Saturday, March 31, 2012

St. Fagans, Barry Island, Caerleon Roman Fortress

Taking advantage of the summer-like weather (today it's vanished!) we decided to visit our nearest foreign country (Wales -- Cymru) two days ago.

Our overseas jaunt started with a traversal of the 'wider-than-the-Mersey' Severn to start our mini-break at St. Fagan's National History Museum just west of Cardiff. This is an open-air site where numerous historical buildings have been lovingly and carefully rebuilt. We started in the Celtic roundhouses where Clare had a chance to question a native (below) about the central heating (pictured).

Clare talks to a Celt about their housing
Next we moved on to the late-mediaeval Catholic Church.

Clare at the entrance to St. Teilo's mediaeval Catholic Church

The Ascension - rather NASA-like

Icons of things you can't do on a Sunday
A collection of pictures showing the brightly-illuminated wall decorations was the subject of the previous post.

Clare at St. Fagan's Castle gardens
We then walked across to the other side of the site to visit the "castle" (a 1580 Elizabethan Manor House) and its charming gardens.

Then it was off to Barry island, home of the famous "Gavin and Stacey" where we both paid homage by eating chips on a litter-strewn beach. The white item stranded on the sand in Clare's picture is an item of feminine underwear: don't ask!

Clare ("Stacey") at Barry Island

Nigel ("Gavin") at Barry Island
After the sophisticated delights of Barry island (which we both enjoyed) we drove to the Premier Inn near Newport where we were able to note how the Beefeater chain has moved noticeably upmarket.

Special Effects at the Caerleon Roman Bath House
Friday we took in the Roman Legion Fortress at Caerleon. We started in the Bath House, and then moved on to the Amphitheatre and the Barracks.

Clare charges a predator in the Caerleon amphitheatre

Clare welcomes the troops to the Caerleon barracks
On our way home we decided to visit Leigh Woods, overlooking the river Avon. Have you ever encountered a National Trust site worse signposted? By trial-and-error, much driving in circles and exploring anonymous side roads we eventually found where to park and had a pleasant walk.

Someone has invested in new parking facilities, how about a sign on the A369?