Wales again!

It was a bank holiday weekend this weekend and I made another fairly spur of the moment decision to go to Wales. I went on another tour with the same company who ran the Bruges trip.

First stop was Chepstow Castle, which I saw the last time I went to Wales but this time I had time to go inside:

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Then it was off to Tintern Abbey but I’d already seen that so didn’t bother going in again.

In the afternoon we went to Big Pit coal mine, a former coal mine that is now a museum. They take you on guided tours down the pit, and the guides are former coal miners – very authentic!

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(cheesy!)

Day two we went riding in the Brecon Beacons in the morning:

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And to Hay-on-Wye in the afternoon:

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Hay-on-Wye is also known as the “town of books”. It is absolutely chocka block full of bookshops. I wish I had a whole day to spend there. As it was I only had time to buy a couple of books. Much better than the last tour of Wales though when we only stopped for an hour at 9am Sunday morning and everything was shut! I will definitely go back one day and do some serious shopping.

We spent day three in Cardiff, where we saw the castle and did a little shopping before heading home. The shopping was very good – same shops as everywhere but much less crowded than Oxford Street and the service was impressive everywhere we went. The staff were so attentive it was frightening! In Gap we were asked if we needed help three times and then at the counter we were asked if anyone had asked if we needed help and who in particular was helpful. Freaky!

Cardiff Castle is pretty cool:

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Something really cool is that they keep falcons at the castle to scare away the pigeons and stop them from depositing droppings, which can seriously damage historical buildings. The falcons don’t kill the pigeons because they have not been raised to do so, however the pigeons are still quite scared of them so it is an effective deterrent!

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