April 16, 2010

England and Wales part 4: Wales

When I was 12, I took it upon myself to teach myself Welsh. Really. Needless to say, it didn't really stick. But although that obsession faded, I never lost the desire to visit Wales. So when we planned our trip to central England, I insisted we take a day or two to drive into Wales. It didn't look that far on a map - surely it wouldn't be that long of a journey.

Well, never underestimate how long it can take to get around on British roads. Nevertheless, we did get in a few days along the southern coast of Wales.

Our first stop, as it grew dark and dark rainclouds rolled in, was the not-entirely-scenic town of Swansea. Caught in the middle of what seemed like a true gale, we took the first room we could find and spent the night.

The town of Pembroke, from the castle

From there, we drove west. Our next stop was Pembroke, a cute medieval town with a stunning 12th century castle. We spent several hours running around the castle grounds, climbing stairs, walking along the ramparts, and enjoying amazing views from the towers. Like I said in the last post, there's something to be said for historical sites where the visitor can have the run of the place.

We had the castle virtually to ourselves

The British have a thing for creepy mannequin-based historic interpretive displays. Apparently, this is what it's like at a medieval feast.

From Pembroke, we headed south to the seaside town of Tenby. With an amazing, broad beach and a colorful old town, Tenby was a lovely place to visit.

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