Sunday, September 18, 2011

uk trip 2011, day two-- caerphilly castle, st fagans and a billion tescos

day two in wales. grab your popcorn, this is a long one.

in case you'd forgotten the mention of a hurricane in yesterday's post, i'll now remind you:  katia decided to take a trip to the uk at the same time as us. i'm forgoing the use of the obvious scorpions reference for the common good. but do know that, why, yes! of course that song was stuck in my head and no, i wasn't happy about it.

ANYWAY! leff and i awoke sans hangover to find this hill staring us in the face.

at the exact moment that i took that photo i was thinking "??!!?? 0_o ??!!??".  apparently, cask ale, when consumed in proper amounts, will make you fairly invincible and able to climb mountains.

before we get any further with this day, i want to backtrack to breakfast. the meal itself was fantastic with veggie sausages and LOTS OF COFFEE but the most important thing to take away from this paragraph is that the welsh oldies radio station that was playing in the breakfast room while we were eating had a bump of a woman singing "this is like a flashback" which was played every two songs. this is funny 'cause leff thought she was singing "this is like a flesh wound" and so that became a thing. hooray.

but back to our story.  leff and i walked around ponty for a while which was nice if a tad windy that day.

i know that leff will have a million more photos of this than me because 1) he always does 2) i was starting to feel ill at this point and was trying to conserve energy.(d'oh! foreshadowing!) so if you'd like to see a bit more of ponty (and you should) please head to his flickr set.

ok then! let's get to one of the major things that i was looking forward to on this trip. the tommy cooper statue!

heh. not really. but that statue is located outside of...CAERPHILLY CASTLE!!

just. yeah. do you know how much i love castles?

castles with ravens on shields

that are hanging on walls in giant halls?

and ruined areas where impressive windows were once located?


even more when i'm visiting them during a major windstorm.

atmosphere, bitches!

i am clearly not doing this castle justice so i'm going to let these next photos speak for themselves and then scream...


because that's how i roll. or, as they say in cardiff, that's how i roll.

i'm not sure if you're aware but there are rumors that caerphilly castle is haunted. i didn't see the green lady OR DID I?!?

leff got into the spirit (*ba doom ching!*)

and filmed this video of actual ghosts trying to scare school children. (you have to listen really carefully but they're there!)

i'm now going to take a break and be a bit servicey 'cause i know that there are quite a few of you who will enjoy this. did i mention that there was a tardis at the castle? 'cause there was.

did i mention that the mens took many photos of it? 'cause they did.

yes, lots of tardis love in these parts.

after we had fun storming the castle (and collecting norman dust so that i could bring a ghost back with me on my jacket), shed drove us to the plymouth arms outside of st fagan's.

(leff's photo)

at shed's suggestion, i had the welsh fried chicken, although that's not what it's called.

(leff's photo)

so much better than that 11 herbs and spices guy's crap in a bucket.

refueling gave us the energy to tackle st. fagan's.

i'll admit to a bit of trepidation the first time that st. fagan's was mentioned. this was due to seeing a local travel personality's show about the place that was, i'll be honest, dull. but, holy shit! do NOT let the rick steves (bah!) segment about this place dissuade you from going! st. fagan's is A-MA-ZING!

all of the buildings at the museum have been relocated from sites around wales. let me rephrase that for you intact period buildings that have been relocated, rebuilt and preserved. incredible. absolutely incredible.

they also have a really good tea room where i 1) had coffee (i'm such a rebel) 2) remembered that because i'm from tennessee i cannot differentiate in my pronunciation between the words "current" and "currant". heh.

here're a few more pictures from st. fagan's...

...with, service alert, a building that was used in a "doctor who" segment. (who loves you, geeks? i mean, really. THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A VACATION! (heh.))

in reality, the building used to be a hall for a labor union and it is GORgeous!

i would kill for a library like that.

you would think, wouldn't you, that all of the above would be enough for one day. you would be wrong. (and also, possibly, sane but we are not talking about you we are talking about me.) nope, after st. fagan's we went to a tesco extra.

if any of you ever so much as mentions super target or, *spit*, super walmart in my presence again, i will shoot you a look *so* withering that you will shrivel up and die immediately. neither of those stores has ANYTHING on tesco extra.

i don't have any photos because it was just so overwhelming and i needed toothpaste and jaffa cakes but i had to hide in the dvd section for a while before i could even begin to look for them because it was just so huge. (and dvds are comforting.)

shopping completed, or so we thought, shed insisted upon driving us to see the installation at the cardiff barrage. isn't this the coolest damn thing you've ever seen?

leff has video of it falling back into its component parts.

it seemed to be the cap to an absolutely kick ass day. just look at this light!

but, nope! we went to another tesco to get sandwiches and hair gel and i was so tired that i got a thunderbird 2 confused with boba fett. I KNOW, RIGHT?!?

you can see just how tired i am at the tesco loo. i was standing there being all jet lagged and hurricaned and under attack from welsh germs in my norman haunted jacket.

and i doubt that i'd been so damn happy in such a long time.

tomorrow we spend our last few hours in wales (mope) before heading to london! the british museum! a 700 year old ceremony at which i wasn't allowed to take photographs! these things and more happened!


wastedpapiers said...

You certainly know how to pack stuff into a day. That clever barrage yellow stripey eye boggler is amazing!

r4kk4 said...

we were *so tired*. all three of us kept wanting to die at various part of the day. ha!

yeah, the barrage is incredible! :D

Irregular Shed said...

Best day out and about I've had in ages. Christ knows how we managed to fit it all in!

BTW, are you familiar with the term "beer taxi"? In Wales we have Beer Funicular Railways too =)

r4kk4 said...

excellent time management skills? ;D

i knew about "party vans" (which i used to take back to my dorm some nights. oops.) which are equivalent to "beer taxis". but i've never heard of a beer funicular railway! i knew there was a reason that i loved wales! :D