Sunday, July 19, 2009

Coming to a Paddock Near You....

Just found these pix while sorting through the holiday snaps...They were actually taken the day before we left at a field down the road, where dad and I found ourselves being attacked by a rabid pack of donkeys from which we were lucky to escape with our lives...quite frankly if dad hadn't selflessly leapt in front of his favourite daughter I may have become just another statistic in the cruel world of donkey related dismemberment......'selflessly leapt' may have involved some shoving on my part....ahem....Exhibit a:

Okay, so there may have been a little exaggeration somewhere in the previous paragraph, the donkeys may have been a little more with the cute and a little less with the psychotic serial killer (though with the way in which they chowed down on the carrots we gave them, if they ever did take up the vocation no-one would ever find the think on)

Friday, July 17, 2009

diolch yn fawr Gymru, Hwyl fawr am nawr

Okay, so final part of my trip to Wales...points to those who can figure out the was the only Welsh I managed to learn on this trip...and using it just about gave me tongue strain ;-), final day in Wales and the parentals had decided to travel down to Carmarthen to visit the National Botanical Garden of Wales...admittedly it's not normally my thing...I don't have a single green finger in my bunch of ten...though then mother mentioned something which perked my interest...which I will get to presently.

Off we set...Carmarthen was around an hour away by car and dad had suggested we stopped for a pix opportunity at a nearby waterfall on the, after a hard slogging 20 minutes we pulled into the waterfalls at Cenarth...where my parents promptly decided a cuppa was in order (are you sensing a theme...I swear my folks would shrivel without a cup of tea every half hour)...anyway, I abandoned them at the cafe while I went exploring along the river:

The falls and mill...the recent rain the cause of the murky brown water...and not Willy Wonka as I had suggested.

I love little woodland paths which look like something out of a Tolkien novel...Orks, trolls and other such fantasy creatures waiting to pounce around the next corner....

What I wasn't expecting as I turned one corner was a bare white arse staring at me from under this bridge...

a camper who had decided this to be the perfect spot for a's idyllic I'll give him that...less so when there's a nekkid Scandinavian with a farmer's tan under the bridge....ever the Brit I gave him a nodded greeting and continued on my way.

The sun put in an appearance just as we were leaving this little village....interesting since a full moon had been sighted just moments earlier....anyhoo...onward.

Now this is why I was a little excited about the Botanical gardens.....

otherwise know as Mars:

Oh yes...the greenhouse...the largest of it's kind in the world was used for the forthcoming Doctor Who special and it's easy to see why it was chosen the glasshouse looks very futuristic and houses an impressive array of plants and trees themed in regions from Africa to Australia via California and's a few facts:

The dome is the shape of an elliptical torus and consists of 785 panes of glass.

The glass dome is tilted by 7 degrees on its axis and is orientated to face south this helps capture the maximum amount of sunlight in a day.

147 computer controlled vents regulate a fully controllable and natural airflow.

Heat is provided from a biomass furnace which in conjunction with the climate control prevents the glasshouse temperature falling below 9oC.

Don't ask me what the flora and fauna are exactly because as previously mentioned I'm a little agriculturally I haven't a clue...Oh, and yes I've discovered the awfully clever mega close up function on my camera which I may have over used around the glass house...but meh.

There was much to look around in the other areas of the gardens...I particularly liked the walled's an English thing

And the Welsh meadow walk...which had fantastic views across the hills

A unknown fighter jet which sped by ridiculously low on more than one occasion, though this is the best....and only....shot I managed to get.

The tower in the distance is Paxton's Tower built in tribute to Admiral Lord Nelson after he was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805

The great thing about the gardens is that the glass house is prominent and visible pretty much everywhere....which make for some fabbo arty farty shots.

There were two lakes...which were covered in Lilies

So, there you have it, my ickle tour of a bit of Wales is now complete...I'd love to visit again, with a little less rain and a fully functioning ankle, so I could explore more of the coastal paths...and the castles...of which there's loads and we just didn't have time to visit on this occasion.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wales Continued

Urgh, back to the monotony and grind.....and of course the flippin' jet stream (the position of which drives the British weather) has dropped bringing us the most un-July like temps and forecasts....apparently the couple of weeks of heatwave we had is about it for summer this

But, at least I can reminisce and look at photos from those heady days of my holiday to Wales all those week ago.....
Day 2 was less than inspiring on the weather front so my Aunt and Uncle took us into the Pembrokeshire National Park and to an off the beaten track local pub for lunch...said pub was used by miners back in the day, a couple of hundred years ago, has sawdust covering the floorboards and all sorts of ancient trinkets, photos and other quirky bits and bobs adorning the walls....including the following found in the ladies loo:

After lunch, we stopped off for some touristy type activities....first up the reservoir at Rosebush

Ciebwr Bay near Moylgrove

Over looking Ynys Fach near the Davils Couldren (the great thing about Wales is even if you spell it wrong....nobody will know)

What you see on the right of the horizon is a particularly nasty little rain shower which we expertly managed to avoid by nipping into a garden centre cafe for a cuppa for the olds and cake for me....

Before heading back to the homestead for dinner....this by the way is the view from my Aunt's house, looking towards Cardigan Bay

Cameo by my Aunt and her, slightly unhinged, dog Pip...the silly 9 yr old pup growls at the Tv every time an animal appears on screen because he thinks it's actually inside the room....but apparently dosen't give a monkeys about the cattle in the field across the road.

St. Dogmaels was an old fishing village and dad and I ventured out after dinner to check out the ruins of the Abbey....

The Abbey was built on the site of a pre-Norman monastery (possibly from around the 6th Century), known as the 'old house' of Llandudoch, around 1113 and upgraded to Abbey status in 1120.

The site is a kind of hotch potch of different Centuries with Cloisters and Abbey Church being added from the 12th Century.

The site is great for wandering around and I was amazed as to how big the area was and how much has survived....even if it is ruins.

Then along the river to Poppit sands, which no doubt looks much more favourable without the darkened skies...

As mentioned fishing was the main reason for the existence of St. Dogmaels and with such a place the obligatory legend surrounds this carving of a mermaid....

History tells of a fishing boat captain who once caught a Mermaid in his nets...the Mermaid persuaded the fisherman to let her go, promising to appear to him when danger was afoot....Days later and the Mermaid, good to her word, appeared to the fisherman telling him to take his boat and crew back to shore...trusting her word he did just that, on the way trying to warn the other boats and crew only to be laughed at...A particularly vicious storm blew up shortly thereafter and 27 local men and boats were destroyed...the only one to survive was that of the fisherman who had caught the Mermaid.

Poppit Sands from up the top of a bloomin' great hill

Cardigan Island from Poppit Sands

Overlooking Cardigan Bay and Island...from even further up the bloomin' great hill.

Poppit Sands

Some like it so much they actually live in small dwellings built into the sand dunes....

The little huts have no running water or electricity....each to their own....but they are the ultimate beach hut I suppose.....Tis all for now.