kmusser: (faire)
[livejournal.com profile] zammis has got our pictures up. Take a look. Yay pictures! Now for those Australia pics.
kmusser: (Default)
This morning had a yummy breakfast although it's still raining, the weather report for later looks promising though.

What can we do in the rain? Drink cider - so it's off on another attempt to find real farmhouse cider (aka scrumpy). The first place we stop at is deserted, a somewhat disheartening find. The 2nd place we try is open and does not disappoint. Yay cider!

Then back to Glastonbury as it`s beginning to clear up. We do the hike up the Gastonbury Tor, what was once the Isle of Avalon. The views are incredible. Also good to get in touch with our Pagan roots. By the time we are done the weather has turned beautiful and remains so for the rest of the day.

At the bottom of the Tor is the Chalice Well - a spring that is the supposed resting place for the Holy Grail and sacred site for many years. Around it has been built gardens and places for meditation. If you want to design a Pagan holy place, this is the way to do it. It's dificult to describe, but it is definitely a powerful and peaceful place.

Rejuvenated after that we go a find another cider place, mmmm cider. Then on to Wells to see the Cathedral. The cathedral is suitably impressive - much gorgeous stained glass and sculpture.

Then our final cider stop - Wilkins Farm, probably the most fun as the "tastings" are a 1/2 pint. Located way out in the boonies too, so it's fun to find.

Finally back to the B&B, make a few more cheese purchases. Time to do this update and then we'll find dinner. This will be my last update before I'm home.

Tomorrow it's up at dawn, a stop to see the stone circle at Avebury, and then to Heathrow and home. Will be back at faire soon, and we might even have some scrumpy for you.
kmusser: (Default)
We've left the elders and are back in England, headed for Somerset County where we are staying in the town of Cheddar. Still lots of rain, but fortunately traffic is very light and we get to Somerset early, so we go to the Pagan mecca of Glastonbury. I've never seen such a concentration of Pagan shops before, shopping is fun. We also see the ruins of the abbey here, supposed final resting place of King Arthur. We decide to save the hike up to the Tor until tomorrow when hopefully it isn't raining so much.

Afterwords try to stop at a cider farm, but sadly they are closed, will have to save that for tomorrow as well. We do find the B&B without trouble and wander about Cheddar and buy some cheese and cider. Then dinner and off to bed as the weather continues to worsen.
kmusser: (Lego)
Last night drove into Caerphilly in search of someplace to eat. Saw the castle there all lit up at night, but did not go in. Found very yummy place - mmmm, Welsh curry.

Today, still in Cardiff. Enjoying some tropical storm-like rains - I'd be amused if these are remnents of hurricane Karl. This morning we drove back out to Brecon Beacons to take a ride on a narrow gauge steam train through a bit of the park. The train was sooo cute.

Afterwords went to see Castell Coch - a fairy-tale style castle with an interior of Victorian design taken to excess - we enjoy seeing things built by crazy people. Taking a mid-day break. May try to get a bit of hiking in this afternoon if the rains let up.
kmusser: (Lego)
Our accomadations not nearly as nice as the B&B we had in Chester, but they will do. In the morning a harrowing drive into downtown Cardiff so N and K can stop at the train station to make arrangements for the rest of their trip. Then we head east and across the Severn river into England to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] zammis's cousin, Peter.

Peter arranged to meet us at the White Hart tavern (we can hear your snickering all the way over here) which is a little country town, quite a bit off the beaten track. The pub is incredible - my envisioning of the ideal English pub would not have been as cool as this place was. Very Hobbit-like, many rooms of coziness. I could've happily spent a lot of time there. Anyway, the Francis reunion is successful.

Next stop is Tintern Abbey. I've seen many pictures of the place, but they don't really do it justice. The ruins are massive, can easily see how Wordsworth would've found them inspirational. I would've liked to be able to drop [livejournal.com profile] mossneko here with a case of black & white film.

Was particularly interesting after seeing the Chester cathedral earlier in the trip as Tintern was built around the same time and in the same general layout. It however was quite throughly pillaged by Henry.

After that the weather began turning nasty as was the traffic heading back to Cardiff, so we're calling it an early day. Which gives us a chance to rest up and for me to update here. Tomorrow is our last day with N and K.
kmusser: (Lego)
Todays mission is to drive from Chester to Cardiff via central Wales. Not many stops, but lots more beautiful scenery. Did stop around lunchtime at Portmeiron, a fantasy Italian style village built by a crazy person on the Welsh coast. Known for being the setting for The Prisoner TV series. Very strange place. After that more Snowdonia scenery. Drove through the ancient Welsh capitol of Machynlleth, but didn't stop. Did stop for tea in the mountain village of Rhayader. Then on, driving through Brecon Beacons national park, to our hotel in the Cardiff burbs.
kmusser: (Lego)
Been awhile since I've had a chance to update, will try to do some catching up.

From my previous entry - forget to mention the cathedral - Chester's cathedral is awesome, it and it's attached monestary managed to avoid Henry VIII's pillaging. Particularly impressive was a series of giant mosaics of various biblical scenes. Shared the catherdral with a whole bunch of English school children there learning about monastic life.

Anyway, on to Wednesday. Headed out to Caernarfon to see the castle and it is damned impressive fortress. Built in the 1200's it is now ruins, but the walls and towers are mostly intact and it was obviously built expecting to be attacked. Views from the walls also beautiful.

Afterwards intended to take one of the little steam railways up to the top of Mt. Snowdon, but the railway was closed, presumably because of the somewhat sketchy weather. Instead did some driving about Snowdonia and had plenty of slendid mountain views from the road. Lots and lots of sheep.

Continued our country drive crossing over the straight to Angelsea, probably the most Welsh part of Wales. More beautiful, if somewhat desolate scenery. Angelsea was home to K's ancesters so we drove about the area of her roots. Saw a pheasant :-) Also stopped to see a neolithic burial chamber which has been opened up and saw the ancient stone carvings inside.

Then back to Chester and to a pub for dinner.
kmusser: (Lego)
I arrived in the Manchester airport bright and early Monday morning. Had several hours to kill before [livejournal.com profile] zammis arrives from London so checked out our car (they gave me a hatchback, which is larger than I was expecting, but fine) and did a bit of shopping (maps and new Terry Pratchett) while waiting. Found Zammis, together we went out and found [livejournal.com profile] stealthmunchkin and [livejournal.com profile] holly_lama and got to see a bit of Manchester and had a yummy lunch of Indian food. After our brief visit made our way to Chester and found our B&B. Zammis' father, N, and his girlfriend, K, had already arrived. Had dinner at a nearby pub and went to bed early.

Tuesday we did Chester. Chester is a lovely town on the border of Wales that has much of it's tudor/renaissance era architecture intact including the city walls. Saw remains of the Roman era fort and ampitheater and the ruins of a cool Anglo-Saxon church that has a smaller more recent church built in the middle of it. Took a bus tour of the town which gave us a nice overview with historical commentary. Chester was also the site of a major battle of the English Civil War. Took a walk along the walls from where King Charles saw the defeat of his army. Chester is apparently also famous for its cheese, so of course I had to partake of that as well :-)

Tomorrow it's on into Wales.

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