Saturday, 4 May 2013

Exciting Expedition to South Wales

Castle Coch
Well when plans go astray brilliant things can still happen.  My wife and I were invited to stay with my daughter’s father-in-law Mark in the middle of South Wales.  I thought it was going to be a mainly fishing trip, however, brilliant things started to happen when Mark announced that he was taking time out from rebuilding his house to be our guide and show us his favourite places.  So on Monday afternoon we went to the pretty Penarth seafront and pier and then explored Cardiff Bay waterfront where we had dinner.  Tuesday morning saw us hiking down a lovely gorge to the sea at Monknash.  Then we hit a lunchtime organ recital at the impressive St Davids Hall, Cardiff (surprisingly I really enjoyed that). Then we went to Castle Coch an excellent place to visit and explore.
Wednesday morning saw us at Caerleon Roman Settlement (just north of Newport).  Here a wonderful Roman Baths has been brilliantly restored.  You can walk round a gallery above the pool and watch roman soldiers and their families swimming in the water.  This is all achieved by some of the best visual and oral effects I have ever experienced.  The water looks so realistic that you want to paddle and the sound of the splashing convinces you that it is real.  Entrance is free and it is a must place to visit together with the nearby Roman Museum and Amphitheatre.
The amazingly restored Roman Baths
Wednesday afternoon my wife and Mark went to the National Trust's Tredegar House and I sloped off to fish a favourite lake.  I will do my next post about that for the fishing enthusiasts.
Mark had another gem up his sleeve!  Thursday saw us at St Fagans the Welsh National History Museum.  This is a wonderful place where old historical buildings from all over Wales have been dismantled and rebuilt in the grounds of the beautiful St Fagans estate.
Beautiful grounds with St Fagans Castle on the hill to the right.
A pigsty built of dry stone
Kennixton Farmhouse
Workman's Institute (like all the other buildings) dismantled elsewhere and re-built here!
Inside the Blacksmith's workshop
The biggest magnolia tree I have seen!
Live video feed shows bats roosting (filmed using infra red light). Click on the arrow.
So for a £3.50 car parking fee at St Fagans you get a whole day to explore over 50 historic buildings all splendidly preserved, with authentic furnishings and informative Museum Assistants to answer questions, all in beatiful grounds.  You must try to visit.

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