On this whirlwind trip through Great Britain, we have really only 1 day in Wales, and today was it. Tomorrow morning, we leave this country and head East and North (next hotel is in Liverpool). But Wales, and Cardiff in particular, has left an impact on us - my sister has declared Cardiff her new favorite city, and I can certainly understand why!
We started out in Exeter. Sadly, we had awakened so early that my stomach was still asleep, so no full English fry-up for me! (Considering the theme of today was FOOD, that might have been for the best.) Corn flakes and pain au chocolate plus tea was what my snoring stomach demanded. But we left the lovely town of Exeter (which would have been great to visit, rather than just have as a base for day-trips) and headed on to Glastonbury.
There's a ruined abbey in Glastonbury that we visited. A young lady pretending to be a pilgrim from the time of the original abbey (14th century, approx) guided us through the ruins. She was quite good and had a suitable amount of snark, especially about Arthur & Guinevere being buried there. And the young lady playing the part is decended from previous caretakers of the grounds and had a story to tell about two of the thorn trees planted on the grounds.
But that was all the time we had for Glastonbury, because we had a "Be our Guest" dinner at a farm called Blackmoor Farm. It's a new idea for a reality show (coming soon to TLC): 44 tourists, their tour guide and coach driver show up on your doorstep unannounced and you have to preare dinner for the whole group! (Well, that's what Amy thinks it should be. Heh. They knew we were coming.) The fellow who owns the farm showed us around the Great Hall and then a friend of his, who's an historian, continued the tour. Really neat history to the building. And I've forgotten most of the details, so I'll blaim tonight's wine. Heh. After the tour, we had lunch as prepared by the farm staff. Shepherd's pie (without actual shepherd on top), chicken/ham/leek pie, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower with & without a cheesy cream sauce - all very lovely. And scrumpy, rose cider, and white wine all available. I had the scrumpy. Most veggies I've had in one meal on this trip. heh.
We were then on our way to cardiff. We crossed the Severn bridge into Wales and then headed for Cardiff. Carl dropped everyone off at the castle. We had not opted for the castle and instead took a cab to Cardiff Bay to the Doctor Who Experience. Sadly, we arrived just 10 minutes after the last tour of the day - Boo! But we could still get tickets into the museum part of the place - Yay! And the tickets were cheaper - Big Yay! So we did just that and had a blast taking photos of costumes and props. there's a photo of mom with daleks that's hilarious and I'll have to post when I can get it off my phone. I was pleased that mom & Amy indulged me in my passion. :-) I also bought a few gift items - a cyberman pin, a pencil, several postcards (including Missy for the Death in Heaven "poster"), and a squishy toy thing that wound up being a weeping angel. Fun stuff!
We headed back toward our hotel using my GPS and some directions on google maps that I'd gotten earlier. The bay and Roald Dahl Plass is lovely. And it was nice seeing the venue we were going to for supper. We arrived at the hotel just minutes before the rest of the group. And then we had some time to rest before it was time to leave for our optional excursion of the Spirit of Wales.
Our group arrived early to the Millennium Center (after witnessing two people helping a guy so drunk he wound up passed out on the sidewalk and when the police started to investigate, the couple walked away as if they didn't know the fellow - ah, city life!) and were led into the bar by one of the singers who'd be entertaining us. They had small samples of Welsh mead (yummy) and Welsh rarebit (too small of a sample to judge) for us to try while we waited for the other tour groups. When everyone was there, we were brought into ffresh, the restaurant at the Millennium Center, and entertained & fed till we nearly burst. They had 4 singers (3 women, 1 man), their MC (who also was a singer), and a lady who played the harp and piano. They did a number of traditional Welsh songs (and not so traditional) in between courses. I had the goat cheese terrine with beetroot (amazingly good), lamb rump (rymp in Welsh) with veggies (also yummy), and the chocolate something or other that was also lovely. Amy and I wound up finishing off a bottle of Sirrah with a little help from the lady beside me, while mom and the man beside her polished off 1+ bottles of white wine.
As we left the Millennium Center, it was getting dark out (yes, it WAS late) and the whole plaza was lit up beautifully. Amy and I got some really nice photos, which I'll post at some point. Heh. (If you're on Twitter, I've posted a couple there already.)
So now it's late and I need to sleep so that I can have real food for breakfast. Cardiff, thank you for your hospitality! Maybe sometime I might get to stay longer than 1 day!