The Isle of Man

Remember way back to this post when we looked at the blank world map together and I promised to educate myself about our world, while dragging you all along with me? Well, here we are. My first lesson.

Anyone been to the Isle of Man? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

[See that?  I’m shying away from this educational post already by a feeble attempt to stray to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, where I can tell you about how I wanted to be Sloane Peterson so badly in 1986 that it practically hurt, and how I thought Ferris was the coolest person ever, and how I cheered when Cameron trashed his dad’s car but now that I’m a grown-up and a parent I realize how horrifying that is, and I would tell you about Principal Rooney and Charlie Sheen and Jennifer Grey. But I will refrain… because I’m a Blogger With A Cause today. That Cause being to spread the word about our world.]

Thanks for your patience while I temporarily visited my comfort zone. I’m back. Where were we? Oh right! The Isle of Man.

Now, it’s very possible that I am the dumbest person on earth for not knowing of this Isle’s existence. Apologies if my ignorance offends. I came across the Isle of Man by way of a quick Google search on “interesting unknown countries.” Immediately upon seeing its name, I thought of a lovely island full of beautiful men–perhaps an entire population of Magic Mikes. Not quite the case, but fascinating nonetheless.

Since I recently snubbed Downton Abbey, I thought that perhaps raving about the IOM would help me smooth things over with my UK friends, since the IOM is located in the Irish Sea, between Great Britain and Ireland, south of Scotland. I never noticed that little dot on the map. Check it out:

The Isle of Man has been inhabited for a super long time–since before 6500 B.C. It is self-governing and independent, but the United Kingdom is responsible for its defense and representation in international forums. This beautiful Isle is 32 miles long and at its widest, 14 miles wide, and is home to over 80,000 people. More than a quarter of these people live in the capital, Douglas. The Isle’s weather is extremely pleasant, with summers in the 50 to 60 degree range, and winters in the 30 to 40 degree range.

If that doesn’t sound lovely enough, the IOM website lists the following “Highlighted Events”: Walking Festival (“rediscover the pleasure of walking”), International Darts Festival (three days of championship-quality darts), TT Triathlon (long course consists of 2.4 mile swim, 26.2 mile marathon, and 114 mile bike ride), Bowls Festival (the pictures of the Crown Green Bowling Festival show men kneeling in the grass and rolling little black balls- way smaller than our typical bowling balls), and Hockey Festival (field hockey accompanied by what appears to be a giant party). That’s a whole lot of Festivals!

Naturally beautiful and historically rich, the IOM is home to castles and a railway and a wildlife park. It’s internationally renowned for its Basking Shark sightings. What else, you wonder?

Well . . .

Explore Celtic crosses and Viking burial grounds! Participate in a “ghost walk” around the most historic and haunted places on the Isle! Golf at one of nine courses in this “golfer’s paradise”! Be one of hundreds of mountain bikers who visit each year to cycle through the lovely countryside! Theaters, shopping, horseback riding– you name what you want to do, and the Isle of Man provides. Here are some pictures.

I don’t know about you folks, but I think the Isle of Man sounds awesomesauce!  Our world ROCKS!

Thanks for reading and have a nice weekend.

[Sources: http://www.visitisleofman.com; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_Man%5D.

32 Comments

  1. I love that I learned something by reading this! I too, have sudden bursts of wanting to educate myself. About a month ago, some friends and I sat around with some high school geography books and quizzed each other on world capital. Way to make ourselves feel dumb. But I’ve been studying, so next time we play our nerdy we-are-teachers-so-we-must-learn game, I’ll be awesome!

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  2. … and boats go there so non-flying folk (know anyone like that?) who find their way to the UK can get there.
    … and former word cycling champion (not even suspected of drug use) Mark Cavendish is from there.
    … and I’ve exhausted my factoids having already been overwhelmed by the Jess-imparted knowledge.

    says David with excess eagerness

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  3. I wouldn’t mind seeing the castles on IOM.

    As for your Ferris Bueller reference (one of my all-time faves) … I had a crush on Sloane Peterson. And I wanted to be Ferris Bueller when he climbed on the float in the Chicago parade and sang.

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  4. Ha ha, I have been 4 times to the Isle of Man for the world famous TT Races which I cannot believe didn’t get a mention in the above facts!

    It really is a lovely little island tucked away. Interesting fact for your from me if you didnt come across it:
    Manx cats – a cat originating from the Isle of Man with a natural mutation of now or very short tail. Google them🙂

    Thanks for this post, it does kind of make up for slating our TV.

    Ps have you looked up Miranda yet? If not I’ve got another one you should check out. The inbetweeners
    😉

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  5. I had heard the phrase “Isle of Man” but I think I thought it was a refiguring of the phrase “Every man’s an island” or “I am a rock, I am an Island”. This is all quite interesting because there is no quote “every man’s an island.” It is actually “No man’s an Island” from a poem by John Donne. (I know this now because I had to look it up before posting) So in short, I had no idea the “Isle of Man” was a real thing. Although I have heard about the “Aisle of Man” set up in the westside market grocery store on the “Island of Manhattan” where guys can do their one stop shopping for deodorant, condoms, beer, and Doritos. Needless to say, the real Isle of Man seems like a more appealing place to visit. Thank you for the education. I will be staying tuned.

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  6. The Isle of Man may be a good place for me to cross off item #33 on my bucket list – “Sleep in a castle.” Perhaps I could do this when I’m on my voyage of Europe one of these days.

    Thank you for the enlightenment; I had no clue this place even existed until now. I suppose I should go brush up on my world geography.

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      • A postcard. Such a novel idea. I’m not sure when the last time was that I even received a postcard in the mail. I think that’s one of those old timey things that really needs to make a comeback. I should go get some tonight. I’m sitting here in sunny, warm Florida while all my friends and family are receiving snow and ice back home. I’ll send them a nice postcard with a picture of the sunny beach on it, to let them know I’m thinking about them.🙂

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  9. Thank you for this lovely travelogue to the Isle of Man. I have to admit, I have known about this place from childhood since I have always been nutty and obsessed by fairy tales, ghost stories, Arthurian legend, and UFO encounters. The Isle of Man has literary connections to all of those. It is the place most often cited as being Avalon, where Arthur’s body is taken by fair folk after that final battle… and where it is rumored that he will one day return from. But your insights quickly re-lit old wildfires of curiosity and obsession. Thank you for that. (Said totally without sarcasm.)

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