Plymouth Day 7-A: Barbican Redux.


Wednesday began with another bus ride, this time to the center of Plymouth and a stroll through the city market. I spent a few minutes contemplating the strange way that post-war Britain was rebuilt in exactly the same manner as post-war Poland. My mood was salvaged by the late breakfast of an exemplary Ivor Dewdney Pasty. The crust is thin, and the contents savory.

We dropped into the Barbican and began exploring the narrow streets with the help of a pint or two, learning that the same “reconstruction” plans that yielded rampant architectural ignominy in Plymouth’s decimated core shopping area originally called for the perfectly usable remaining Barbican buildings to be sacrificed as well. Public outcry prevented it.

The middle two photos above were taken from the same garden parapet. The ocean inlet view is to the southeast, and the clustered houses (and looming Dartmoor) face northeast. Most of these houses were constructed as council (read: public) housing. Many now are occupant owned, as is Jennie’s back in Honicknowle.

While passing a restaurant called Shirley Valentine’s, we were intrigued (a) that it serves Turkish cuisine, and (b) by the single table in the middle of the narrow street. We claimed the latter and had a Mediterranean experience in a shady lane on a very hot day. I didn’t know the Turks even made dry white wine. By the way, do you know the source of the name Shirley Valentine?

By the time the two-hour interlude ended, it was time to traipse off to the Black Friar Distillery, home of Plymouth Gin, for a tour and sampling.

(The account of our visit to the UK is being posted piecemeal, backdated to the actual day)