After a brief visit in London, which was clearly not enough time, we began our great next adventure to Wales. We somehow decided that driving ourselves would be a good idea, because my husband’s dad had done it before. You know driving in foreign countries. So we dragged our suitcases behind us to the Europcar pick up about a half mile-ish from our hotel where we picked up the car and prayed until we got on the freeway.
Once we got on our way it really wasn’t so bad. Besides the uncomfortableness that comes when all the cars are going to wrong way, the roundabouts, and there where a LOT of them, were the weirdest for sure.
We did stop at the World Heritage Stonehenge site on our way to Wales. This is one of the coolest things I have seen, those stones are so old and the history or presumed history is fascinating. How they arrived there and what they were used for. I could have spent many more hours reading and enjoying the museum.
The rest of our ride was fairly uneventful we did get out an walk around in Bathampton at an old cemetery. We ran into traffic at Newport then the directions we had for getting to our hostel weren’t good as the road we needed to turn down was closed, so we had a round about way of arriving making everyone in the car very stressed, after a long day on the road. This was the first hostel I have ever been to and it was quiet nice, more like a simple Days Inn. The restaurant was good and the bartender recommended a fabulous cider for me to try! The most exciting part of our stay in Cardiff was our 3 am fire alarm wake up call. After a few years in the dorm in college you get used to these and recognize them immediately. My father in law thought it was my mother in laws phone ringing, after unplugging EVERYTHING for the desk outlets I think he realized it wasn’t those making the noise. I walked to the hall where our Swedish neighbors where standing out as well. Since no one was in a panic and many people went back to bed, we did too, after the alarm went off 5 or so minutes later. The morning we were told someone’s aerosol deodorant set it off. I’m not sure how much it takes to set off a fire alarm but I think it takes quiet a bit…
In the morning we were greeted with rain! Hello England in November! 😊 besides the whining from my father in law about the cold and the wet it was quiet lovely! What more could I want from the weather this time of the year? We decided to see Caerphilly castle as it was HIGHLY recommended by the gal at the front desk last night and that morning, she even looked it up to see how far of a drive it would be and to make sure it wasn’t out of our way.
Caerphilly is the largest castle in Wales and the 2nd largest in Britain and it was mostlyish intact which is pretty awesome when you consider it was built in the 12 the century. It lightly drizzled while we had fun exploring it on our own. They filmed 2 separate episodes of Dr Who here and it was the castle from Merlin, for all you sci if tv fans out there. Afterwards we returned to the car for a serene drive through Wales, where they have sheep the way Texas has beef cattle and California has orchards of almonds. We stopped at a cafe in the national forest visitors center for lunch before preceding to Liverpool.