- 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.

- A Change of Plan -


Our original plan was that we would walk up Pen y Fan (the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park). However, Phil was still recovering from a hernia operation and I had come down with a very bad cold which escalated to needing antibiotics. So, our plan had to change. We put our walk onto the back burner for the next time, instead, opting to take a drive through the National Park instead.

Blessed with blue skies and sunshine, but still a bit on the chilly side, it was a wonderful drive through the countryside dotted with small idyllic towns and rolling hills. The remnants of autumn lingering on the trees, made for a wonderful palette of contrasting colours.

- 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.

- West of Wales -


An overnight adventure to West Wales.
I think Phil and I had a small communication breakdown about what I wanted to see during our visit. I had grand ideas of idyllic coastal towns and craggy rocky cliffs, showcasing the raw beauty of the welsh coastline. Don’t get me wrong, West Wales has all of that and much more...! I just didn’t get to see as much of it as I would have liked. As it turns out the sun sets super early in winter time. So by about 3.30pm we were already starting to lose the light.

We still had a lovely time. We had lunch in Fishguard in a little rustic pub, where you could bring your dog inside. We explored a “castle” in Cardigan. We then found the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and followed some very narrow lanes to arrive upon a most stunning coastline. It was extraordinary! Very windy and getting dark, we wandered for a short while, before retreating back to the car for our final destination for the night - Tenby. Whilst in Tenby, we went out for a fantastic meal at The Stables. If ever in the area, I recommend eating there.

I can’t wait til we go back to Wales, so that we can really explore beautiful West Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coastal path.

- 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.