happened the following week. We drove down from London on a Tuesday and came back on Sunday. Initially we made the mistake of staying in Portsmouth, in the middle of a Lib Dem party conference. I'd avoid P'mouth anyway, but during political conferences its just full of suits and we stayed in a shit hotel, so it was double bad. We rectified things by relocating to Lulworth Cove instead though.

© Magnus Andersson

Its called the Jurassic Coast for a reason. Everywhere you can see these (above) compressed geological time lines, millions of years of Earth's history sticking up around the coast.

This is Lulworth Cove itself in the evening sun, tiny little place where we found a great B&B in an old stone house run by a couple who moved down here after finishing their careers in London. They warned us; 'Once you move here, you don't want to live anywhere else'. I can understand them. The natural beauty is second to none in the UK.

The weather was properly Brit-summer-nice so we spent most of our time rambling the hills and coastlines, from Old Harry Rocks, Swanage, Durlston to Lulworth and Portland Island (below, click for bigger size), where they also had a brand new spa in which my girlfriend treated me to a much-needed full body massage. Thanks!

© Magnus Andersson

It was also amazing to see the huge amount of birds of prey that they have here. I didn't bring my SLR as I was on holiday, but lets just say that my girlfriend got bored as I stood fixed with my binoculars watching peregrine falcons, barn owls in mid day, a multitude of kestrels, buzzards and all sorts flying above us! I would go back for that reason alone. More pictures below, click on the for slightly larger sizes.

But what's up with the dangerous and unstable cliffs?

Barn owl in the middle of the day. © Magnus Andersson

Me looking for the elusive peregrine falcon after having seen one some time earlier.

Evidence of a meal interrupted, possibly by us. Poor Mickey, eh? Watching birds of prey hunt is awesome though. © Magnus Andersson

Close to Old Harry Rock. © Magnus Andersson

One of many lighthouses on Portland Island. © Magnus Andersson

A little self portrait (shadow). © Magnus Andersson

Stone sculpture of Earth by the coast of Durlston. Notice the curved horizon. Gotta love the barrel distortion on the SD850IS. © Magnus Andersson

The King of Corfe Castle - forgot to ask his name, but he was a very friendly fella. © Magnus Andersson

Climbing the enormous hills around Lulworth Cove. © Magnus Andersson

What's this warnig sign about?! © Magnus Andersson

Apparently he lives around here and doesn't like the tourists much. © Magnus Andersson

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