This is hopefully the first in a series of Justin and Jane on another grand tour. this time we are in Wales, not Cornwall, not Ireland not Morocco but Wales.
We are currently holed up in the quiet hamlet of Mumbles, named after the french mamelles, a description of a local geological feature or two. It has been quite a day, in a strange sort of way. we woke after a half day in Cardiff, where we arrived after our 3 hour luxurious train ride from Paddington. It would appear as we were alomost the only train moving in the UK and western france after a flash freeze struck, sticking trains in tunnels, freezing planes to the tarmac and typically proving that the UK cannot deal with a slight change in the standard wether of greay skies. We woke to frozen roads, a white ice blanketed Cardiff, which has to be rare in this part of the world as its so close to the sea. And of course today was the day we got the hire car. Im Australian, I dont do ice, and I have never driven on it let alone walked on it. I was so unimpressedwitht he walking we got ataxi the rest of the way. Actually when i say the rest of the way we actually couldnt find a taxi on our walk to the hire car place, we were running out of time and we found ourselves back at the hotel anyway so into a cab we got. Of course had we actually walked we would have died, as the entire way was white iced out. Upon our arrival every car in the hire car lot was covered in snow. So additional insurance cover was taken just in case Im not the driving god I of course think I am! But of course I am so far as we managed an entire 2 hours of driving along the bottom of the country and we didnt die. I think.
Cardiff, was quite christmassy with crazy lights hanging from almost anthing that didnt stand still and that is a feat. But it did have a great castle with some of the most amazing interiors from a victorian era renovation
Such was the bizareness and unexpectedness of some of the interiors we discovered, especially those reserved for the premium tour, which we discovered by accident as we bypassed security as access was left open by the previous tour…which we didnt pay for…that both Jane and I gasped and turned to one another in unison jaw dropped trying to taske it all in.
Also a new experience was both jane and My first body of frozen water, the moat of the castle was actually frozen. Again as you know I am australian, and I know nothing of such frozen things, such that I thought id throw a stone through the crust as any vandal would. I poked away at a supposedly large enough stone with my pointed boot toe, and surruptitiously bent down collected said stone and piffed it into the abyss. To both our amazement it bounced echoing a strange non reproduceable sound that will live in my minds ear forever. Jane suggested a larger boulder which could be found as part of the ancient roman wall. ( she didnt realy but I have to deflect the blame for the idea) needless or needles to say theer was no ice breaking that day until later that night post dinner, jane was approached by the dining couple beside our tabe to explain veganism and the impending global warming disaster. Of course the sixty something dont ever que baby boomers are non believers but showed intrest and were refreshed by our australian directness and desire to have the current royals lynched.
cardiff castle shell keep
Ok so its not a royal being lynched but it is cardiff castles keep, high upon a mound surrounded by frozen water. here is a hint. If you lay seige to a castle dont waste time tossing rotten horses over the walls, wait till its cold enough and just walk across the frozen moat, which is not a badly spelt hoven animal which sometimes is gruff. Once across plant large amounts of explosives, light the wick and walk away. booom, winning the war and like moses walking on water. too cool.
Anyway, its a few days till christmas, we are hoping to be somewhere near the middle of the country on our welsh oddyse and hope to be able to call or skype you all then. If you hear from us good luck to you.
summer in wales?
Well done on your results Chris, you should be very proud of your achievement (18 out 0f 20)