Sunday, February 5, 2017

Crisscrossing Wales

Email from June 20:

I’m typing this from the entryway of our Lake District house. We arrived here about 8:45pm and there is no answer at either of the bells, knocking, or calling any of the phone numbers. We did see some guests go in, but after going in with them and looking around and knocking on the owners’ door, the guests were nervous we weren’t supposed to be there and hinted that we should go back into the entryway. I’m sure all will be sorted out eventually, but until then, I will utilize the time to write the events of the day.

We set out this morning not entirely knowing where we were going. We knew we wanted to go to Devil’s Bridge and we knew we needed to make it up to the Lake District, and Roy had given us a few stretches of highway we should drive through Wales, so we spent the day zig-zagging through Wales. We passed Tintern Abbey, numerous castle ruins, and a lot of gorgeous rolling hills and sheep grazing. And in West Wales there were some pretty think evergreen forests. At times it felt like we were driving to the beach house or through Snoqualmie Pass. It was beautiful. We drove through Brecon Beacons national park and then over to Devil’s Bridge. Devil’s Bridge is an 11th century bridge that was built over a very steep crevice in the wall where the river runs through. That bridge is impressive enough, but they actually have built two more on top of it, one in the the 1700s, and the top one around 1900, and because it’s so steep, they never ripped up the old ones. It was a cool little area and the violent river has really carved down deeper in the rock under them.

From there we headed North again and stopped first at Powis Castle which was built in 1277 (around the same time as Caerphilly), but was inhabited until the early 1900s, so instead of being a ruins, it’s still a very stately home with all the furnishings and amazing manicured gardens. There were even a couple peacocks strutting around in the courtyard. It was a little treasure we walked into not knowing about it beforehand.

Then we stopped in Llangollen at the aquaduct we had originally planned to boat over and discovered we could actually walk across it. So we did. It was really cool and a few longboats crossed over it while we were there as well.

From there we decided to go straight to the house in Windermere so we wouldn’t get here too late. Alas, it seems we actually did (around 8:45pm).

I know you're all dying to know what happened. Well, around 9:45, I walked to the little hotel next door. She said that the people that run our little B&B are horrible (she called them "the gruesome twosome"), they cut off check in at 8:30, and they probably won't refund the money. She said it would be tough to find a room this time of night in the Lake District in the summertime, but she would call her friend who is the front desk person at a hotel down the road (she was full). He had a room available, and she talked him down in price so, although it's a bit more expensive than we've been paying everywhere else, we now have a lovely room with a private hot tub, spa bath, a pool, and a fancy breakfast in the morning. The guy here said our credit card may refund the money if they won't, so we'll try that. But if not, oh well. Stuff happens. And this place is lovely!

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