Day 105: West to WalesMay 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C
Minibreak over, time to get moving again! Loaded up the car and hit the road around 10am as seems to be our usual departure time. We drove westward through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds and then onto a short freeway to drive across an enormous suspension bridge over a large harbour. We had crossed into Wales.
All the road signs are written in Welsh first and English second which takes a little getting used, particularly with their odd combinations of letters like Dd, Ff, Cwm, and so on. Weird.
First destination was Tintern Abbey, an 11th century abbey that had been abandoned during the religious reformation under Henry VIII and left to ruin. It's a very large complex and most of the church is still standing, though the roof and some of the walls are long gone along with most of the floor. Was great to walk around and explore for an hour or so, though a group of screaming kids put a slight dampener on things. I don't mind kids being noisy and playing, but this lot were just running around shrieking for basically the entire hour - painful.
Had lunch in the tea room opposite, just coffee and sandwiches as we weren't particularly hungry. Back in the car where we drove around the outskirts of Cardiff (or Caerdydd as it's known in Welsh) to St Fagan's National History Museum. This is a large open-air museum where they've collected examples of historic Welsh life from the countryside. Farmhouses, blacksmiths, post offices, stores, all that sort of thing. The buildings aren't local, but aren't replicas either - they had been donated and painstakingly moved to the museum over the last 50 years. Very interesting!
By late afternoon we hopped back in the car and drove to our apartment in the centre of Cardiff. Our Airbnb was just a single room in a larger 4-bedroom terrace house. We dumped our stuff, had a brief relax and then headed out for an early dinner. It was long-ish walk into the main part of town, about 45 minutes in the end, past some fairly grim public housing buildings, but we made it in the end.
Fairly heavy police and security presence as the Champions League football final is being played at the main stadium on Saturday night - still several days away but the teams are now in town and no chances are being taken. We walked through the main shopping strip, had a look at the castle from the outside, had a look at the stadium from outside, then headed for a pub.
I'd heard about a particular craft beer pub that I wanted to check out, but they didn't allow dogs after 7pm and it was 6:50pm by now, so we headed to a different bar across the road that was dog friendly. Another huge selection of beers so I was happy, though our food wasn't anything special. Walked back home again a bit quicker this time, though when I stopped for a photo outside the stadium I turned around to see a heavily armed police officer complete with assault rifle grinning and patting Schnitzel!
Back home where we headed to bed fairly soon afterwards. Only a single night in Cardiff, as the football final has pushed prices into the stratosphere. Seems like a nice town, though perhaps a bit limited in scope. Lots of students around though, as I think it's got a big university there.Read more