When we were young, my sister and I were obsessed with the movie Quest for Camelot. It had fun music, great voice actors, an exciting story line, an attractive (to our strange, little girls’ minds) cartoon hero, and a sweet romance to top it all off. There was one thing, however, that I really did not like about the movie, and that was the two-headed dragon(s?) named Devon and Cornwall.
I hated those dragons for reasons I cannot remember nor fathom, especially the short, plump one named Cornwall. I even hated his name, so annoying I found him, so when I later discovered there was a place in England called Cornwall, I instantly turned my nose up and decided I would never see, nor have the desire to see, the place that inspired that terrible dragon.
Fourteen years passed by, and after our first year of marriage, my husband and I scrounged up enough money to take our first trip to England together. (Since moving to America from England, my husband had only been back home only once in nearly ten years, so he was ready to return!) We brainstormed a long list of places to visit during our holiday, wanting to see as much as possible, but when my husband suggested Cornwall, I protested the idea, ridiculously prejudiced as I was, and pushed to see other places instead, mostly locations related to Jane Austen and/or Harry Potter.
Our trip rolled around and, as luck would have it, I did not have to go to Cornwall, nor did I have to during our second trip to England. Despite reasonable pushing from my husband for me to feel otherwise, my unfair judgment of the county, it would seem, would stay the same.
That is, until I came across a TV series that would finally and forever change my opinion.
Watching Poldark, seeing those first few images of Cornwall on my TV, I was speechless. How could such a beautiful place exist? My husband and I watched the series together, loving the characters, the stories, the horses charging across the cliffs, but most of all, we marveled at the scenery. How could those sights, the sparkling sea, the pink wildflowers along the cliff’s edge, the glowing sunsets over the countryside, how could they have escaped my attention for so long? I was astonished and ashamed that my stubborn, childhood opinion had prevented me from experiencing the otherworldly magnificence of Cornwall firsthand, and I determined then and there to rectify my mistake.
For months I planned out our next trip to England, including a solid week in Cornwall. I had our itinerary planned out to the minute, wanting to make up for lost time and to see as much as humanly possible. When the time finally came to see the county, my beloved Cornwall exceeded even my incredibly high expectations. As can be read from my other (many) blog posts, I fell in love. I fell in love with the seaside, the coastline, the accent, the Cornish Pasties, the sunsets, the towns, the history, the windy weather, the pathways along every cliff. I even fell in love with the miniscule, no-lane roads lined with tall hedges and sharp rocks that seemed to scratch our rental car at every turn.
As we walked through small port towns and across vast moors, explored historic mines, and marveled at sunset after glorious sunset, I could not believe I had been so ridiculous as to have prevented myself from seeing Cornwall sooner, merely because of a cartoon, two-headed dragon I didn’t like as a child. I suppose all I can do now is make sure I never judge a place by its name again…that and make sure each future visit to England is filled with as much Cornwall as possible.