The day started with rain in Newport East on the eastern side of Wales and we ended up on the western side this afternoon and it rained all day. Limited photos due to the rain and being overcast.
Taking advantage of an early Saturday morning, we drove through Cardiff, having a look at the city centre, past the castle, refueled the car and continued on our merry way. The Cardiff Castle, built in the 12th century, was built on the site of a 3rd century Roman fort and a subsequent 11th century Norman fort. The castle was occupied until around 1947 when it was bequeathed to the Cardiff Council and is now run as a tourist attraction.
Our first stop was at the Tin Works and Waterfall at Aberdulais north of Neath. A change in season with a change in opening time so it caught us out by 1 hour. To kill time we headed to the McDonalds nearby. Three things you can always get at a McDonalds, a parking space, a hot cup of good coffee and a (free) toilet. Not often available together over here. After a drive around Neath in the rain, a couple of extra laps around some of the weird round-a-bouts they have here and we went back to Aberdulais.
The sculpture in the following photo tells the history of Aberdulais and the Tin Works from mining in 1584 to a wool Tucking Mill in 1631 to copper smelting and iron forging in 1667 to tin sheet manufacture in 1837. The Tin Works used a water wheel to power the machinery and a more modern water wheel is now operating in the same manner with a generator attached and provides all the power for the site.
Back to Swansea in the rain and straight into traffic congestion that is common in most towns. Traffic lights and round-a-bouts don't seem to help but maybe it would be worse without them. At one stage the GPS was showing the count down 33 to 0 seconds from the castle waypoint for over 10 minutes. The castle, like so many others, was built in the 12th century but not much is left now. We didn't stop, just interesting to drive past for a look at the condition if they are on the way.
Down to Mumbles, known for its Pier with a Life Guard station at the end. At the end of a tongue of land, the area is divided down the middle by Nab Hill with the eastern side a rock cliff face. We continued with a nice oceanside drive through narrow winding roads past Caswell Bay eventually rejoining the highway to travel to Pen-clawdd. Pen-clawdd's claim to fame is the harvesting of cockles from the mouth of the River Loughor. We've never tried cockles and thought this would be the place. Mistaking a Fish and Chip shop for the cafe I meant to go to meant we ended up with battered cockles. Nice, but the batter almost overwhelmed the cockles and we couldn't help thinking that they would have been better au naturale.
A half loop around through Carmarthen led us to Tenby, a town where the street running along the waterfront was all houses painted in various colours. The place looked a real picture, so Therese took a couple.
The day finished as it started, in the rain, and more expected tomorrow, in Pembroke on the west coast. We are staying a a large Guest House and the owner, born in Wales to Irish parents, An ex-policeman, motorcyclist, farmer and heavy load mover, sat down with us over a cup of coffee. You'd swear he was Irish with the yarns and conversation. He is a Rugby fan but happened to be on the Gold Coast in June this year and saw one of the State of Origin games. He was amazed at the skill and speed and the way the game was played, loved it.
North tomorrow, probably in the rain.