- Tintern Abbey -


 

We didn’t have much bad weather for most of our time  in Wales. But, on this day we woke to grey skies and the cold. It’s almost like the weather knew it was our last real day for sight seeing and wanted to spoil it. We weren’t to be deterred though as we donned our beanies and jackets for the day ahead. 

It was a dark cold day as the sun hid behind dense clouds. Despite the conditions, Tintern Abbey was a site to behold. The ruins are architecturally beautiful with its columns and gothic arches. However on this particular day, any and all light was absorbed by the stone making it difficult to photograph without a tripod.

We strolled amongst the ruins, taking in the countryside. I was in awe of the cathedral like columns and detail. I felt very small standing amongst the ruins.

To warm up we ducked in to the cafe, The White Monk for a takeaway tea. Takeaway teas and bacon baps, before heading off to see Nana Mary. Whilst waiting, Phil discovered traditional welsh cook books and bought them for my mum. I think he hopes that she will spoil him with delicious welsh delicacies that remind him of home.

- Stonehenge baby! -


I was so excited to visit Stonehenge today. Having grown up seeing images and being caught up in the mystery and magic of the place... today was the day that I had been waiting for.  

As we crossed over into England the weather took a turn and we found ourselves driving through the countryside in very grey wet conditions. As the temperature dropped to -2 degrees, we faced sleety snow. This soon passed and upon arrival at Stonehenge we were merely inundated with steady rain. It was very much worth the rain and cold.

I would have liked to have spent more time there but it was just too wet, cold and gloomy. 

 P.S. I am wearing one of the beanies from Alison Tod Couture Millner, the fabulous hat store In Abergavenny I visited twice! £35 and totally worth it! Thanks to Phil’s mum for the awesome purchase. I love it!

- Caerphilly Castle -


Did someone say castle?

Yes, it’s another castle. Maybe they were right, maybe Australian’s do like old buildings!

I think this was my favourite so far. It looks as a castle should and it has a moat. Once a functioning castle, known for its historically significant architecture, it was constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan and is the second largest castle in Britain.

- Up to Abergavenny -


Today we went to Abergavenny for lunch with Phil’s mum, Pauline and Clive. On route, Clive stopped in to show us Kenfig Nature Reserve and where he used to go swimming as a kid. It was a bit overgrown in part and now appears to be a dog walkers delight, but I could definitely see the charm and peacefulness in the place.

From here we headed to Abergavenny and happened upon an old castle ruin. It was established by the Norman Lord Hamelin de Balun in about 1087; and was the site of a massacre of Welsh noblemen in 1175, and was attacked during the early 15th century Glyndŵr Rising.

 The ruins were amazing and it was a little sad to think that I was standing where once a massacre had taken place, all those many centuries ago. The town itself was very nice. I wish I’d taken photos of the town itself, but I was caught up with the exploration and shopping. I discovered a great hat store full of beautiful beanies and pompom hats. Whilst not a cheap store, I loved it so much, we made two trips to Abergavenny just so I could stock up. 

- Australians LOVE Old Buildings -


During the planning phase of our trip, I had mentioned to Phil that I was keen on seeing old castles and ruins from the past.  Phil’s friend claimed that “Australians love old sh!t” when he mentioned the itinerary to them. I’m not sure if that is actually the case, but I do have an interest in old castles and ruins. There is something almost mythical about them.

Our first castle, one of many old sites to come, was Cardiff Castle. It was a most beautiful castle with lots of lovely detail, and they still kept the art of falconry alive. We also saw squirrels! Yes, I am excited by squirrels… cute furry little grey critters frolicking around in the autumn leaves hunting out nuts.