Wednesday, 26 July 2017

26th July 2017 - Cardiff - Castell Koch - Caerphilly Castle - Llancaiach Mawr Manor

Wednesday 26th July 2017


Today is our last morning in beautiful Wales.  At midday we are catching a train to Paddington and then to Luton, where we are staying in an airbnb studio apartment.  This is because…Pete got cheap tickets to Italy..  From Luton…It will all be an adventure!

Pete and Pete
We have been having many Welsh adventures, with our kind hosts, Pete and Maggie.

Marguerite and Margaret
On Monday we went to the Royal Welsh Show, possibly the biggest show in the UK.  It was quite a long way – two hours, driving through the beautiful Brecon Beacons.

But worth it!

We saw so many sheep!

Nifty sheep display
Golden ones

Black ones

Speckledy ones

And a marvellous variety of sheep called the Jacob, a hardy number, with four horns!

In the main arena we watched an amazing horse performer, Alonzo, from France, who must have been a horse whisperer.   He had twelve beautiful horses careering around the arena with him, ten of them untethered.  He stood on two horses, side by side and galloped, jumped, pirouetted.  Fabulous!

And then it was the Kangaroo Kid from *cough* Australia who did some fairly lame stunts on a quad bike and then fell from mid-air with a sickening thump.  He had his mike on and we could hear gurgles and groans…

…quad bike stuntman will be back wowing the Royal Welsh crowds today just hours after a shocking crash which left his team fearing for his life. Kangaroo Kid, aka Matt Coulter, 47, dislocated a shoulder, bit his tongue and bruised his ribs in a terrifying fall in front of…

I have just googled this; he is, clearly, OK and ready to go again!  Glad I won’t be there to watch, and listen…

Glorious green forest
Yesterday Maggie went to work and Pete B took us on a magical mystery tour.

First the Fairytale Castle, Castell Koch, not far from the city.  It was restored in the early 1900s and is a magnificent folly. 

The Marquis of Bute, a great benefactor to Wales, and in his day the richest man in the world, took on the project for his own entertainment, along with a very talented architect, Burges.  They only stayed there for a night or two…had forgotten to include guest quarters and a few other minor necessities. 

But it is glorious nonetheless.

The bedroom walls are lined with lovely Aesops Fables paintings
Next stop Caerphilly Castle, the second largest castle in Britain after Windsor.

Leaning tower with fake dragon!
It has a frantically leaning tower, more leaning than Pisa, but it is not likely to topple – has been this way since Cromwell’s men tried to knock it down many centuries ago!

Pete saved the best till last – a beautiful old manor house called Llancaiach Mawr.  The house itself is very interesting but the best thing was the presentation!  We were greeted an taken on a tour by by three servants, one after the other.  The first, the still-room maid, was good; the second was excellent, and the third, the steward was fabulous.  He had the five of us totally entranced and amused.  I would love to take school-age children there; I imagine they would be totally enthralled.

We were going to take Pete and Maggie out to dinner but…Pete had marinated chicken fillets before we left, and the lovely Thomas neighbours (Sue, Carolyn, David, Malcolm,) were on their way so…we had another beautiful summer evening at home in Rhiwbena!

It is now 10am and – OH NO!!! – Pete is fast asleep, groaning faintly… I very much hope he doesn’t have the malady which overtook me for my first two weeks in the UK…He isn’t coughing so maybe there is hope!!



  1. Alonzo - swoon! Think I'll have him as my screen saver ... AM xx

  2. Pete, Pete, marguerite and Margaret, quite the set. You've even been working on assuming the same poses!