Wednesday, 2nd September:
Today, we tried to solve a „treasure trail“ puzzle we bought at the Tourist Information. It should cover the „Gardens & Sands“ of Bournemouth, and as I eagerly wanted to visit the gardens anyway, this would be an ideal solution to do so and have some entertaining hours for the rest who isn’t that fond of my photographing every blossom and bloom.
Well, the first obstacle was to get to the starting point of the quest, which was at Coy Pond in Poole. The description assumed everyone comes by car, which strongly reminded me of the situation back home in Tyrol. But comparing the public transport facitlities, I’d rather accept this in Tyrol than in England. But back to the trail.
It featured a fictitious murder case where we had to find out the killer and murder weapons by excluding people from a list of suspects and weapons by finding clues alongside the trail. The clues were mostly easily discovered, like a name on a sign or a lamp post, some others had to be deduced like in crossword puzzles: from an inspription reading „Je defends le cote faible„, and the questions „Who initially defended …?“ the answer was someone with the initials J and E. Je and J, E, right? It also helped if you were a botanist who knew her trees. Fortunately, someone nailed the trees‘ names onto most of them on little plaques.
Be that as it may, the gardens are a splendid sight in any respect. They are home to many plants you can usually only get a look of in palm houses and the such. Well, the English and their gardens. In Bournemouth those public gardens reach out like a scythe from the northwest to the Pier in the south central, and they are named not very originally as Upper, Central and Lower Gardens.
Half of the mysteries have to be solved after having left Lower Gardens, though. Here you had to watch out for traffic and masses of tourists, which diminished the fun in finding the clues somewhat. And I don’t know who surreptiously removed an inscription and swapped drain covers, but at the end, we could only guess the answers. And we failed, which we found out by checking the answer on the internet page of the puzzle’s publisher. Anyway, the story arc was not really finished telling us the nearer circumstances of the murder, fictitious as it might be.
As we were now on the Pier anyway, we had planned to spend the rest of the day at the beach, so we walked a few minutes to the part of the beach that lay just underneath the Westcliff zig-zag, which would take us back to our hotel in a short walk.
It wasn’t that warm, perhaps 20°C, but the sun, when it wasn’t hidden behind clouds, was strong enough to warm us when we came out if the water anyway. Well, just my sun and me had enough courage to plunge into the water, which was perhaps 16°C. Interestingly, two years ago, on the island of Sylt in northern Germany, it was my daughter who had been the braver one, although always clinging to me, as she couldn’t swim, and still can’t without support. We learned that this year the summer in Bournemouth wasn’t that great at all, whereas in the rest of Europe it seemed that everywhere something called „heat waves“ by the media took place. Well, it was enough for us, because we didn’t plan for a holiday at the beach anyway, but wanted to explore a bit of Southern England.