Isle Of Man
Isle Of Man Flag
Isle Of Man Map
Population: 80,085 thousand
Currency: British sterling
Living in Britain, the only information you hear about the Isle of Man is that people move there to retire- which, in most young minds, means it is a boring place to visit. That is not quite true. The Isle of Man has an interesting history with huge Celtic and Viking influences. The Vikings, for example, established Tynwald on the island, the world’s oldest parliament. The English didn’t take control of the island until the 14th century. It has never been an official part of the UK, but its beaches and lovely countryside makes it one of the most popular and nicest places to visit on the British Isles.
Interestingly the island has been home to some very influential musicians, including Rick Wakeman and the Bee Gees. Though Wakeman was brought up in London, he has spent a large amount of his later life on the island. From Journey to the Center of the Earth to the Myths and the Legends of King Arthur, you can hear that Celtic and almost mystical influence on many of his solo albums. The Bee Gees were actually born here. And you can hear it also in their music. Their albums sound more like young people happy to escape the confines of such a small place.
The International Isle of Man Tourist Trophy was once one of the prestigious motor races in the world. It would have stayed that way if the authorities hadn’t closed it down for safety reasons. Today, in honor of its past, it is a festival run in a time trial format. In 2007, the centenary event, they reenacted the very first race from 2007.
The island has strong links to Manx culture. According to Manx mythology, the Celtic God Manannan Mac would wrap his cloak around the island to protect it. In fact, people suggest the island’s name originates from Manannan. In addition, Manx culture states the island is full of fairies. If you fail to wish a fairy good luck as you cross the Fairy Bridge, you will most likely have a bad day.
Cammag is the national sport of the Isle of Man, very similar to Irish hurling or Scottish shinty. Today the islanders play the only official game at St. John’s, yet that one game sticks steadfast to traditions. Wikipedia states, for example, despite having far less players (often teams have up to 50 players) the north recently beat the south 4-2.
Gallery of Shot Glasses