Posted by: lindsaygoes | August 14, 2011

Journeying into Wales

So anyway, I’ll get back to my adventures. The next day I had a bit of a wander around Oxford Street in London, and one of the saddest things I have ever seen was the line stretching around the corner, waiting for Primark to open. For those of you who aren’t familiar it sells a wide range of extremely inexpensive clothes and is filled with people fighting over various outfits. Fine to buy some stuff that you’re happy to lose, or wreck, but not somewhere I’d line up to get inside. After that I did a walking tour focusing on Death in London, which was really interesting, with bits and pieces about plagues, Jack the Ripper and executions. Then my bank card got eaten by an ATM, a great start to my month long holiday. So that kind of wrecked the night, but we headed over to Brick Lane and saw some of the incredible street art and had an Indian meal. After that I had to perform the enjoyable task of phoning the bank.

The next day we headed into Wales, first stop was Chepstow where my mum and dad used to live, so that was quite cool. We had some photos with one foot in England and one in Wales, and then went to Tintern Abbey, a lovely old ruined church and had a picnic lunch. After that we went into a coal mine. Because of the dangers of methane gas (luckily my dad wasn’t on the tour) we had to surrender anything with batteries before starting, so that was farewell to my camera temporarily *sob*, and we also had to strap special battery packs weighing five kilograms on for torches. It would have been ok the weight was around my hips, but they decided that it would be much better to tie the waist strap rather tightly around kidney height, which was a little painful by the end of the tour. It was very interesting having a tour from a former miner around an old mine, but there were some pretty terrible working conditions there long ago. I don’t think I’m considering a career change to become a miner. Following the mine, we had to have something to balance the slightly claustrophobic conditions, so we had a walk to the top of the Bloringe (one of the few words which rhymes with orange) and we saw some horses. Or maybe sheep. It’s been a while since I did it, and I don’t have my journal with me. But everything else is pretty accurate (apart from spellings).

The following day our first stop was in Hay-on-Wye, a lovely town famed for its large number of book shops. I only bought four which is quite restrained for me. I loved the Honesty Book shops with shelves of books outside, slowly being grown over my ivy and cobwebs, as the books themselves suffered from mildew and bending. After that we saw a big mural in Builth Wells and then walked over the Pontcysylte aqueduct, which is partially made of bulls blood and sugar. Although you can’t tell by looking at it (that fact is actually true, you can even look it up if you like!). Next we went to Llangollen and climbed up to the castle Dinas Bran, which was on the top of a steep hill and only used for about twenty years, so it’s a bit of a ruin. I imagine the people who lugged the rocks to the top of the hill to build the castle were pretty disappointed that it fell into disuse so quickly. But it does have a lovely view once you make it allllll the way to the top.

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